At six o’clock, the skipper of Linked Out had taken a minimal advantage over the big favorite in the event with Apivia.
Special envoy to Pointe-à-Pitre
If Charles Caudrelier and François Gabart offered a masterful duel in the Ultim category, Charlie Dalin (Apiva) and Thomas Ruyant (Linked Out) are on track to mark the history of the event among the Imoca with a bewildering showdown since the departure from Saint-Malo. Solid in command of the standings after passing the Azores, Dalin has seen his lead gradually melt away like snow in the sun since Thursday by having opted for a route further south than his rival.
And thunderbolt Friday morning! Thanks to a change of tack operated by Apivia, Ruyant took control of the classification (at the 6:00 a.m. clock) with a 0.8 mile lead. And the gap is growing (5.6 Miles at 8am). Losing strategy or slightly damaged Imoca? The mystery remains whole for the moment for Dalin who seemed to dominate the debates forty-eight hours ago.
Dalin is due to speak late Friday afternoon with some media who will not fail to ask him the question. One thing is certain: the huge favorite among the monohulls is now in the hunter’s shoes as the two men are expected on Sunday evening in the West Indies. Behind, Kevin Escoffier (Holcim-PRB) has not said his last word, 60 miles away.
Among the Ocean Fifty, Quentin Vlamynck (Arkema) still remains at the top of the ranking sheets but the competition is coming back strong behind. Erwan Le Roux (Koesio, at 23.6 miles) and Sébastien Rogues (Primonial, at 73.9) continue to remain very threatening. Finally, in the Class40s, Yoann Richomme (Paprek-Arkea) remains in the lead. The defending champion manages to maintain his lead over his pursuers.
The sailors who have written the legend of the Route du rhum since 1978