View Full Version : 2015 Transat Jacques Vabre

10-26-2015, 09:55 AM

The first ranking at 15hrs UTC shows a small lead in the IMOCA class for Yann Eliès and Charlie Dalin on Queguiner ahead of Newrest/Matmut of Fabrice Amadeo and Eric Peron with SMA, Paul Meilhat and Michel Desjoyeaux third. Less than a mile separates the top three boats after two and a half hours of sailing, still making about eight knots upwind. At the Seine Maritime buoy SMA are leading.
In Class 40 Team Concise are second but almost side by side with their training partners Bretagne-Crédit Mutuel Élite.



Alex Thomson, GBR, Hugo Boss: “It was not too bad but we caught a very big lobster pot off Cherbourg and so we had to stop many times. We lost at least 10 or 12 miles but apart from that it has not been too bad. Our option is to try and stay south to try and avoid conditions which are too strong. Our boat is only eight days old and so we don’t we feel it is very prudent to go the fastest route and so it looks healthy, we lead the fleet today but the long term shows we will be one day behind by Cape Verde.

It is wet on deck. We have 20-25kts the wind is forward of the beam and it is very choppy seas. It is a bit grey. But we had a good night. We cannot complain. We had a few little teething problems, nothing major but of course it takes a long time to learn a boat like this properly. So we feel pretty happy where we are. We both got a couple of hours sleep which is good and so we feel healthy.”

General situation Monday, 26 October to at 0600hrs UTC

The deep depression at 970hPa at 400 miles west of Ireland is directly in front of the bows of the Transat Jacques Vabre fleet. This depression is shifting slowly SE and losing its activity. But in the meantime seas are big and the winds are strong.

Forecast for the day of 26 October and into the night.

Have made the clear choice to go south of the depression, the winds are 17-23kts from the S but they will veer SW during the evening with gusts to 35kts. A big swell from the WNW is present.

Are also going south the wind veers later for them as they get west later. They will get the worst swell tomorrow morning.

For those taking the passage to the north. SW winds 30-35 gusting to 40kts. Seas are big and it will rain this evening. S’ly fresh 20-25 gusting 30. Veers SW and builds. Sea becomes rough to very rough. Big W’ly swell.

Class 40
Same menu as IMOCA but slightly later as they progress more slowly into depression.


Tracker (http://tracking.transat-jacques-vabre.com/fr/)

Trend for the day October 27:
The depression fills as moves east south east, winds ease and the swell grows.

Meteo France

Weather forecast over race area of transat Jacques Vabre 2013

1 General synopsis by October 26, 2015 at 00h UTC : Low 970 hPa at 400 miles in west southwest Ireland, with little move, expected 972 hPa at 12h UTC, then 983 hPa by 27 at 12h UTC at 250 miles in southwest Ireland. Le cold front axis over 12 west moving slowly east.

High 1029 hPa 40 north and 40 west moving slowly south

2 Weather forecast from October 26, 2015 at 09h UTC to October 27, 2015 at 12h UTC :

OUESSANT :South or south east 15/20 decreasing 10/15 kt later. Sea moderate or rough wave 1.5m west swell 3 m.

SOLE :Southerly 20 or 30 kt from east to west gusts 30 or 40 kt from east to west, decreasing 25 kt gusts 35 kt in west later. Sea very rough or high , wave 2m west swell 4 or 6 m from east to west

FASTNET :South 20/25 kt gusts 35 kt. Sea rough, wave 1.5m west swell 4m.

SHANNON :South 25 or 35 kt from east to west gusts 45 kt decreasing 20/30 kt gusts 40 kt later. Sea high in south wave 4m and west swell 6m. West

YEU : South 12/18 kt veering south west soon. Sea moderate becoming rough by west swell 3.5 or 4m.

PAZENN : veering South west 20/25 kt gusts 30 kt increasing 23/28 kt gusts 35 kt in north west of area at midday. rough locally high in west, wave 2m west swell 3m increasing 5m in far west. East of ROMEO : South west 25/35 kt from southeast to northwest gusts 35/45 kt from southeast to northwest, veering west 30/35 kt gusts 50 kt in west at end. Sea high or very high, wave 3m west swell 7m. Page 1

FINISTERRE :South west 15/20 kt gusts 28 kt increasing 20/25 kt gusts 35 kt in north later. Sea rough or very rough with northwest swell 6m. 3 Further outlook from October 27, 2015 at 12h UTC to October 28, 2015 at 12h UTC. Strong wind warning greater than 40 nds : None High wave warning greater than 6 m :

ROMEO and CHARCOT : houle of north west of 6m On Monday , October 26, 2015 at 07h 28 UTC.
Richard Silvani Météo-France



Jérémie Beyou: “ We were sailing under J1 at 120 degrees from the wind with all three stays in place. Suddenly stay no.2 came down with the sail and broke as it fell on the outrigger. We managed to recover it. Luckily it fell at that moment. A couple hours later, we would have been under J2. In that configuration, the boat would have been dismasted, as we would have removed the other two stays that hold up the mast.”

“The swivel came unscrewed. It may have been the locking system that broke. Today, we found a way to replace it with an identical piece, but we still need to check it out, so that we can set off in a condition that will allow us to face the weather that is forecast in the coming hours. It’s very hard, as we had been well placed in respect to the ideal option that we had decided on. In any case, we are waiting for the green light to know whether we can put any pressure on the boat in the heavy weather.”


10-26-2015, 03:59 PM
Here we go. The first 24 hours of the 12th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre, the two handed race from Le Havre to Itajaí, Brazil have been fast in a building breeze. But the Bay of Biscay and an Atlantic low pressure system will hit most of the fleet this evening and tomorrow bringing building seas and big winds with gusts over 40kts. There is no big surprise in store. The ominous system has been lurking west of Ireland for some time, but is only moving slowly SE before it fills and loses some of its intensity later on Tuesday. But the duos in all four classes have been preparing as best they can for the tough conditions, drysuits and boots are on now and may be for 48 hours or more.

The big question in the 20 boat IMOCA class is prudence or push? Prudence is Alex Thomson and Guillermo Altadill’s watchword this week with their eight day old HUGO BOSS. They lead the class by virtue of their solid sailing and their position to the east, making more south closer to the direct course, but the British skipper warned today that their cotton wool approach – to protect their brand new boat – will lose them one day by Cape Verde against the boats which have gone west to get under the depression quicker, through to the more favourable breezes first. With time on the water so vital between now and the start of next year’s Vendée Globe, Thomson – as with others – cannot afford to have his new boat spend any more time in a boatyard than what is programmed over the coming months. HUGO BOSS leads a group of five IMOCAs including Kito de Pavant and Yann Reginau on Bastide-Otio and MACSF – cousins Bertrand De Broc and 2009 winner Marc Guillemot on MACSF.

Thomson said they had snagged a lobster pot off Cherbourg last night but confirmed:

“ Our option is to try and stay south to try and avoid conditions which are too strong. Our boat is only eight days old and so we don’t we feel it is very prudent to go the fastest route and so it looks healthy, we lead the fleet today but the long term shows we will be one day behind by Cape Verde.

But pushing hard to the west, 230 miles west of Land’s End and arc-ing NWW is the group lead by Sébastien Josse and Charles Caudrelier who have about 240 miles of pain to get to the favourable, NWlies and the best angle. The risk is significantly higher for this group – winds over 40kts and seas of seven metres – but the rewards are expected to me much greater. Edmond de Rothschild is about three miles ahead of SMA, Paul Meilhat and Michel Desjoyeaux, with Vendée Globe runner up Armel Le Cléac’h and Erwan Tabarly about two miles further back on the Banque Populaire VIII. For this group, especially, tonight is likely to be the biggest break or make night of the race.

Sadly robbed of the chance to chose is Jérémie Béyou. The skipper from the Bay of Morlaix who has been an early retirement from his first two Vendée Globes – rig damage in 2008 and keel ram in 2012 – has had to retire after just ten hours of hard racing. He and co-skipper Philippe Legros pulled into Lorient at around 0815hrs this morning with damage to a stay expecting to be able to restart.

The team’s statement said
“ Following the damage that happened at around 2300hrs yesterday evening to a mainstay attachment, which holds the mast up from the front, Jérémie Beyou and Philippe Legros, who were in 4th place, were forced to make their way to Roscoff, which they reached this morning at 0830hrs. The shore team and suppliers analysed the situation and attempted to replace the faulty part.

In spite of their hard work, late today they were unable to guarantee that the replacement part would be solid enough to allow the two sailors to head back out to sea without any worries.”

In his statement Beyou confirmed his team are evaluating the options, whether to deliver to Saint Barth for the Saint Bart to Port La Foret B2B or have the boat early in the yard in order to get sailing earlier next year.

In Class 40 Club 103 is heading for a Lorient pit stop due to a bow and spinnaker pole problem. But at the head of the fleet, making good speeds are Bretagne Crédit Mutuel Elite, Nicolas Troussel and Corentin Horeau. The French duo appear to be going for the more conservative option, 108 miles to the SE of the British-French duo on Team Concise, Jackson Bouttell and Gildas Mahé. After holding the early lead, Team Concise are placing their faith in the north and west option, most extreme of the fleet along with Solidaires en Peloton which is right alongside them, some comfort through a night which could be pivotal. And Concise 2, Philippa Hutton Squire and Pip Hare have a steady course and a lot of faith in their well proven boat, happy to go west too.

The Ultimes, leaders of the course, are already down into the westerly breeze, Sodebo Ultim leading Macif by 17 miles, now tacked and heading for Cape Finisterre 105 miles in front of their bows at 1700hrs UTC this afternoon.

