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Artemis Transat - The blackout begins

'Artemis Transat 2008 - Vicent Riou on PRB'    ©Benoit Stichelbaut

The competitors in the Artemis Transat race have now entered a period of electronic information blackout. From 18:00hrs GMT Friday night and for the following 36 hours, all position information of the other competitors is unavailable. None of the skippers will have any knowledge of the latitude or longditude of the yachts around them, or of the actions they are taking.

Only the Artemis Transat race office will have this forbidden data. Effectively, the skippers will be sailing with a tactical blindfold. Reactions within the fleet to this innovation range from pleasure to sheer terror.

The positions listed below are the final ones to be published before Sunday, 06:00 GMT.

Sailing upwind, the three leading boats - BT, PRB and Gitana Eighty - are averaging 9.5 knots of speed while behind Brit Air, in 5th, is still around a knot slower. Generali, still 4th, seems to have less pressure in the north where Yann Eliès is now lonely since Foncia pulled out yesterday.

Back in sixth place, Roxy is now 200 miles behind the leader but benefits from good winds, like Akena Verandas - both boats are displaying speeds equivalent to those of the leaders, who are now gaining west.

Strong winds are expected to hit the leaders Friday night, but another light zone is expected before the ice gate. Stay tuned as we'll be talking to the boats as usual tomorrow morning . . . without knowing where they are!

Final positions at the start of the 36hr blackout period.

IMOCA 60 - Positions - DTF - DTL at 18:00hrs 16 May
1 BT 1689.1 0.0
2 PRB 1713.5 24.4
3 Gitana Eighty 1734.3 45.2
4 Generali 1768.3 79.2
5 Brit Air 1775.9 86.9
6 Roxy 1889.2 200.1
7 Akena Vérandas 1890.7 201.6
8 Safran 1924.0 234.9
9 Cervin EnR 1926.3 237.3
10 Aviva 1959.7 270.7
11 Spirit of Weymouth 1975.6 286.5
12 Pakea Bizkaia 2009 1986.5 297.5

Class 40 - Positions - DTF - DTL at 18:00hrs 16 May
1 Telecom Italia 1986.1 0
2 Beluga Racer 1999.5 13.4
3 40 Degrees 2003 16.9
4 Fujifilm 2005.7 19.6
5 Custo Pol 2008.4 22.3
6 Mistral Loisirs - Pole Santé ELIOR 2020 33.9
7 Groupe Partouche 2031.9 45.8
8 Groupe Royer 2032.2 46.1
9 Prévoir Vie 2041.1 55
10 Clarke Offshore Racing 2042.7 56.6

by Media


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9:37 PM Fri 16 May 2008 GMT

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