That is apparently what has been happening on board Gitana since the end of yesterday afternoon. Lionel and Marc have pressed the turbo charge button, stealing into sixth place overall behind La Trinitaine. But at the 14h00 (French time) check-in, Sodebo had sneaked back and was leading Gitana by three miles (5 km). Daggers have been drawn, both crews fighting hard with less than 800 miles (1481 km) to go to the finish. Now is the very time when the crews have to be extremely careful to keep on track. Sailing fast downwind, the boats are spending most of their time with one float sky high. Steering in conditions like this is no mean feat. Rest is essential. Both sailors on board regularly take turns at the helm to get the most out of the machine.
With just 48 hours before the finishing line, the watches will get shorter and shorter and both crew will end up spending all of their time up on deck. Sylvain Mondon, Gitana's router explained yesterday evening : "they're full of beans. They're pleased with their position in the fleet. The boat is in perfect condition. They're ready to attack...".
Instant speed readings are produced every two hours and prove that Gitana are constantly between 21 and 25 knots.
The boat's course is the only marker of how things are on board for the moment as they have got their heads down for the home run to Bahia, and so there is no direct news from the boat.
Fleet leader, Groupama, is still expected to arrive tomorrow morning, Sunday 16th November.