Fred LE PEUTREC would have been relieved to have seen the finish line at the entrance to Boston Harbour last night after his ETA got later and later as the weather eased off.
A damaged daggerboard inflicted three days ago and the loss of his Solent head sail over a week ago have hindered his final approach to the line.
With Gitana XI finishing this now only leaves two of the 11 boat fleet to cross the finish line to round up the ORMA 60 class - Steve RAVUSSIN on ORMA 60 multi Banque Covefi (130 miles to finish at 0700 GMT this morning) and Yves PARLIER'S new catamaran Médiatis Region Aquitaine (319 DTF).
This has been Le Peutrec's first solo multihull race on Gitana XI that was acquired last November by Baron ROTHSCHILD'S team to tune up against their existing Gitana X. This was a first for the ORMA class - to run a two-boat campaign may be something very familiar to America's Cup or Volvo Ocean Race teams but it is not the norm in this form of racing. The boat was previously campaigned by Jean-Luc NELIAS and had a promising track record finishing 2nd in last year's Transat Jacques Vabre.
Le Peutrec has been a sought-after sailor on the 60ft trimarans of Loick PEYRON'S Fujicolor and Biscuits la Trinitaine and, subsequently, raced non-stop around the world to victory on Grant DALTON'S Club Med in The Race 2001. Le Peutrec became an ORMA skipper in his own right when sponsor Bayer agreed to build a new 60ft tri to compete in the 2002 Route du Rhum but, unfortunately, Le Peutrec retired from the race.