Gitana 11 in the lead of the fleet
At check in time this morning, Gitana 11 had taken the lead of the IB Group Challenge, opting for a gybe off Gibraltar whereas Gitana X came back into contact with heavier pressure system in the north.

In ancient times, there was the known land and Terra Incognita, the Mediterranean and the lost continent of Atlantis, separated by a strait, the columns of Hercules, now Gibraltar. That is where the race is likely to be played out as Frédéric Le Peutrec has moved into the lead ahead of Armel Le Cléac'h, who has come out of the dark ! Lots happened overnight : firstly, the wind was steadier than forecast, a WSW wind of 10-12 knots. Then the breeze dropped off ahead and also to the south. Frédéric Le Peutrec and his crew flew along better than before, and were able to remain on a rather more direct heading towards Tarifa. Meanwhile, the other leaders got deeper and deeper into a near windless zone…  Moreover, Gitana 11 got a fishing net caught up in her appendages forcing the boat to stop completely so that the net could be freed. The navigation team simply decided that it was time to gybe. Once again, they improved their lead on Banque Populaire to such an extent that she was overtaken by almost the whole fleet. Further down the fleet, Gitana X made a great comeback losing out only 17 nautical miles on the previous day's leader, Pascal Bidégorry. That can be explained by the fact that wind conditions in the north are quite different as Armel Le Cléac'h, who was slowed by a broken foil in the Bay of Biscay moved into second position… The start is not likely to change the hierarchy unless Thierry Duprey du Vorsent gained ground on the peleton by virtue of his more northerly position before reaching Gibraltar.

Thierry Duprey du Vorsent-Gitana X :

« We are 30 miles off Tarifa with a westerly wind which has calmed (9 knots). Everything went well overnight with the gennaker up almost all the time with calm conditions. The wind was rather stable shifting SW to W at about 10-12 knots. We are crossing the shipping lanes and the wind has started to drop over the past hour. We should be at Gibraltar around 9h00 this morning. We can hope that the wind picks up in the strait as according to the weather files the NW breeze is likely to decrease… Thereafter, a low is deepening  W of Spain giving rise to a nice W flow of 20-25 knots by Thursday afternoon to cross the Mediterranean as far as Cape Bon, for at least two days. For the moment, we do not have many options open to us. It was rather a question of pure speed and we haven't come off too badly ! Particularly when there was not much wind in little sea, conditions which Gitana X does not appreciate too much… We have had a spot of bother with the Iridium telephone which overheated. »

Yann Guichard-Gitana 11 :

« New got caught up in a fishing net before gybing overnight as we arrived close to Morocco. We lost ten minutes in getting free from the thing. We sailed a short leg north to get us back on track which largely contributed to our current position. There was greater pressure north and Foncia‘s managing to make it back to our rear-view mirror speaks loud and clear. We had a tiring night with the fishing net which got caught up in the appendages as the wind was very unstable. We had to stay up on deck to trim all the time. We didn't get a wink of sleep – but it paid off ! The wind should calm down as we leave Gibraltar to a westerly 10-15 knots. We have to manage our gybes properly if we are to remain in the middle of the course where the pressure is greater. Morale is high. We struck something with the dagger board overnight but there was no damage. »

Rankings – Wednesday 11th May at 04h00 (French time) :

1- Gitana 11 (Frédéric Le Peutrec) with 1 613.2 miles to the finish
2- Foncia (Armel Le Cléac'h) + 1.8 miles
3- Groupama-2 (Franck Cammas) + 11.5 miles  
4- Géant (Michel Desjoyeaux) + 17.6 miles
5- Banque Populaire (Pascal Bidégorry) + 25.2 miles 
6- Gitana X (Thierry Duprey du Vorsent) + 42.1 miles

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