While the leading group in the Golden Global Race - Philippe Peché, Jean-Luc Van Den Heede and Mark Slats - is trying to sail the doldrums as well as possible, the fleet of originally eighteen entrants is decreasing pretty well. A third of the fleet is, only 18 days after the start, no longer in the race.
Four entrants gave up and two have sailed into a port for repair. Beacuse of their stop they are in the 'Chichester classification' now. The fact that a third of the participants are already out of the actual race before the Cape Verden is perhaps not surprising given the gravity and isolation of the race in relation to the experience of the sailors.
Interestingly, Mark Slats now seems to follow another, much more westerly route than the other two sailors in the lead. A bet that will later show how it will pay off. The Frenchman Péché seems to have the fastest Rustler36 of the three leaders. Even now he still runs 0.1 knots faster than Van Den Heede, a situation that hasn't changed since the start. Also compared to Slats, which is as fast as Van den Heede. This may have been the reason for Slats to choose a different course.
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