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11/17 - 09h01

Catalan Independence! Pella is 110 miles ahead

The next solo finisher on La Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe should finish Tuesday evening or night but the big question remains who it will be. With both having around 450 miles to race this morning will it be Alessandro di Benedetto in the IMOCA 60 class or will it be the Class 40 leader Alex Pella.
The Catalan soloist Alex Pella (Tales 2 Santander) has had an incredible race. Not only has he now left his rivals behind but he is threatning to overtake the IMOCA 60 of Alessando di Benedetto (Team Plastique) which of course is 20 feet longer.  Pella had a close battle with Kito de Pavant (Otio Bastide-Medical) and Thibault Camus Vauchel (Partners in Platoon) but recently has extended steadily in the downwind conditions, and this morning is over 110 miles ahead of Camus Vauchel, who in turn has 25 miles on Kito de Pavant,
In the Rhum Class the battle is always an intens one between Italian Andrea Mura (Vento di Sardegna), the British knight Sir Robin Knox-Johnston (Grey Power) and Wilfrid Clerton (Cape to Cape Location) always in mind. The winds are good for the majority of the fleet, but behind the Finn Ari Huusela (Neste Oil) it is getting lighter again.

Thibaut Vauchel Camus - Partners in Platoon (Class40) - 2nd on the 4:00 rankings
"The winds are quite variable, it is stressful between the squalls. Overall it's better than what it was. At night, we have no moon. Unfortunately I am now quite far behind first place Alex (Pella)who  has done an incredible job. I got back a little yesterday afternoon but that, unless a major incident, it's too late for me. The real break was the passage of the ridge at Madeira. There, it was very unstable with many grains, Alex played it well, made mny gybes and pulled away. Currently I am in the South but I will, finally arriving at  24 North on the West Indies. Overall I am satisfied. I have a good place. But to be honest there I am fatigued. I made about four hours of sleep between five naps. I have to stay vigilant and manage the fatigue best I can. I expect there will be some emotion arriving in Guadeloupe by sea as I know it well, I lived there and started sailing there."

Tanguy de Lamotte - Initiatives Coeur (IMOCA) - 7th on 4:00 rankings: "I should be there on Tuesday. Alex Pella is still 40 miles ahead and I am roughly 100 miles behind Alessandro. Even if our boats are different that is a lot to catch up. My goal is to have learned a lot about my boat which is new to me."

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