The fifth week of the Vendee Globe saw four more boats go out. Early on, back marker Unaï Bazurko had to abandon with rudder damage, but the real blows came with the end of the race for three hot favorites: long time leader Loïck Peyron (dismasted) and two who had come back through the field after being forced to return to Les Sables, after the start – Dominique Wavre (broken keel head) and Bernard Stamm (failed rudder bearings). It must have been especially galling for Stamm, who had been charging along and had just overtaken Brian Thompson, to move into 11th place.
Up at the front of the field, Jean-Pierre Dick is setting an incredible pace, having sailed 448 miles sailed in 24 hours, just 20 miles short of the record held by Alex Thomson. If he can keep up the pace, his time to Cape Leeuwin will easily beat the Vendee record. Behind Dick, is that veteran of the Southern Ocean, Mike Golding, who has been pulling away from Roland Jourdain and Michel Desjoyeaux, the only other two who are really in contention at this stage.