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11/09 - 07h45

Keeping it in the Bank

Loick Peyron is very much into the final stretch now and can stay cool and focused with a solid delta ahead of Yann Guichard, his 200 miles advance with around 500 miles to go gives him room to breath more easily and concentrate on managing the risks to complete the job. There are always pitfalls on the arrival into Guadeloupe, fishing nets and calms or squalls.
Sunday morning at 0500hrs (CET) the skipper of Maxi Solo Banque Populaire VII (which won the race as Groupama in 2010) has around 500 miles to go, which roughly equates the distances he has been making in 24 hours. And so it will be close for the record with a night finish, needing to cross the line before 0719hrs (CET)
Arriving in from the NE Loick Peyron has two gybes to go, probably, coming in from this direction to also avoid the worst of the nets. And coming in downwind to the Basse-Terre mark at night avoids the influence of the high land. Finally he will be upwind to the finish in the Saintes channel 
The IMOCAs and the Multi 50 are half way across the 3542 miles course  and are in very unstable, gusty winds. The skippers are on deck a lot. Francois Gabart is still holding Jérémie Beyou behind him while Erwan Le Roux and Lalou Roucayrol continue their head-to-head just 15 miles apart at the front of the Multi50s. 
The Class40s are of the south of Madeira and they start to think about the timing of their gybes. Th differences are small among the top five, Alex Pella has made some small gains on leader Kito de Pavant. Britain's Miranda Merron is up to sixth. 
 
Loick Peyron (Ultime, Maxi Solo Banque Populaire VII) 
“ Tomorrow at the same time (0500hrs CET) it will be land, coconuts and humidity. Last night it was up and down and all around with the shifts. I will have to slalom a bit to avoid the fishing nets at night. Otherwise it's about Yann Guichard who is slowed a little behind. This is about risk management and keeping a cool head. I almost gybed earlier on a small shift but I didn't in the end. I probably have two gybes to go before Guadeloupe.  There will be sail changes but I am under gennaker right now. And there is always the circuit of Guadeloupe at the end. You never know how that works out but I think by night is better, so it is not too bad to finish at that time. There will be fewer people but it will be fun.”
 
 
Jérémie Beyou – Maitre Coq (IMOCA) - 2nd on 0400hrs ranking: 
“It is pretty unstable with big shifts and gusts. We will be quick to the finish. We have between 14 and 18kts. There is no room for mistakes. It is very much a duel for first places with Francois (Gabart) and we need to make all the right choices. I am going quick, 20kts of breeze. There might be a gybe to go South. And ahead there is that bit round Guadeloupe to and you never know what might happen there. I am well slept and have eaten well since the start so I am up for it. We will continue to fight until the end.” 
 
 
Alex Pella –Tales 2 Santander 2014 (Class 40), 2nd “It is still a bit unstable in terms of wind direction. The breeze is down a bit I have only 13kts. The level in this class is high, both the boats and the guys. I am so happy to be here in this great race. I am very happy to be here and it's a great race. I am very proud of this boat which is of Spanish design and Spanish build. I had some technical problems at the beginning but it is a versatile boat which goes well in all conditions. It will be downwind to the finish with a few gybes: it will be very interesting. I am loving it! I came to this race not knowing how it would be and here I am very happy because I fight with people I like such as Kito (De Pavant) and Yannick (Bestaven): This is great! "
 

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