They said:
Alex Thomson, GBR, Hugo Boss: “It was not too bad but we caught a very big lobster pot off Cherbourg and so we had to stop many times. We lost at least 10 or 12 miles but apart from that it has not been too bad. Our option is to try and stay south to try and avoid conditions which are too strong. Our boat is only eight days old and so we don’t we feel it is very prudent to go the fastest route and so it looks healthy, we lead the fleet today but the long term shows we will be one day behind by Cape Verde.

It is wet on deck. We have 20-25kts the wind is forward of the beam and it is very choppy seas. It is a bit grey. But we had a good night. We cannot complain. We had a few little teething problems, nothing major but of course it takes a long time to learn a boat like this properly. So we feel pretty happy where we are. We both got a couple of hours sleep which is good and so we feel healthy”

Yves Le Blevec, skipper Actual (Ultime): “We are getting close to attacking a front which will see us with 35-40 kts in a couple of hours time. We are well rested after last night, we sailed relatively conservatively. Now we are dressed warmly and will reduce sail over time. We will take a reef in the mainsail. We must adapt the boat and the course to protect it but without losing time unduly. We expect the worst seas tonight. Now we have two metres waves but we are expecting much more. The other are further west and they are more radical than us but we give ourselves a speed limit to avoid damaging the boat and ourselves.”

Louis Burton on Bureau Vallée skipper (IMOCA): "It's going, it's wet, it goes very fast but everything is fine on board. It seems to be the belief that the route to the west will be the best. We made that choice yesterday before leaving. We have one reef in the mainsail and have between 25 and 30kts of wind with cross sea coming in from the west. We expect more wind and bigger seas as we get to the depression. We take a bit of a risk, but we take it step by step, and to be honest we are not yet really into the rhythm of the race.”

Eric Bellion, skipper As One (IMOCA): "The atmosphere is damp. Sam (Goodchild) has just woken up and we will put another reef in. All is well. We are going to the west, we have made our decision and will stick with it. But we know the seas will be big and the waves big but we will just stick with it. We are happy to be at sea, we have a great atmosphere with Sam.”

Adopteunskipper.net, skipper Nicolas Boidevézi (IMOCA): "We were not so good off the start line, it took us some time to get into the game but we managed to get up here with the boats of our generation. It will be hard at the end of the day today, from about early evening. We expect gusts of over 40kts and seas up to eight metres. We continue to push west. The centre of the depression is a little more north than we expected and we adapt. And there are still very many things we learn about our boat.”

Yann Eliès, Queguiner-Leucemie Espoir: “We are sailing with one reef and J2 with a wind of 30-35kts. It is wet because we are making 20kts since we left the top of Contentin. For now we have two to three metres of swell from our stern quarter. We are not close to the optimum route to Brazil but this is the investment we make. We make the choice and we hope it will be the good one. We hope the strategic plan will pay off. We have to get around the centre of the depression by the south. We have our dry suits on and will have them on for a while. I am lucky to have a guy like Charlie with me. He is a guy who loves the breeze and the melee that comes with the big winds. He is super motivated but trusts me because he has a bit less experience than me in these conditions.”

10-26-2015, 04:02 PM

Leaders of the more westerly group of the IMOCA fleet of the Transat Jacques Vabre, Sébastien Josse and Charles Caudrelier have confirmed they have abandoned the race. They are the second of the 20 IMOCA 60s which started Sunday from Le Havre to retire. The duo made the difficult choice which was dictated by good seamanship and their aim to bring the newest Gitana back to port safely.

The duo are in good health and will return the new IMOCA 60 Edmond de Rothschild to their home base in Lorient where they are expected to arrive late tomorrow afternoon.

At 1900hrs this Monday afternoon the Edmond de Rothschild co-skippers contacted Cyril Dardashti, the manager of the Gitana team, to say they would like to retire from the race which is heading to Itajaí, Brasil.
Sébastien Josse explained the reasons:

“Since the afternoon we had a series of incidents aboard Edmond de Rothschild. Taken individually these problems are quite minor and if we had better weather we could probably put them right. But all added up to one another and given the weather conditions we see these incidents as potentially endangering us and the boat. The weather files show more than 40kts of wind at times and seven metre seas. Charles and I consider it would not be responsible to carry on in these conditions. The boat was only launched two and a half months ago, and despite all the work which was done by the Gitana team to optimises and be ready is so short a time, these are problems associated with a recently launched boat. The decision to abandon was a very hard one but we do not want to jeopardise more than a year of hard work. The boat was designed for the Vendée Globe and that remains the major objective of the team. It is hard to retire but we must not lose sight of that as the goal.”

Panama Red
10-26-2015, 05:01 PM
I thought those foils might be overly sensitive, but 20 boats in 24 hours?

Around the world might be pushing it for some of these rigs?

Bitchin Bow Dude
10-26-2015, 09:50 PM
Unless they make that shit break away and carry lots of spare parts, they are going to have issues.

10-27-2015, 10:31 AM

The Ultime trimaran of Lionel Lemonchois and Roland Jourdain has capsized while they were 140 miles off La Coruna. The two co-skippers are safe and have taken shelter inside the trimaran. They have not requested assistance and their technical team is making every effort to organise help to rescue them and their vessel. At the time of the incident the boat was upwind in 20 to 25kts of SSW’ly wind


Jackson Bouttell (GBR/AUS) and Gildas Mahé (FRA) on the Ker designed Concise 8 informed their Team Concise directors that they have sustained damage and are heading for Cork 120 miles to their NE.

The two co-skippers are in regular contact with Transat Jacques Vabre Race Direction and are not injured in any way and expect to reach the Irish haven by mid morning Tuesday. A full assessment of the extent of the damage will be made on arrival. They anticipate missing the worst of the imminent strong winds. Further details will be released Tuesday morning.


Morgan Lagravière, skipper of Safran (IMOCA), heading to Brest:

"The area around the foils is seriously damaged. There is a leak here on the starboard side of the boat. It has spread around the foils area, the compartment bulkhead areas in front and behind are area affected in the front and rear of that area. After the incident we tacked, we are on the tack now to return to France. It is 150 miles to Brest in the right direction. We did not have so much sea it was 3-4 meters waves, 25-knot wind, conditions that we had seen before. We were sailing the boat close to the to the maximum level. It was not particularly rough. It was going quickly, so the boat was of jumping, but nothing extraordinary. We should get there in the middle of the night. We are sailing at a speed of 13-15 knots, so we still have a good ten hours before arriving. "

************************************************** *******************************

The second night of the Transat Jacques Vabre has been a hard one for most of the co-skipper pairs, particularly those which chose the northerly route. In the IMOCA class Edmond de Rothschild and Safran have turned around with damage, Class 40’s British flagged Team Concise which was the most northerly are heading to Cork and in the south the giant tri Prince de Bretagne has capsized 140 miles from La Coruna. Conditions will deteriorate today but the multihulls will see some improvements in the evening.

Conditions last night were not as bad as expected, a fulsome autumn depression with many big squalls, big pyramidal waves from the south in a SW then NW wind. The seas remain rough but are better for those in the east in Biscay and close to the Spanish coast but worse for those IMOCAs in the west.

At the head of the southerly group Alex Thomson and Guillermo Altadill still lead the IMOCA 60s chased by Bastide-Otio, MACSF, AEROCAMPUS and Spirit of Hungary in a SW’ly wind of 20kts which will veer to become more Wly. Those in the west will approach the centre of the low pressure today suffering the worst of the Sly wind today at 30kts which will become NWly 35kts. And so after the worst of the battering they will be able to cautiously slide south and head out of the low.

The Class40s don’t have the same opportunity to be heading out of the low today. They are lead by Nico Troussel and Corentin Horeau on a relatively S’ly route in 20kts of SWly breeze they have this for 36 hours, continued with moderate 4m waves. They have a new front approaching this evening. There is nearly 80 miles of lateral separation between leaders Bretagne Crédit Mutuel Elite in the south and Le Conservateur which is fourth sailed by Yannick Bestaven and Pierre Brasseur. Concise 2,

It must be hard for the Class 40 duos to look at the tracking of the fleet and not feel envious of the Ultimes. They are through the worst of the weather, in a W’ly regime of 15-18kts with Sodebo Ultim, Thomas Coville and Jean Luc Nélias leading Macif by nearly 40 miles. On Prince de Bretagne which was capsized by a gust, Lionel Lemonchois and Roland Jourdain await assistance.
The Multi 50s are in a tight group 200 miles from the NW corner of Spain with Thierry Bouchard and Oliver Krauss leading as the only boat on the southwards tack while their rivals still work west.

They said:

Nicolas Troussel, Credit Mutuel Elite skipper (CLASS40): “It is gusty the seas are building. We have 20-30kts and the winds will build in the evening when the depression deteriorates. I think we have three difficult days then it will get better.”

Thomas Ruyant, skipper of Le Souffle de Nord (IMOCA) "We expect to have 24 hours with difficult conditions but everything is fine on board yet. On average we have 30-35 knots with 3-4 meter waves. I can not wait to be in the south. There will be a small bit of work to do with a tack or a jibe. We expect the next files to determine that change of course based on the center of the depression. "

Jean-Baptiste Le Vaillant, co-skipper of Actual (ULTIMATE) "It's going OK it is gusty and squally with a big sea. After seeing what happened to Lionel (Lemonchois, Prince de Bretagne) we are super careful.

10-27-2015, 12:23 PM

At 4:50 p.m., Gilles Lamiré and Yvan Bourgnon informed the Race Management of the Transat Jacques Vabre they collided with a container. Following impact, both floats are damaged trimaran. The situation is under control and the crew is well.

