The two fleets manoeuvred during shifting winds and a heavy rain squall until a battle became inevitable with the British more or less in column and the French in some confusion. However, the French managed to pass along the British line to windward with their most advanced ships. At around noon, HMS Victory opened fire on Bretagne, 110 guns, followed by Ville de Paris, 90 guns. The British van escaped with little loss but Sir Hugh Palliser's rear division suffered considerably. Keppel made the signal to wear and follow the French, but Palliser did not conform and the action was not resumed.