PRB Seizes Transat Lead

Artemis Transat competitors sailed out of their position-blackout period on Sunday, and for the Open 60s the retirement of race leader Sbastien Josse and BT changes the picture in a big way. The mainsail headcar is broken on BT, the sea state prevented Josse from going aloft, and the decision to turn around was a necessary bitter pill. Josse said, "Pulling out is a big disappointment, but you know these things can happen. We've seen that the boat was capable of being ahead of the best of the IMOCA fleet. That means our optimization was based on the right choices. I'm going back towards Brittany under sail, and these miles count for my Vende qualifier, so I'm not wasting my time."

Vincent Riou on PRB now leads, with some 400 upwind miles to the ice gate as of Sunday and 1,200 miles to the finish line in Boston, Massachusetts. Three other Open 60s are grouped with PRB in a 61-mile circle in terms of distance-to-finish: Loick Peyron (Gitana Eighty), Armel Le Cleac'h (Brit Air), and Yann Elies (Generali).

Peyron made big gains by tacking on a lift right after the position-blackout period started, but now the fleet is back to receiving updates. Below is a look at fifth-place Mark Guillemot on Safran—Kimball Livingston

Posted May 18, 2008

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