Gilles Lamiré "We were sailing at a speed of 15 knots to the south, on autopilot with crosswind. Everything was going well when the boat stopped dead. Due to the position of Eve, I went out first: I saw a piece of float behind the boat and a container into the sea. "

Yvan Bourgnon "Missing 5-6 meters on the port and starboard float float is damaged on a meter. The challenge now is to bring the boat based on a single float. Our weather router works on an ideal way to get into the best possible conditions. We are moving at reduced speed (6 knots) under sail to Brest that we should join the next three days. "



Panama Red
10-27-2015, 02:43 PM
They are having some fun now!

Single Hander
10-27-2015, 03:27 PM
Mid Atlantic Destruction Derby

10-27-2015, 04:16 PM




Hugo Boss appears to have stalled?

Tracking (http://tracking.transat-jacques-vabre.com/fr/)

Angry Dolphin
10-27-2015, 05:53 PM
Looks like Alex is back on track!

10-28-2015, 01:00 PM

Alex Thomson Racing Transat Jacques Vabre Update

Alex Thomson and Guillermo Altadill, skippers of yacht HUGO BOSS in the Transat Jacques Vabre made the decision to hove to at 15.00 UT this afternoon. They have some technical problems which need immediate attention. The skippers will spend the next few hours attempting to make the repairs at sea and then will evaluate the situation with the technical team.
Stewart Hosford Managing Director of Alex Thomson Racing says “It is important that we ensure the repairs are made before continuing across the Atlantic. The skippers are well and working hard to ensure a swift solution to the problem if possible.’


Alex Thomson Racing will keep everyone updated on our website



10-28-2015, 01:07 PM

Tracker (http://tracking.transat-jacques-vabre.com/en/)

The leading pair of Ultime multihulls, opening the 5400 miles Transat Jacques Vabre course from Le Havre to Itajaí, are fighting through light winds just a few miles off the West African coast between Western Sahara and Mauritania while the last of the Class 40s are contemplating another Biscay bashing still 220 miles NW of Cape Finisterre. In the IMOCA Class Britain’s Alex Thomson and Spanish co-skipper had been hove to since 1530hrs this afternoon trying to deal with an unspecified technical problem.

Since 1530hrs HUGO BOSS (Alex Thomson and Guillermo Altadill) have been struggling with a technical problem which they are trying to solve. They have slowed their boat. The two skippers are in regular contact with Transat Jacques Vabre Race Direction and with their own Technical Team ashore.

Stewart Hosford Managing Director of Alex Thomson Racing says “It is important that we ensure the repairs are made before continuing across the Atlantic. The skippers are well and working hard to ensure a swift solution to the problem if possible.’

As the leaders of the IMOCA class passed the latitude of Cape Finisterre this afternoon, hopefully with the worst of the weather left behind in Biscay, the leaderboard has a very familiar look as the teams from the Pole Finisterre occupy the top four places. Yann Eliès and Charlie Dalin on Queguiner-Leucemie Espoir lead PRB 4 by 12 miles with Armel Le Cléac’h and Erwan Tabarly up to third on the new Banque Populaire VIII as they reach again in WNWly winds The foil assisted Banque Populaire was quickest these afternoon by 1.5 to two knots 16 miles behind Queguiner. And so to date Banque Populaire is the only one of the latest ‘foil’ generation to have not reported any technical issues so far.

A broad swathe of light airs caused by an elongated Azores high pressure ridge has forced Sodebo Ultim’ and Macif to the skirt the coast to avoid the no-go area which bars the most direct route. This Wednesday afternoon the race leaders, Thomas Coville and Jean Luc Nélias on Sodebo Ultim’ were only three miles off the beach, gybing downwind in 10-12kts of SE’ly breeze. They are south of the latitude of Madeira, still making good speeds. In the lighter airs the newer, lighter Macif had caught back some miles on Sodebo Ultim’ but Francois Gabart and Pascal Bidégorry were still over 34 miles astern and on the opposite gybe from the leaders. Both will almost certainly pass east of, or through the Canary Islands.

Life may appear easier for the two leading giants. They have done their time scything through the depressions to their north, indeed largely outrunning the worst of the conditions, but the smaller Class 40s still have bad weather to come before they can escape Biscay. After the retirement of Team Concise yesterday with structural damage this morning it was their Frenc sparring partners Nico Troussel and Corentin Horeau who confirmed they have had to retire. Persistent problems with the autopilots on Bretagne Credit Mutuel Elite had rendered the duo exhausted. A gashed lip for Horeau this morning only served to underline how beyond tired they were and with no possible fix the pair which had lead the race until yesterday had no choice but to tell Race Direction of their retirement.

Class 40 has been pared back to a head to head match race at the front of the 12 boat fleet. 2011 winner Yannick Bestaven on Le Conservateur with Pierre Brasseur have Maxime Sorel and Sam Manuard on the 2015 Manuard design V & B five miles off their starboard hip but seeming to be significantly quicker on the mid afternoon position report.

Speaking late last night Lionel Lemonchois told of the capsize of and subsequent helicopter rescue from the upturned Prince de Bretagne, the 80ft tri he was racing with Roland ‘Bilou’ Jourdain.

“It is the sky falling on your head.” Double Route du Rhum winner Lemonchois said, “The helicopter arrived above us and then a guy lifted us off, one after the other, Bilou first and then me. In total, it lasted twenty minutes. It was very impressive to see it after its cable swung around above the boat swung in all directions, but soon we could see they do this kind of thing all the time because it was very slick and very professional. "

They said:
Vincent Riou, PRB skipper IMOCA: "Like every day, it's war. The boat is making 20kts and we have to be on it all the time. Last night we had a slightly quieter time, 20-25kts of wind and we made two tacks. And here, again we have the SW’ly win. It should drop again quickly but we are not at all comfortable at this speed. On board life is simple. We rest, we push, we rest. The thing that is getting us down is the wetness. We have been soaked since Sunday. We are upwind and we should have better conditions than those who are behind us. It will not be so windy tonight with a small calmer zone to pass through. In fact I think there will be wind all the time. We work at it all the time, pushing to and finding the limits, staying reasonable. We make some manoeuvres, course changes. The worst is behind us now. We have two days on starboard, some sail changes to manage. I start looking to the Azores, which side to pass – windward or leeward – what is clear is that we will pass close to the islands. It is going well on PRB, for the moment, we’ll keep it up!”

Charlie Dalin, co-skipper of Queguiner - Leukemia Hope (IMOCA): "To move around the boat on deck you are soaked. There was a lot of wind, between 30 and 40 knots. We are very happy with our position, everything is fine on board. We sleep well since the start of the race even if sometimes a little one gets "airtime" in the bunks, like this morning banging my forehead with a cross sea. To sleep in such conditions is not simple. We still have a few hours of strong wind with gusts which hit regularly. We are at over 20 knots, but it will ease in the next 3 to 4 hours. Then we will enter a zone of light winds before it strengthens with another strong depression with 40 knots, maybe more. All is well on board Queguiner, we were able to repair all the problems, the boat is 100%. "

Tanguy de Lamotte, skipper Initiatives Heart (IMOCA): "It is going well. Let’s say it's pretty invigorating sailing conditions. You are jumping waves when you are over 20kts. We have 2-3 small minor problems, little damages on the boat, like a damaged hydro (generator) and one reef. But we are happy to be where we are. The wind is set to drop in the day. It was a nice introduction to the race, well tough conditions. Now now we're going South. It’s good for morale. I eat better now. I struggled to eat but I feel better. We are not so far from the three big guns. We are happy with our position. We are in good shape. Sam is pushing the boat, we are making over 20kt averages. There is a lot of waves and the boat is submerged every 15 seconds. The sea is white and above it bobs our white boat.”

Renato Auraujo, co-skipper of Zetra BRA (Class40)
"We are completely wet. There are really a lot of water on the boat. Last night was not so quiet, like the first, the wind blew hard. We already expected for this condition on the Bay of Biscay. The last hours have been very hard for us, but the boat is still all good. In theory, the worst has already happened! "

10-28-2015, 05:11 PM
**Update on HUGO BOSS**
After several hours at sea Alex Thomson and Guillermo Altadill onboard HUGO BOSS made the difficult decision to return ashore. After attempting to address the issue onboard it has not been possible to ensure a sufficient repair whilst at sea to withstand an Atlantic crossing. Alex and Guillermo have made a suitable repair to get to the nearest port where they can analyse the situation. The current sea state and weather forecast have not aided the situation onboard.

The technical team are currently enroute to Vigo, Spain, where the boat will be repaired and hope to be back racing shortly.

Technical Director Ross Daniel explains; 'It is disappointing that the current sea state and approaching weather system have forced us to return to land to make the repair. But it is early days in our training programme as we understand the new boat and work towards the start of the Vendee Globe 2016. We will do everything we can to try and return to the Transat Jacques Vabre as soon as possible.'

The Flasher
10-28-2015, 05:25 PM
That Hugo Boss program can't buy a break.

Flat Stanley
10-28-2015, 10:34 PM
Snake bit. Alex needs an intervention with an exorcist or a shaman.

Prince of Whales
10-29-2015, 09:46 AM
Somehow, Hugo Boss is still getting more than their share of publicity!

10-29-2015, 10:07 AM

Tracker (http://tracking.transat-jacques-vabre.com/en/)

While the leading duo of Ultimes, Sodebo Ultim and Macif, pass between the Canary Islands and the Moroccan coast in light winds last night and this morning, there was a welcome pause for the remainder of the fleet last night as they encountered a small light winds bubble. But a new depression over the Azores is going to make life tough for the next 24 hours.

