Tripon on board the brown trimaran Réauté Chocolat, has just under 850 nautical miles to go to the finish of the four-yearly classic and is more than 400 miles ahead of his nearest pursuer in the six-strong Multi50 class.

The first major keelboat regatta for the summer season, the SSORC is to be held over the weekend of 24-25 November, in conjunction with the Super 12 Spring Regatta and Seven Islands Race inshore.

"The more miles Alex puts between himself and his rivals by the Tête à l’Anglais island, the better it will be for him, as sailing downwind of Guadeloupe is like the famous Chinese water torture."

After leading for most of the race, François Gabart was slowed by a series of incidents including the loss of his port rudder and starboard foil.

Noel Cornish and his crew took IRC, ORCi and PHS divisions.

Still leading the Route du Rhum, the Frenchman is nursing his battered craft towards the finish.

With 2000nms to go, a three-way battle led by Alex Thomson, has developed, at the top, while others are struggling and pit stops have become the norm.

St Jude’s waterline length saved her from the weakening southerly, while others that had featured in the top three were not so lucky.

Frenchman François Gabart is on course to smash the 3,542 nautical mile course record.

Comanche has taken line honours from Wild Oats XI in a psychological battle ahead of the Sydney Hobart, while Ichi Ban leads the charge for the overall win.

Lagravière says the strategy for what lies ahead will be interesting to watch, with competitors having to carefully plan their gybes.

As was forecast pre-start, Alex Thomson has dominated the IMOCA class, but Germany’s Boris Herrmann is keeping the Brit a run for his money.

Jean-Luc Van Den Heede has been penalised for making a call on the GGR satellite phone, rather than using his radio.

In the Rhum Multi class the big news of the day is the dismasting of Fabrice Payen’s blue and white trimaran Team Vent Debout, 230 miles off the Portuguese coast after the starboard chainplate gave way.

Jean-Luc Van Den Heede will make repairs to his mast at sea, allowing him to remain in the race.