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11/05 - 16h44

Rhum Class Showing Strength in Adversity

The Rhum Class fleet is in pretty good shape, all things considered, after the first two and a half days of racing. Only two soloists have abandoned their race so far Nils Boyer (Let's Go-Pharmaouest / Gicquel Associates) and Julien Mabit (Komilfo).

Five multihulls and thirteen monohulls are still racing spread between the Azores, Cape Finisterre and the Bay of Biscay.
The smaller boats, 12 to 23 metres, multihulls and monos, maybe struggled more in the first 48 hours but presently there is the chance of a little respite in the lighter winds before the next low pressure system comes in. Several skippers have had to make stops like Bob Escoffier (Guisnel Group) and Benjamin Hardouin (Krit'R V) who left Roscoff Tuesday morning and who are now in middle of the Bay of Biscay, or Patrick Morvan (Ortis) and Pierrick Tollemer (Ensemble pour Entrepreneurship) after stops in Brest and Camaret respectively.
But so far only Julien Mabit (Komilfo) who went in to Aber Wrac'h and Nils Boyer (Let's Go-Pharmaouest / Gicquel Associates) who stopped into Roscoff are the only retirals from the race.
At the front of the fleet Italian leader Andrea Mura (Vento di Sardegna) and Anne Caseneuve (Aneo) were the only entrants to have passed Cape Finisterre by this morning. But for everyone else the notorious Spanish headland is a bit obstacle which is going to see some bad weather by tonight with gusts to 55kts early tomorrow.
Race leader and title holder Andrea Mura (Vento di Sardegna) has chosen to take the same route as the IMOCA Open 60s and will have to tack after the front and will be heading on a course more converging with Anne Caseneuve who may well emerge ahead.
Briton Sir Robin Knox Johnston is in seventh on his Open 60 Grey Power and reported today that all is well on board, that his boat is well prepared and he is preparing for the next bit of bad weather.

Caseneuve today said:
"Everything is great! The first two days, we knew from the beginning that it would be tough. The boat should be fine and should not break. I have no problems. I am heading more directly towards Madeira while Andrea Mura takes the great circle route towards the Azores."

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