Because the Azores high is displaced and squeezed the two leaders face the prospect of light winds and having to stick with the African coast where the best corridor of stronger winds are. There is even a passage through the Doldrums which is very east.

The contrast is marked for the rest of the fleet. After two depressions in three days they face another, a potent cocktail at the Azores mixing a cold mass of air from Labrador and hot Caribbean air to form a malicious low which will sweep the islands before spinning up towards Ireland.

The co-skipper pairs got a break last night, winds dropped to five knots which allowed some respite and perhaps the chance to rapidly tackle any repairs or try and create some order on board. But before dawn this morning this next low looked set to bring winds of over 30kts. At the latitude of the Azores the leaders are likely to pass to the East of the islands rather than through. From here it will be 400 hard miles to the latitude of Madeira before getting to more manageable conditions.


The top four IMOCAs are now lead by PRB, Vincent Riou and Seb Col overhauling Queguiner-Leucemie Espoir, Yann Eliès and Charlie Dalin, during the night to now be 3.5 miles ahead. They have Banque Populaire VIII 12 miles behind them and SMA, Paul Meilhat and Michel Desjoyeaux 17 miles behind Armel Le Cléac’h and Erwan Tabarly. 150 miles further north the back markers will have half day more suffering the brunt of the depression.

And for Class 40 the break is perhaps more welcomed. They face even longer in these testing conditions before they can break south. The leading duo are less than a mile apart, tracking west in upwind conditions. Yannick Bestaven and Pierre Brasseur on Le Conservateur still have V & B nicely in their pocket, leading directly in front of their rivals whilst this top two have a lead of over 30 miles. Of the internationals Brazilian duo Eduardo Penido and Eduardo Araujo lie seventh on their first big Class 40 race with Pip Hare and Philippa Hutton-Squire in ninth.

They said, 5am calls:

Jean Luc Nélias, co-skipper of Sobébo Ultim '(Ultime) “We pass between Fuerteventura and Tarfaya (Morocco). Yesterday we saw a fisherman without AIS, we need to take great care. We stick to the Moroccan coast but finally gybe away. This is my fifth passage of the Doldrums and it's different every time but it is always painful. We have had lots of maneuvering from the beginning, this is the first night it’s been quieter.”

Yann Elies, skipper Quequiner - Leukemia Espoir (IMOCA): “"We are at 20 knots and getting back into building seas and wind. Us and the boat are already quite used to this. It is hoped that this depression is not going to be too bad. When looking at the files it can potentially be complicated. With PRB, we are going well even if SMA and Banque Populaire are not far away. We must push hard now, at some point it will be war. "

Pierre Brasseur, co-skipper of Le Conservatoire (CLASS40): “It was a quieter we could fix things. A new depression will return in the evening, this is the way out. It will be active and spread quickly. Behind the front, high pressure will relocate and the trade winds will build. We broke a few things but we managed to keep the boat at almost 100%. Conditions allow us to rest regularly, but we can not sleep, it bangs and bounces too much”

************************************************** **********


Armel Le Cléac'h, Banque Populaire skipper VIII (IMOCA): " The conditions were difficult at first. Now it is a little bit better. We will soon have sustained, settled wind and be able to get south. There is a small area to pass in which it is quite windy. We will get through this transition period with bigger seas and lots of manoeuvres. But we are much more into regatta mode, the classic rhytym of the race. We are keeping a close eye on everything with this new Banque Populaire. The start was hard, the sea conditions have been complicated. Everything is not just perfect but it works. And some time soon we will be able to remove the foul weather gear and the boots. And the boat? Well it is still an IMOCA, it is wet and noisy, it is no drier than the old boat from that perspective. Each manouvre or change we are on the deck. We struggled a bit when conditions were hard, but we have a good atmosphere now. We put our shoulders to the wheel together for each manouevre. We enjoy it together. We know we will share some better days."

Michel Desjoyeaux, skipper co-SMA (IMOCA): "Right now we are moving well. The the wind is very variable, from 30 to 14 knots and right now it is 20 knots. I have my breakfast and and I hope my jam will stay on my bread! These are conditions now are much more fun than yesterday. It was really shaking and bashing. This morning it is going well, we should stay ahead of the strong wind that is getting up. If we can time it well and push it we should be OK. We're only thirty miles from the leading boats. The horizon clears. The route opens and it is looking better. There are things thrown around and broken. The satellite phone handset was an early casualty. Everything works fine. It's a bit wet from time to time. But mostly we are quite well protected. We had strong winds but it was reaching and so pretty good. Paul seems to enjoy it all. So far we never had these kind of conditions on board SMA, and so it is a good baptism of fire. We have many feelings, working on settings and speed. We look forwards and anticpate the changes when we can, but all is well. We are happy, we eat, we sleep, we sail!!

Kito de Pavant, skipper Bastide-Otio (IMOCA): "It's a bugger. We have big communication problems from the start and it is not fun. It is difficult, we had the big seas for three days, a lot of manoeuvres, we do not know where we are going, we can not share information with our partners, it's super frustrating. From the beginning it was the Fleet (broadband) that would not work. That is a handicap for the race. We have no information, I think the competitors are in the West, I do not know what to do. "

Pascal Bidégorry, co-skipper of Macif (Ultime) "It is 15 knots, downwind, the wind got up after a quiet night now builds between slightly between 25 and 30 knots. We went very near the Canaries at dawn and it was beautiful. With a moonrise last night it was pretty special. We got close, not for sightseeing but to get some more wind than Sodebo, who have been a little better off than us. We will look for the wind, a little to the west but we will find out in due course. The boat is fine, no problem, we had small electronic worries after Cape Finisterre but no big problems on the boat. It works well on the side where there is the foil, so on port tack. We have not done much on port since we left. The boat is young, a good job has been done. It it is quite satisfactory. The pace is good, it's going pretty well. Macif is a big boat, no denying it, the boat is demanding. The conditions are nice, the sea is good, 25-30 knots downwind. I am in my little cabin, I look out the windows and can see François, he needs to put on some suncream! Really it's good. We have friends behind who are suffering....."

10-29-2015, 10:14 AM

UPDATE: O Canada pauses racing in Transat Jacques Vabre due to damage.

Message 2 from Skipper Eric Holden 1500 UTC:

On deck again after a long day up the rig. We have lost a section of our track at the 2nd reef point. We have now got sails up again but only can hoist the main up to 3rd reef. Wind has picked up again so working up the mast has had to stop.

Of course the wind is on the nose, close hauled on starboard tack at the moment can only do 120 heading. We have not retired yet and we are assessing if a technical stop will be required to complete repairs. We will have discussions with our team and decide what is the best course of action for us.

Message 1 from Skipper Eric Holden:

We have suffered damage to the mast track where part of the mast track has broken off the mast near the second reef point. I have ascended the mast to detach the headboard as the headboard car is jammed where the track is broken, so we have been able to lower the mainsail.

We are in calm winds but the sea state is very uncomfortable for working aloft. We are assessing the situation and what our options are. Daylight in a couple hours. Will keep you posted.

Charlie Tuna
10-29-2015, 03:14 PM
And the hits keep coming!

10-30-2015, 10:06 AM

Nicolas Boidevezi, skipper of the monohull 60 feet Adopts A Skipper.net and his American co-skipper Ryan Breymaier racing in the IMOCA class in the Transat Jacques Vabre 2015 cornfirmed last night that they have a technical problem with their starboard lower running backstay (acable that ensures the holding of the mast). The crew finally decided to abandon the race, for safety reasons, and are bound for Concarneau.

This is obviously a very big disappointment for Nicolas Boidevezi and Ryan Breymaier who fought successfully to be at the start of this Transat Jacques Vabre. After a cautious start to the race the duo were happy with their strategic positioning to the west of the fleet and felt they were ready to reap a good reward.

"This is obviously a very difficult decision. But the breaking of the backstay at this level is sufficiently serious, We can not afford to take the risk to go and see another one break ... Ocean racing is not a a game of Russian roulette, "says Boidevezi.


10-30-2015, 10:22 AM

Following the breakage of a starboard spreader, Thibault Hector and Morgan Launay have secured their rig and decided to sail to Spain to make a repair. In a sustained wind of 30-35 knots SW'ly and high sea, a stainless fitting broke but the crew was able to quickly change tack to save the rig. But as the wind is veering NW Creno Moustache-Solidaire will be able to make a course towards La Coruña and Vigo in the next hours. The duo expects to quickly repair to return to the course.

10-30-2015, 10:27 AM

At 0400hrs UTC this Friday morning, Yves le Blevec, skipper of the Ultim Actual and his co-skipper Jean-Baptiste Vaillant, informed the Race Management of the Transat Jacques Vabre that they have technical problems. Actual was sailing in manageable conditions, reaching in 20-25 knots at the latitude of Gibraltar.

Actual now route towards the European mainland making a speed of 7 knots in a W –SW’ly wind. Both co-skippers are well.
More information to come during the morning.

10-30-2015, 10:30 AM

IMOCA 60 St Michel-Virbac is headed to Madeira for a pit stop. As you can see, Jean-Pierre Dick's gorgeous race yacht is wounded, with broken parts in the structure. The consecutive low pressure systems clearly weren't easy on our sailors and boats!
Good luck lads!

The Imoca 60st Michel-Virbac fact road to Madeira for a stopover technique. As you can see, the beautiful bird of Jean-Pierre Dicko's hurt. A part of the structure has transferred under the repetitive shock waves breaking generated by the systems consecutive dépressionnaires crossed by our sailors and boats since the departure of le havre.


