The lead balloons (Max Krebs Walter Gschwendtner HB-QHP and Saburo Ichiyoshi Akio Hachinohe JA-A1044) are about the cross the French coast around Saint-Malo.
They will be in sight of Saint-Malo at sunrise, with gorgeous views of Mont Saint-Michel in the morning sun. The question has to be, is the tactic of flying high so early in the race a good one? The lead teams will have had to use ballast and gas to fly this high - will it affect the duration of these balloons? Three balloons are holding back, including David Hempleman-Adams and Richard Abruzzo - what do they know?
The effects of the rising sun need to be considered now. The balloons will climb to their "ceiling" unless the pilots use the valve and stay lower.
Your flight control team here have been up for 24 hours now, with only small amounts of sleep all week. We're living on coffee and adrenaline (or tea in my case...)