We’re on to the sixth day of racing in this year’s Route du Rhum, and it has been far from plain sailing for the 35 IMOCA skippers still racing. As I’ve mentioned before, there are four previous HUGO BOSS IMOCAs in the fleet, so how are they doing?
Fellow Brit James Harayda (Gentoo Sailing Team) currently sits in 27th sailing onboard what was HUGO BOSS 2. He’s had a fantastic race so far for what is his first solo-transatlantic race, and from what his team have been posting on his social channels, he’s also really enjoying it.
French adventurer Guirec Soudee (Freelance.com) sits in 23rd but is also one of the more northerly boats in the fleet. Guirec is sailing onboard what was my fourth IMOCA. On Saturday night, he reported gusts of 50 knots when crossing the cold front the fleet had to negotiate. Thankfully all seems well onboard, and today will consist of more strong winds and lumpy seas!
Alan Roura (HUBLOT Sailing Team) is in 18th position onboard my last both the 7th one – Alan has been sailing cautiously through the terrible conditions the fleet has been facing since the start of the race, and by all accounts is very keen to get south and into the trade winds!
And finally, in 8th position, currently the best placed of my previous IMOCA’s is Benjamin Dutreux (Guyot Environnement – Water Family) is battling closely with Vendée Globe winner Yannick Bestaven (Maitre Coq). Benjamin is sailing onboard HUGO BOSS 6, the boat I competed in the Route du Rhum back in 2018.
Elsewhere, Charlie Dalin (Apivia) still leads, around 70nm ahead of Jeremie Beyou (Charal) who has stretched a little on those around him and holds onto second place by about 10nm.
Today the leading pack will sail into lighter winds, so the fleet could compress somewhat. Behind, those further north have a low-pressure system to deal with, which will provide more strong winds and heavy seas. There is no rest in this Route du Rhum.