Prince of Whales
10-30-2015, 10:53 AM
And the hits keep coming!

You can say that again!

10-30-2015, 03:36 PM

Trailing Edge of the veil of keel ripped: SMA forced to abandonment

Since 36 hours, the speed of SMA was on average less than 2 knots to that of its competitors. While Paul and Michel had felt some vibrations, 17 hours ago (French time) Paul has plunged under the boat and found that the trailing edge of the veil of keel was almost totally ripped off.

As it is not a question of a structural integrity of the boat or the keel, the two men are not in danger. The duo have decided to make their way to the Guadeloupe, distance of about 2000 miles where the technical team the will wait on site for repairs as quickly as possible in view of the Transat St Barth - Port-LA-Forest.

Carl Spackler
10-30-2015, 03:46 PM
If the designers are looking for the breaking point, I would say they have achieved it!

10-31-2015, 10:14 AM
Update – Emergency Situation

Alex Thomson and Guillermo Altadill, skippers of yacht HUGO BOSS in the Transat Jacques Vabre set off their emergency beacon this afternoon at 13.25UT.

The Spanish Coastguard was informed and sent a rescue helicopter to their location 82 nautical miles from the Spanish coast. Both Alex and Guillermo were rescued from the location by helicopter and are on their way back to land.

HUGO BOSS incurred some structural damage earlier this week forcing Alex and Guillermo to stop racing. The Skippers had made a repair and were on route to A Coruna where the technical team were waiting to meet them. After sailing for a period of 36 hours in high seas and strong winds, the structure of the boat deteriorated further and the boat started to take on water and sink. The technical team are in A Coruna, Spain awaiting further information from the coast guard.

Managing Director Stewart Hosford expresses ‘Our first concern is with Alex and Guillermo and when they are safely on the ground we will address the situation with our IMOCA 60 and begin the salvage process. We are grateful for the swift response from the rescue services in this situation.’

Alex Thomson Racing will keep everyone updated via the website www.AlexThomsonRacing.com

Born 2 Sail
10-31-2015, 10:31 AM
Sorry to hear. Glad they were safely rescued.

I trust when they recover the boat, they will abandon the foiling experiment.

10-31-2015, 12:04 PM

Damage Aboard The Multi 50' Ciella Village

Thierry Bouchard and Oliver Krauss will make a brief layover in Cape Verde before resuming the race.

Today at 15 H 30, while operating in a wind of some twenty knots on the direct route, Thierry Bouchard and Oliver Krauss have suffered damage on board the multi 50 Ciela Village. The furling of the gennaker was ripped off, also damaging the attachments on the bow of the boat. They first tried to fix it, in vain. They are headed the Cape Verde or their technical team will be waiting for them to repair. They will resume their route to Brazil in order to finish when conditions allow.

11-01-2015, 09:16 AM
Alex Thomson and his team are onboard HUGO BOSS which is now in a stable situation. Alex’s IMOCA 60 is undergoing the necessary checks in order to tow her back to A Coruna, Spain. Where additional team members are on hand to assist with the pending arrival. The rig has been removed and the water onboard pumped out, allowing the racing yacht to be towed. The weather conditions have enabled Alex Thomson Racing to complete a swift response to the emergency situation which occurred yesterday. The yacht is currently situated 100 miles offshore. The crew will remain onboard to make the necessary checks to ensure a safe tow through the night.

Technical Director Ross Daniel says ‘I am proud of our team considering the potential severity of the situation. Of course it’s disappointing we have had to retire from the race. But this year’s Transat Jacques Vabre has provided the fleet with challenging conditions, forcing seven IMOCA’s to retire. As a team we now need to focus on getting HUGO BOSS safely through the night and then assess the situation once she is alongside tomorrow.’

11-01-2015, 10:37 AM

Writing last night Nándor Fa, skipper and owner of the dismasted Spirit of Hungary said:

" The Spirit of Hungary’s race in the 2015 edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre has become a short one. Exactly one week, 2 hours and 30 minutes after the start, 60 nm away from Madeira we dismasted. We were sailing on starboard tack, wind angle 130°, wind power between 16-24 knots, mainsail one reef down, A7 gennaker, boat speed 12-17 knots. It was a nice, fast and safe ride, with 6-8m swells coming from NW. So, not in the 45 kts wind a few days back, not in the 46 kts gust yesterday, no, it went down in a weather that’s every sailor’s dream.

We were sitting outside in our seats with Peter, having our meals and talking. The sun was shining, we weren’t cold anymore, everything was good. We were just discussing how to pass Madeira. There was a huge crack and from my seat I could see the boom disappear from the picture. I immediately knew what happened. I dropped the bowl and by reflex pushed the middle button on the keel controller. By the time I stood up, everything was in the water. Half of the boom was on the deck and on the cabin top. The bottom 3 metres of the mast was laying on the deck, then a big crack again, and everything was in the water, hanging on the halyards. Both of us jumped for tools, we mainly needed knifes and the iron saw. We knew that the most important was to cut everything off to save the boat. Peter had his camera on his head. I was working in the front, trying to saw the carbon stays off, but they were too thick so the saw was stuck, constantly pulling me as the boat was dancing on the waves. Peter was coming to help me when a bigger wave arrived and knocked the boat. Peter tried to catch the rail, which wasn’t there anymore. He fell off the deck in front of my eyes, his right foot stuck in the stay, I caught the left one and pulled him back. He hurt his leg very bad. Are you in one piece? - I asked. He nodded, he must have had serious pain. The camera with all our footages are on the way down to the bottom of the 4000m deep ocean. A minute later we continued cutting and we managed to get rid of everything, when I saw the A7 still hanging at the back. I tried to pull it back, wanted to save this beautiful brand new sail that we only used for 4 hours but on the other side it was pulled by the whole mast and it was pulling stronger. So I cut it off too, with bleeding heart.

We saved the boom, it is in perfect condition, and we have some ruins of themast left.

My whole life was changed in only one hour. It changed everything for the following months, maybe years. All of our communication instruments are working, I called the race organizers to inform them about what happened, and that our race is over for now.

11-01-2015, 10:38 AM
This Sunday, the three times Transat Jacques Vabre winner Jean-Pierre Dick and Fabien Delahaye informed the race directors that they have been forced to abandon the Transat Jacques Vabre.
The St Michel Virbac duo discovered crack transverse ribs in their sail bin area. After discovering this on Friday the pair have sailed ot Madeira to further assess the damage and to effect repairs. But the team have taken the decision that this damage curtails their race.

Dick said today: "The boat in its current configuration, even repaired, is not strong enough to attempt a crossing of the Atlantic. We're not 100% sure that the boat is able to sail in the squalls that might be encountered in the Doldrums or at Cabo Frio, Brazil. This repair and reinforcement will take time. And for St Michel-Virbac to be able to race again It must be durable. "

What is your mindset?

JP Dick: "I am very disappointed but we must move on positively. We will go straight into a boat building process be able to sail safely and at 100% potential. Boats designed today are too fragile. We work now with the designers on Version 2 which is more consistent with the program. With my partners, we are frustrated not being able to finish the race but that's part and parcel of this game. These are racing prototypes. You need to update and evolve these prototypes. We knew we had a lot to learn with this new generation of boat foiler. And so we are already working to the future. "
What is the future program?

JP Dick: "We have two options: "To participate in the Transat B to B or to return to the base in Lorient. We will decide in the coming days. The decision depends on the repairs. "

Born 2 Sail
11-01-2015, 06:56 PM
Nice to see them salvage Hugo. Lose the foils guys!

11-02-2015, 12:52 PM

2nd November 2015 – British sailor Alex Thomson and his co-skipper Guillermo
Altadill are looking towards the 2016 Vendee Globe after an extraordinary sequence
of events ended their participation in the Transat Jacques Vabre this weekend. The
pair were rescued by the Spanish coastguard on Saturday afternoon after a rogue
wave caught the new HUGO BOSS while the yacht was in a hove to position. The
boat, which sustained damage to its rig in addition to taking on water while inverted,
was later successfully brought to the dock in A Coruna, Spain, after a swift response
from the Alex Thomson Racing Team.

The weather conditions in the first few days saw wind speeds in excess of 50 knots
(75 km/h) and waves up to 10 metres high. Alex and Guillermo made the decision to
take the safest route, passing the weather system to the south. Whilst travelling
south west the yacht incurred some structural damage and the skippers took the
decision to head for A Coruna, Spain 120 miles away.

The yacht was hove to, whilst Alex and Guillermo waited for the next weather window
allowing them to proceed to port. Unexpectedly a rogue wave caught the racing
yacht causing the yacht to turn upside down. Alex and Guillermo managed to close
the hatches and secure the situation whilst inverted. Alex immediately hit the keel
button, bringing the yacht back upright. They then alerted the rescue services and
technical team of an emergency situation. The yacht had taken onboard a substantial
amount of water and the rig had sustained damage requiring the skippers to leave
the yacht.

Alex Thomson explains “I have never experienced anything like it. I was asleep and
woke up to a boat upside down rapidly filling with water. Guillermo and I responded
together as a team to the difficult situation and now that my boat’s back safely we
can focus on our Vendee Globe campaign as a team. We have overcome problems
before and I am as determined as ever to succeed.”

