“I gave myself a little fright this morning, at the first of the day's position reports, when I saw Armel Le Cléac'h so close behind. He did really well last night, because I honestly thought it would be harder for him. It's a great incentive to apply myself and perform some good manœuvres to regain a few extra miles" explained the skipper of Gitana Eighty before giving us a run-down on the past few days of racing: “As regards the weather, the game would seem to be over as we are now on the same course bound for Boston. Nonetheless, as ever nothing is signed and sealed until the finish line is crossed. We're now having to make good speed sailing close on the wind... It's slamming a lot at the moment though and it's not easy to accelerate without making the boat suffer. I should be on the line for 0100 UT, but that's just an estimate!” concluded Loïck Peyron.
Victorious in the 60 foot multihull category during the 1992 and 1996 editions, Loïck Peyron then joined the iconic French sailor Eric Tabarly in the close circle of double winners of the event. An unequalled performance to date which is synonymous with the talent of this 48 year old. Eric Tabarly's victories in 1964 and 1976 touched everyone that witnessed them and enabled Ocean Racing to acquire a new standing in the hearts of the French public.
Of course, there are now less than 100 miles separating Loïck Peyron and Gitana Eighty from liberation, but now more than ever, concentration remains paramount. Indeed the area surrounding Boston may yet harbour a few surprises and inopportune encounters. On a direct course towards the finish, perfectly controlling any attacks from his pursuer, Armel Le Cléac'h, the skipper of Gitana Eighty has a rendez-vous with history this evening!
If the monohull in the colours of the LCF Rothschild Group crosses the finish line before 0417' UT, Loïck Peyron could well take the event record as well. The current time of 12 days 15 hours 18 minutes and 8 seconds, has been held by Mike Golding since 2005.
Ranking on 23rd May at the 1600 UT position report
1. Gitana Eighty (Loïck Peyron) 99 miles from the finish
2. Brit Air (Armel Le Cleac'h) 35 miles from the leader
3. Generali (Yann Eliès) 141 miles back
4. Safran (Marc Guillemot) 370 miles back