• Jean-Luc Van Den Heede's Matmut has a 1500 mile lead
    Jean-Luc Van Den Heede's Matmut has a 1500 mile lead
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Jean-Luc Van Den Heede reached the BoatShed.com Hobart film gate at 07:30 local time on Saturday (21:30 UTC Friday) to drop film and letters before heading out of Storm Bay to resume his lead in the Golden Globe Race.

The 73-year old Matmut skipper was in good spirits and sighted the lengthy preparation work for his 1600 nautical mile lead. "The boat is good, the self-steering works well and I have only minor problems like a leaking window to deal with."

Van Den Heede remained at anchor for three and a half hours completing media interviews before making most of the calm conditions to check his mast and rigging. He also tried to catch some sleep, but after 15 minutes, returned on deck complaining that the conditions were "too calm to sleep!"

The Frenchman then set off to cross the South Pacific Ocean and round Cape Horn, predicting that he would complete this solo circumnavigation back in Les Sables d'Olonne during the first week of February within 210 days.

Dutchman Mark Slats, the second placed skipper, trails Van Den Heede by 1600 miles and is not expected to reach Hobart for another 10 days.

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