11-02-2015, 12:57 PM
O Canada withdrew from the transat Jacques Vabre
Arrived last Saturday in corunna to try to fix the rail of mainsail ripped at the top of the mast, Eric Holden and Morgen Watson could not get the necessary parts for the repair.
At 19, they have contacted the race direction to announce their withdrawal of the race.
"we are really disappointed to withdraw from the race and we would like to thank the organization for his help" has entrusted Eric Holden, skipper of o Canada

Canada's out
Since last Saturday in a pit stop in la coruna (ESP) to try to make a comment on the support of the main candle, Eric Holden and Morgen Watson informed the direction of proof of the transat Jacques Vabre that will not be able to return in a timely manner to the competition. The problem would be the delay to replace the damaged parts. "we are very upset to get out of the regatta and we thank the organisation for all the help you gave us", I told Eric Holden, Commander of the boat of class imoca.

11-02-2015, 02:55 PM
So just because the first version failed they should ditch what is clearly a much faster technology? By that logic Oracle would have ditched the foiling 72...

11-02-2015, 09:23 PM
Only faster in test tanks.

Should sponsors risk the multi million dollar investments on fairy dust or quality boats with solid performance?

There is zero track record of these foiling Imoca's having the slightest chance to succeed in adverse conditions.

Tonapah Low
11-03-2015, 10:37 AM
4 out of 5 foiling IMOCA boats have failed? Or is it 5 of 6?

Numbers don't lie.

11-03-2015, 12:29 PM
Seems like they made 2 changes. The foils, and a new skin with ribs type hull. I haven't seen any specifics but most of what I read pointed to the ribs failing, not the foil boxes. In reality its probably a bit of both. They made the shell more fragile and then put more load on it.

No matter what the cause is do you guys really expect these teams to give up on a new technology just because the first round didn't work? Remember all the failures canting keels had when they first came out? They sorted that one out, just as they will sort out the foils.

As for team sponsors, I think that falls under the "any publicity is good publicity" deal. What team sponsor do you most remember form the last Volvo race? Vestas Wind perhaps? You get a lot more headlines when stuff goes wrong than sailing around in 3rd place...

I guess time will tell. I think this is a great new technology and I'm glad somebody else is paying to dial it in. Everybody bitched and moaned about the last A cup but look at the foiling revolution it spurred.

Buzz Light Beer
11-03-2015, 01:03 PM
With all due respect, the concept of dragging a lead mine through the ocean with massive appendages hanging out is slightly different
than a winged cat on a protective body of water. Lots of thing out there to hit. Some of them fixed objects from buoys to nets, to couches etc.

Then there are the living things. The largely unmentioned "hits" on marine life in SF Bay? Fish strikes were the common euphemism mentioned, but do you really believe that?

Carl Spackler
11-03-2015, 02:19 PM
The boats break, they rescue the crew, give them more cigarettes. Everyone wins!

11-03-2015, 03:25 PM
BLB, 2 issues there. None of them personal so no worries about all due respect!

The new foils aren't any more dangerous to marine life than the standard dagger boards are they? I don't think there is anymore appendage footage in the water than there was before. The orientation is different but that's about it right?

Then there is the rescue operations. I agree that these teams should bear the cost of those operations. That said half of the regular 60's have dropped out too. This is more of a "should we have high performance ocean racing" arguments than it is about the foils. Once we figure out that one we should move on to backpacking, because I guarantee you there is a lot more cost in rescuing lost hikers every year than boat racers...

Everybody seems quick to point at the foils but it appears HB may have hit something, other boats had rib failures, the Tri flipped, some just plain dismasted, etc. The foils seem to be a small part of the picture even if their percentage(4 of 5) was much higher. My guess is most of the fleet waits for the big boys to figure out the technology before it becomes a bigger part of the issue. It would be interesting to see how many of the boats in the fleet are from each generation.

And again, just a friendly discussion. No panties bunched over here!

11-04-2015, 09:13 AM
Then there is getting the rating certificate for your foiling J-70.

Buzz Light Beer
11-04-2015, 10:39 AM

The IMOCA foilers have 2 j foils which extend 8 feet or so, in addition to the keel and 2 rudders. It's like a mini colander dragging through the water at high speed.

A 25-30 knot guillotine bouncing in and out of the water. The larger cats in flatter water have some continuity in their connection with the water. In the open ocean,
the boats are jumping in and out constantly, the loads themselves on the hull, through hull fittings and the rigs is much exaggerated. And for what? 3-5 knots of temporary vmg?

Buzz Light Beer
11-04-2015, 10:56 AM
I Just checked, the fastest foiling IMOCA 60' is Banque Populaire is in 3rd, behind PRB and Queguiner, which are conventionally rigged.

Call me a skeptic, but shouldn't they be way in front?

11-04-2015, 02:19 PM

On the Transatlantic race track there are good nights and bad nights. Pleasure and pain. Success and disappointments. For Thomas Coville and Jean Luc Nélias on Sodebo Ultim’ it is disappointment this morning, seeing race leaders MACIF, Francois Gabart and Pascal Bidégorry at 140 miles ahead with 1450 miles to the finish.

MACIF are past Fernando de Noronha and this morning are just 60 miles off the coast at Recife on the NE corner of Brazil. Gabart and Bidégorry are just faster on the new MACIF, making 27kts to Sodebo’s 22 at 0700hrs UTC this morning.


Nélias, on Sodebo, commented this morning:
“There is a lot of frustration when we look at the rankings. But this is still a great adventure. It is a great race, the battle with MACIF is super nice. And now there will be options, opportunities to attack we will not let up. There are still a lot of miles, just under 2000. On a 600 miles race you might accept it. But there is still a fight, even if we have only two boats in the class. We must be first. The Doldrums were a pain. It took 36 hours of no wind to get through and get ourselves clear."


In the Multi 50s Ciela Village’s Oliver Krauss, speaking on the morning radio vacs with Race Hq in Brazil, could not hide his disappointment at losing miles with a longer than expected pit-stop which cost them their battle for the lead. Correspondingly Thibault Vauchel-Camus was putting a brave face on Le Coenservateur running away at the head of Class40.

The trio which leads the IMOCA class are still in V formation. Theirs is a tussle which does not let up and there are no breaks, neither literally nor figuratively. There is still nothing separating leaders PRB, Vincent Riou and Seb Col, from Banque Populaire VIII, Armel Le Cléac’h and Erwan Tabarly and Queguine Leucemie-Espoir, Yann Eliès and Charlie Dalin. The leading trio are progressing out of the Doldrums this morning in SE’ly winds making 10kts upwind. Behind them Tanguy de Lamotte and Sam Davies have been rewarded for their hard sailing since their repairs by restoring their Initiatives Coeur to fourth place.

In Class 40 the three cornered fight is over second, not first, now that Le Conservateur has made over 200 miles by escaping away from the high pressure ridge. Thibaut Vauchel-Camus of Soldiaires en Peloton ARSEP spoke of their mood, five miles off second placed V and B.


General situation Wednesday, November 4 to 6 utc

Leaders going fast, some good matches in the other classes?

Depression 978 hPa 53N and 34W extends a trough to the south.

Anticyclone 1021 hPa on the Canaries is largely stationary

The Doldrums, ICTZ, are ​​oriented at 6 deg north.

Depression 1011 hPa 27S and 42W moves SE

Anticyclone 1027 hPa 37Sand 34W stationary

Forecast for the day of November 4 and the following night:

Ultimes: Move fast towards Itajaí, the leaders gain as they are always getting to stronger, more lifted breeze.

Multi50: Their ‘doldrums’ are light but with not many squalls. But as the two leaders are well offset perhaps there are options for the second placed.

IMOCA The leaders are emerging slowly from the Doldrums. Their fight at the front promises to be exciting as the S’ly trades increase as they get south.

Class 40 The leading quartet get south while the chasing pack continue to struggle in the anticyclone. Behind it becomes complicated as a new trough arrives.

Trend for November 5:Trade winds are moderate, gusty for the southerners. The "doldrums" are little less sticky. The anticyclone remains parked south of the Canaries.



“We have a good race for second place. Le Conservateur has made a very substantial break. They managed to escape and so earned their miles. The elastic has stretched away. Three boats are now fighting, Carac - Advanced Energies got back at us at the high pressure ridge. We watch constantly and hope that we make more than we lose.”

They said:
Jean-Luc Nélias, co-skipper of Sodebo Ultim (Ultime): "The atmosphere is a little bouncy and shaking. We are close reaching with 24-25kts of wind. That makes it choppy with waves. It looks pretty straight to Cabo Frio with some downwind and gybes and a cold front at Cabo Frio. Would we go to the coast or stay offshore? There will be options, opportunities to attack we will not let up. There are still a lot of miles, just under 2000. On a 600 miles race you might accept it. But there is still a fight, even if we have only two boats in the class. We must be first. The Doldrums were a pain. It took 36 hours of no wind to get through and get ourselves clear."

Oliver Krauss, co-skipper of CIELA Village (Multi50): "Ours was a rather long pit stop. It as hard as we did not sleep very much. Early in the race we did not to go as well, to be as fas as we were with the boat. The good thing now is we have a boat, we are still racing. Now the question is how hard to push. We sail a little restrained now, we sailed harder when we had lots of wind, now we sail like we are sailing with friends."

Fabrice Amedeo, so skipper of Newrest / Matmut (IMOCA): "I'm in the cockpit. Eric is sleeping . We will be in the Doldrums tonight. We are under gennaker it is grey and all is well. The atmospher on board is good, we spent the last few hours looking at the Doldrums as we have in recen days. It is interesting because there is a pretty tight group of boats and we will see how it goes with them at the exit of the Doldrums. It will be in the Pot Black tonight, we are under gennaker, it is gray and all is well. The atmosphere is good, we focused on setting the last few hours looking at the Pot Black in recent days, it's interesting, because we are a pretty tight group of small boats and we will have to see how it goes at the exit of the Doldrums. When changing tack, we put the daggerboard down and the cable used to lift it got caught up in the housing. We are quite happy with our position in the ranking, we would rather be in front of MACSF but with the Doldrums and 1800 miles of racing there is still plenty of race track left."

