Phil Sharp significantly increases Route du Rhum lead

Wednesday, 15 November 2006

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The weather conditions could definitely give the victory to Phil Sharp who has now significantly increased his lead on Morvan. The Briton should not be worried by his pursuer even if the rounding of Guadeloupe could be as painful as for Marc Guillemot (Safran) and Anne Liardet (Roxy) who finally finished their frustrating racing today. For the moment Phil Sharp's ETA has been pushed to Friday rather than tomorrow.


Finally ! Marc Guillemot (Safran) touched the finish line today after 16 d 17 h 57' 26  at sea, taking the 7th place after a long battle with Anne Liardet in tricky weak winds. The gap with winner in IMOCA, Roland Jourdain is 4 d 5h58' while his average speed on the distance is 8.81 knots.

Anne Liardet was welcomed a few hours later after 17 d 00h 52' 44 “ at sea and 8.66 knots of average. She was exhausted after 36 hours without sleep and upset about her ranking.


Phil Sharp ( sailed 8 to 10 knots of winds overnight while Gildas Morvan was fighting in no wind. As a consequence, Phil's lead has – once again – increased:  132.3 miles of gap with Morvan with less that 200 miles to run now. This situation makes Gildas Morvan say that the Briton is now out of touch for him.

The winds are decidedly generous with Sharp who sails now on a direct route in the feeble Trade Winds that were on the forecast yesterday  – 7.2 average in the last 24h.

For the 3rd step on the podium, all the options are open providing that the wind rebuilds somewhere at sea. And this can happen anywhere on the stretch of water. The 3rd also has to count on the 20 hours to be given  to Philippe Legros (Côtes d'Armor) as he diverted his road to go to Charlie Capelle rescue.

Phil Sharp/

I am really confident and really looking forward to the finish. I enjoy a couple of days in light winds cruising in the Caribbean !  Well, I could be in a cruising mode, but I'd like to get to the finish as quick as possible...I think we got the situation sorted...
Yesterday the genaker could have really helped but at the moment I don't need it.
I am really comfortable now, the positions are very different to what it was on Monday morning. I am in a different weather system and I have really good wind speed (8 or 9 knots). I think he- (Morvan) )has light winds in front of him, so I don't think he'll be able to do anything.
I have easterly Trade winds and the most westerly we get the stronger they are, so it will only increase the gap.

Aurelia Ditton /  Dangerous When Wet.

My life onboard is quite wet at the moment. I am in quite big choppy seas at the moment because I am going behind this low pressure at the moment. But it's got very  warm so I have to put sun block on all the time !
I have an autopilot problem so I have to be careful not to put too much sail up, especially at night, because my pilot does not respond to the wind and it responds to a course.  I know where the problem is but I can't do anything about it. So it's keeping me stressed.
15 knots of wind but a lot of squalls maybe every 30 minutes to one hour and up to 30 knots and I am pointing in the right direction, which is good !
I've been fixing so many things onboard that I have not written much. It's moving slowly.
There's not so much of the race to go  to sail now – maybe a  1,000 miles – and the course leader has lighter winds than I do. Here is my opportunity to take some miles back. I had my fair share of things going wrong with spinnakers but I am a bit cautious on that side, in the sense of lasting along in this conditions but we will see.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 15 November 2006 )