Most people will have seen a strange leader board. I put a waypoint in at 44 south some distance east of Cape Town. This will be for most boat the direction. See maps below. Mind that it is not allowed to sail south of 45 degree.
Based on this I think Jean Luc and Philippe are the leading pair, followed by Mark and Are.
To waypoint: To lead
Mark 2790 393
Are 2805 408
It means that the two leading boats have a lead of 400 miles. After sailing about 5000 miles this is 8% faster, in racing terms a really big difference. Jean Luc and Philippe managed to do so by sailing a more direct route and taking the risk of sailing in light air. Before the boats will sail into the westerly winds of the Southern Ocean they will have some headwinds and some calms but I think the ranking will stay as it is for the next days.
In the Southern Oceans. The wind wind will general be from aft but it will vary in speed quite a lot. It is easy to make a 5% difference between the top boats by keeping the right sails and working harder. It will be over 7000 miles to Hobart so 5% means 350 miles gain or loose. Besides sailing fast it is important to keep the boat undamaged. Some messages from Mark suggest that he has sailed slower than possible, with smaller sails. We discussed this before the start and agreed it was wise not to use certain sails because they need to be in good shape after Cape Horn.
State of the leading boat
This is an interesting part of the race. We all know who is leading, but we don't know the state of the leading boat. Do they still have good shaped sails? And how much diesel is used? These unknown questions can easy mean a more than 500-mile difference. The leading boats start with 140 L fuel. You use about 1.5 L an hour at 5 knots. Only this is already 465 mile. A sail that has lost the right shape can in the last 6000 miles easily mean a loss of 6%, another unknown 360 miles. It means it is not at all certain if the leader is indeed the leader!
I think as long as the difference between the leading boats is less than 5% from the distance to sail, you are one of the leading boats. At this moment it mean all boats less than 1000 miles behind can still be on the podium.
Biggest competitor besides Jean Luc and Philippe are in my opinion Are Wig and Gregor McGuckin. Are was really unlucky after the Cape Verde and Gregor showed a good boat speed in the last weeks.
Webdesign: Online Beeldvorming