Thibault Vauchel-Camus, co-skipper of Solidarite en Peloton- ARSEP (Class 40): "We have a good race for second place. Le Conservateur has made a very substantial break. They managed to escape and so earned their miles. The elastic has stretched away. Three boats are now fighting, Carac - Advanced Energies got back at us at the high pressure ridge. We watch constantly and hope that we make more than we lose. We watch the positions every hour to see that no one has moved laterally. It is frustrating to see them stretch away because we we racing to win. But Itajai is a long way away and so we hope to play to win again,"

Chart (http://tracking.transat-jacques-vabre.com/en/)

11-04-2015, 03:43 PM

The IMOCA foilers have 2 j foils which extend 8 feet or so, in addition to the keel and 2 rudders. It's like a mini colander dragging through the water at high speed.

A 25-30 knot guillotine bouncing in and out of the water. The larger cats in flatter water have some continuity in their connection with the water. In the open ocean,
the boats are jumping in and out constantly, the loads themselves on the hull, through hull fittings and the rigs is much exaggerated. And for what? 3-5 knots of temporary vmg?

Well, they all have 2 rudders and a keel. The difference is vertical daggerboards vs horizontal foils. But I agree, lots of stuff going through the water at high speed! I suppose an argument could be made that having the foils right at the surface is more dangerous for surface oriented marine life.

And don't get me wrong, I'm not saying this is the best set up yet. I'm just saying it would be silly to give up on it after one go. Structural issues can be fixed with better design. I think gaining 1 knot of VMG for distance racing would more than cover some risk. Maybe not all the risk they have now, but some risk. Risk vs reward is what sailing is all about, even in one design!

Unless you have a foiling J70! (and are the class measurer)

I think the best argument against them so far is that they only work in certain conditions, and are a hindrance in some conditions. If you are going to race around the world you would need to guesstimate what percentage of each you would see to make a decision.

Does anybody doubt the Volvo boats will have these if not in the next go round but the one after that?

If nothing else it makes a boring race interesting! Does anybody actually follow the clipper race? Because thats what they would all look like without crazy new designs...

Panama Red
11-04-2015, 04:02 PM
Does anybody doubt the Volvo boats will have these if not in the next go round but the one after that?

I severely doubt it. The Volvo is looking for less expensive, more dependable boats.

11-04-2015, 05:13 PM
Ahhh, you're right. I forgot about the move to one design last go round.

11-05-2015, 08:48 AM
Speaking of the Volvo, has a successor to Knut been announced yet?

Prince of Whales
11-05-2015, 12:03 PM
Dont think so. Somewhat absurd that Knut would step down without somebody ready to take charge.

IOR Geezer
11-06-2015, 09:59 AM
Just an observation, but with the foiling cats, the foils are inside the beam.

On the foiling monohulls, it's outside.

I can just picture a tight start or mark rounding with those blades interlocking, or worse.

Panama Red
11-06-2015, 12:18 PM
The docking gets a tad complex, I suspect.

11-06-2015, 03:05 PM

Michel Desjoyeaux speaks on the foil vs non-foil IMOCA 60's

11-07-2015, 09:16 AM
Doesn't sound like a solid endorsement

11-07-2015, 10:06 AM

French co-skippers François Gabart and Pascal Bidégorry on the new 30m Ultime Trimaran MACIF crossed the finish line at 05:59Hrs 27secs UTC this morning (00:59hrs 27secs local) in Itajaí, Brazil as first Ultime, to take line honours in the 5400 miles Transat Jacques Vabre double handed Transatlantic race which left Le Havre, France at 1230hrs UTC on Sunday 25th October.

The elapsed time for Gabart, 32, and Bidégorry, 47, is 12 days 17hrs 29min 27sec sailing at an average speed of 17.68 kts for the theoretical course of 5400 Nms (10,000kms). They ensured MACIF win its first ever ocean race. The new VPLP design, which was only launched in August, actually sailed 6340 Nms on the water at a real average speed of 20.75kts

It is the first time that Gabart, who won the solo round the world Vendée Globe race in 2013 at his first attempt at the age of 29, has triumphed in the Transat Jacques Vabre race. He was second in the IMOCA class on his first ever ocean race in 2009. Bidégorry was on the winning multihull in 2005.

In this 12th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre MACIF chased in the wake of early race leaders Thomas Coville and Jean-Luc Nélias (Sodebo Ultim’) until the Doldrums, but were never more than 70Nms behind. Two of the four Ultime trimarans which started had to abandon, including Prince de Bretagne which capsized off the NW coast of Spain.

An exciting duel between the two giant multis took them close to the African coast, trading gybes only a few miles off the shoreline as they sought to avoid the light winds to their west caused by the Azores anticyclone. The pair closed through the Doldrums but Gabart and Bidégorry were able to extract themselves better from a very slow, sticky passage of this light winds zone.

Emerging first into the SE’ly trade winds they extended their lead out to 258 miles between Salvador de Bahia and Rio. But the chasing pair closed again around Cabo Frio in the transition zone caused by a stormy low pressure and Sodebo Ultim were less than 100 Nms behind at the finish line and are due to finish around 1100hrs UTC

11-07-2015, 10:10 AM

French co-skippers Thomas Coville and Jean-Nelias finished second Ultime in the Transat Jacques Vabre this Saturday afternoon bringing their trimaran Sodebo Ultim’ across the Itajai, Brazil finish line at 13:17hrs 38secs UTC. (8:17hrs 38secs local)

Coville and Nélias are second Ultime in this 12th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre. Their elapsed time for the course is 13 days 0 hours 47mins 38 secs, sailing at an average speed of 17.26kts on the theoretical course of 5400 miles (10,000 km) from Le Havre to Itajaí. But in reality, the 31 metres maxi trimaran sailed 6451 miles on the water at an average speed of 20.51 kts.

They finish 7hrs 18mins 11secs after Ultime winners François Gabart and Pascal Bidégorry.

The consistent, unchallenged leader in the early miles of racing, Sodebo Ultim' had steadily opened a lead on MACIF during the fast, power reaching on the Bay of Biscay. At the latitude of Gibraltar Coville and Nélias were 65 miles up on MACIF François Gabart and Pascal Bidégorry who won the Ultime class this morning.

Down the Moroccan coast they match each other on opposite gybes. Gybing north of the Cape Verde islands MACIF got back on terms, Sodebo positioned slightly further to the west. MACIF lead out of the Doldrums and extended their lead to nearly 260 miles, but Coville and Nelias clawed back miles reducing their deficit to 88Nms when MACIF secured victory this morning.

Clotilde Bednarek, Director of Marketing at Café Jacques Vabre commented on the finishes.

"This morning, the sun has finally risen on Itajaí to celebrate the arrival of the podium of the Ultim Class of this 12th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre. The co-skippers of Macif and Sodebo Ultim' gave us a breathlessly exciting race for 5400 miles and over morning coffee today two magical things have happened. "

"Congratulations to you, Francois & Pascal .... Thomas & Jean-Luc, for your race, your commitment and your human values! The Transat Jacques Vabre is proud of you! But the race is not over: there are still three podiums to be settled for the 23 boats still on the water. Good luck to them. "

Built to List
11-07-2015, 10:52 AM
My money is on Francois setting the new Jules Verne record!

11-09-2015, 03:49 PM

The Doldrums are proving cruel and capricious for longtime Class 40 leaders Yannick Bestaven and Pierre Brassuer. Trapped by extreme calms they have seen their leading margin shrink dramatically from a seemingly untenable 316 miles just after the Cape Verde islands to a much more delicate 87 miles this morning. Bestaven and Brasseur are making just 2.6kts while Louis Duc and Christophe Lebas (Carac-Advanced Energies) and Maxime Sorel with Sam Manuard (V and B) are sailing twice as fast, duelling at just one mile difference in latitude but 26 miles apart laterally.

Engaged in a tight battle for second in the Multi50 Class, Lalou Roucayrol and Caesar Dohy (Arkema) have had to reroute to Salvador de Bahia 130 miles ahead of them this morning. They have a structural delamination problem with the main hull of their Tri. “For us this is the start of another race.” Said co-skipper Roucayrol this morning, “We head for Salvador and leave as quickly as possible. We will have our team there waiting. We want to make the finish line of this Transat Jacques Vabre.”

Now less than one day from Cabo Frio, the three leading IMOCAs look to the fine detail of their decisive transition from the trade winds of the St Helena anticyclone to the area of stormy low pressures which prevail there and in the Bay of Rio. This will be the final phase of the race which will decide the finishing order into Itajaí. Rock solid leaders Vincent Riou and Seb Col (PRB) have lost nothing at all to Armel Le Cléac’h and Erwan Tabarly (Banque Populaire VIII) who remain 35.8 miles behind.

The leading IMOCAs will start their right turns late tonight or tomorrow morning, sailing downwind into the a lighter E’ly breeze. Short term there does seem to a wind which is reasonably well established all the way south to Itajaí. It will be down to timing their gybes and managing the squalls and lighter zones. The junction between these two zones is of paramount importance.

They said...

Lalou Roucayrol, Arkema (Multi-50): "The bottom of the middle hull is damaged. There are several leaks in the front compartment. Either we hit an object and did not realise it, or it has delaminated. We'll see when we get the boat out of the water. The boat was not right in the water and in fact we pumped out loads of water. The middle hull was half fully for water. I made a bit of a repair, limiting the ingress with some patched but it really needs repaired and right now we are pumping all the time. We will sail to Salvador and finish the race.”

