A day from the end
The atmosphere of this 4th day of the Grand Prix Petit Navire in NW France was peppered by capricious winds. Just like yesterday, Gitana Eighty and her six rivals fought it out in a 58 mile coastal course around Douarnenez Bay, with a tack which led the fleet off the Crozon peninsula. Second in today's race, Loïck Peyron and his seven crew finished two minutes astern of Foncia, winner this Monday. Yann Eliès' crew complete the podium.

A look back at this 4th day of racing

The fleet of Imoca monohulls set off from Rosmeur Port shortly before 1100 hours. A light W'ly breeze accompanied the 60 footers on the gentle start. Gitana Eighty, Groupe Bel and Safran, who were favouring the right hand side of the race zone, powered away at the head of the fleet. “It was a lively day… the wind proved to be shifty once again both in terms of strength and direction, forcing us to make a number of sail changes to find the best combination. Some squally passages also put in an appearance and disrupted the race zone”. At the head of the fleet throughout the five hour race, the men on Gitana Eighty were finally overtaken by Michel Desjoyeaux and his crew who were today's winners: “Mich and his crew sailed really well today. For our part, we made a few small mistakes which when added together cost us dearly."

Winner of yesterday's leg, author of a fine second place today, the skipper of Gitana Eighty was satisfied with the past few days in Douarnenez: “During our offshore races, we rarely sail within sight of each other. It's in close contact sailing that we learn a lot however. It enables us to compare technical choices with those of our rivals and hence make progress in the optimisation of Gitana Eighty.”

Tomorrow, a special weather report is broadcast by Météo France and a big low will sweep across the tip of Brittany over the coming days. The organisers of the Défi Petit Navire will decide in the morning if the weather conditions are such that the boats can race.

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