Vincent Riou, PRB (IMOCA): “ It is OK. This morning we managed to pass through a cloudy front. We are downwind and look ahead to Cabo Frio and then we will turn right tomorrow. After Cabo Frio, it will drop and so we will see how it feels. At the moment we are not really approaching Cabo Frio, and so we will watch what is expected to happen on land or offshore. Tomorrow morning we will look at the files closely. As leaders we open the course and take the risks, but I'd rather be where I am. Banque Populaire is good on the reach. But now we are better positioned than him and now that we have the sails we want, we cannot say they scare us. But there are bunch of maneuvers to do and mistakes that can happen ... We are in the race and in regatta mode. It’s nice.The batteries are well recharged. Now we are on the final sprint: it will not be easy. We attack! "

************************************************** *****************************************

Tracker (http://tracking.transat-jacques-vabre.com/en/)

The two key podiums which remain open in the Transat Jacques Vabre, the IMOCA and Class 40 will see decisive times in the hours through Monday night into Tuesday. With less than 550 miles to go for the IMOCA leaders, the transition of Cabo Frio early tomorrow might well decide which of the top three duos – just 86 miles from first to third. But equally critical will be whether the long time Class40 leaders Yannick Bestaven and Pierre Brasseur can finally escape out of the clutches of the Doldrums.

Bestaven and Brasseur have tried to remain patient and focused on Le Conservateur as their 315 miles lead has melted away ‘like snow in the sun’ to just 57 miles. They have been stuck, scotched – as the French call it – for the best part of 48 hours while the duelling, chasing duo behind have swallowed miles at a voracious rate. Even this afternoon skipper Bestaven - fourth in last year’s solo Route du Rhum and winner of the Transat Jacques Vabre in 2011, considered that they would get in to better breeze this evening. But Maxime Sorel and Sam Manuard on V and B were still making over nine knots to Le Conservateur’s average of three. For their first big ocean race together, Brazilian duo Eduardo Penido and Renato Araujo are still sailing an astute race on Zetra, lying fifth.

In August Vicent Riou and Seb Col proved they were the form partnership going into this race when they won the Rolex Fastnet offshore. Now today they have less than one Fastnet – 607 miles – to finish Riou and Col are in the driving seat with a lead of 36 miles, still, over Banque Populaire VIII, Armel Le Cléac’h and Erwan Tabarly. The leading three boats gybed this morning around breakfast time and have been closing to the Brazilian coast all day. Signifiantly perhaps Riou and Col have chosen a layline which will allow them to pass the point NE of Cabo Frio and get closer to the land where the breeze is forecast to be slightly stronger.

Seventeen miles is all that separates Le Souffle du Nord, Thomas Ruyant and Adrien Hardy, from Tanguy de Lamotte and Sam Davies. Davies noted today that they are determined to beat the boatin front of them and are enjoying the duel for fourth and fifth immensely.

Damaged Multi 50 Arkema, Lalou Roucayrol and Cesar Dohy, were 70 miles from Salvador de Bahia this afternoon. The duo have their technical team standing by to make a laminate repair to the cracks in the main hull which were allowing substantial water ingress, requiring them to pump to keep the boat safe.

They said:

Charlie Dalin, co-skipper of Queguiner-Leucemie-Espoir (IMOCA 60): "The sun has just risen it is damp again and late night it was cool. We just had a gust to 21 knots, there is still wind, we are more downwind now, we sail angles which are slower. At Cabo Frio it is a bit like Cape Finisterre. The wind accelerates but so too there are oil platforms. That is another challenge to take account of. There is lots to do and we have to be careful to find the right route. Tonight there will be some platforms. We think we will finish in Itajaí Wednesday afternoon around 2000hrs French time. The end of this race is not simple. There is a depression which will come out to sea. And of course the models do not agree. We will give it all we have. The objective is to finish with no regrets, to make some good moves. We are always pushing. We give it our all until the end. On board it has been exactly as I expected as my role. It is such a great experience I am happy to be here.”

Sam Davies, co-skipper Initiatives Coeur (IMOCA 60): “We look forwards to beating Le Souffle du Nord. I’m having so much fun that I will be a little sad when it is over. We are very happy on board. We lack for nothing. We still have chocolate. Initiatives Coeur is a solid boat, we feel safe. Tanguy is lucky to have this boat and this will give him confidence to go forwards to the Vendée Globe.”

Erwan Leroux, skipper FenêtréA Prysmian (Multi50): "Aboard FenêtréA Prysmian we are under gennaker and have one reef in the mainsail, we are on starboard tack and we are sailing along the Brazilian coast. What has happened to Arkema is a shame, I hope they will repair successfully and bring the boat to Itajaí. The important thing is that Lalou can save the boat. Through that first week of the race, we had our share of all miseries with these four different wind regimes. Even the last 500 miles of the race and we'll see 25 knots with gusts to 35. It's a long race and very very technical.. It was a stormy depression that hollow, one is obliged to go near the coast, we will cross a front. We have a big problem on the mainsail. We have to sail with one reef and in no time we'll take a second reef."

Yannick Bestaven, skipper of The Conservative (Class40): "It's the same as the last three days. There is not much wind, some wind is just puffs. We hope to be out tonight. We accept our troubles patiently. Our lead melted like snow in the sun. We are tired .... We persevere to just try to get south and get out of here. We manoeuvre quite a lot to try ans stay with the changes in the breeze as it goes round. We try to follow the pace imposed on us by the wind. It's tiring. But we have done the hard bit. We'll take a shower as soon as we are out of here. These Doldrums are fierce. We hope to be going by 4 Deg N. And by this evening life should be better. In terms of food we have enough, we are light on sweet stuff, savoury we have enough to go around the world.”

Thibaut Vauchel-Camus, Solidaires en Peloton ARSEP, (Class 40): “It’s OK. We go slowly and gently into the Doldrums. We have a bit of a battle on with weed. Our motivation is good, we don’t let up at all. But we share our good humour. We are always sharing jokes.”

Built to List
11-09-2015, 04:39 PM
Looks like the non foiler will be victorious!

11-10-2015, 10:46 AM

The pressure has increased significantly on the leaders of the IMOCA class and Class 40 in the last 12 hours. For Vincent Riou – winner of the class in 2013 with Jean Le Cam – sailing this time with Seb Col the pressure rises with each mile towards the finish. The last straight into Itajaí is littered with holes in the breeze and windshifts, enough to see their 54 miles margin eroded.


Routing their path to the finish and that of their nearest rivals Banque Populaire VIII will give them faith that come midday tomorrow Wednesday the job should be completed and a second win in a row be PRB’s but the final 24 hours will be max pressure. PRB have lead for seven days, since emerging first from the Doldrums. They have felt the hot breath of Armel Le Cleéac’h and Erwan Tabarly at times. The passage of Cabo Frio seems to have worked in the favour of Riou and Col who gained another 20 miles overnight. The question for them is when to make the hard right turn towards the finish line. Presently it looks like downwind into a fading breeze to the line and so timing and picking the right time and best angles will be important.


Images Top to Bottom:

© Alexis Courcoux / Yann Eliès - Groupe Quéguiner

© Benoit Stichelbaut / Sea&Co

© Thierry Martinez Photographe / Sea&Co

The pressure on Le Conservateur’s Yannick Bestaven and Pierre Brasseur is on too. They return to the stress of having two rivals snapping at their heels again. A few days ago they had no real pressure, a lead of over 300 miles and boat in good shape. But 48 hours stuck in the Doldrums saw second placed V and B and Carac Advanced Energies reel them in. Now there has been a proper restart at the exit of the Doldrums and Le Conservateur leads by just 33 miles on V and B, and 47 miles on Carac Advanced Energies, and all three are making the same kind of speeds. After the last few days they have had for Bestaven and Brasseur getting out with their lead intact will feel like a victory, but they have a fight on their hands once again. One other question to be answered is whether the Multi50 leader hobbled with a reefed main, FenetreA Prysmian will beat the first IMOCA home. The multi is 22 miles ahead of the top IMOCA this morning.


Tracker (http://tracking.transat-jacques-vabre.com/en/)

They said, this morning:

Seb Col, co-skipper PRB (IMOCA): “Cabo Frio was a bit complicated. The thermal depression there and we could not make the course we wanted. There was some discrepancy between what happened in reality and what the models predicted. But we are pretty happy, we are going well. But it is a slalom with the drilling rigs, there are helicopters coming and going, cargo ships. We are in a good position for the gybe and we know the wind will ease coming into Itajaí.”

Yannick Bestaven, co-skipper Le Conservateur (Class 40): “It is tough. We spent three days in the Doldrums. We were 300 miles ahead and now are just 30 or 40. It is a new race once again. But now we have been at more than nine knots for over an hour. We just hit it at the wrong time, the Doldrums came down with us. We just had to fight mile by mile in unstable winds. But we are lucky to be still ahead, we took it as it comes. But the finish is still a long way off. We have many days to do still but we work our watches. The hardest bit has not been tiredness and fatigue but keeping our spirits up.”

11-11-2015, 09:58 AM

In something of a carbon copy repeat of his success in 2013, gliding across the same finish line, Vincent Riou (FRA), sailing PRB with co-skipper Seb Col (FRA) finished first IMOCA monohull in the 5400Nms Transat Jacques Vabre when they took their winning gun at 12:52.24 (UTC) (+5hrs local time) today.

The duo’s elapsed time for the theoretical course is 17d00h22m24 after leaving Le Havre on Sunday 25th October. Their computed average for the course is 13,22kts. In reality they sailed 6034Nms at an average of 14.78kts

It is the winner of the 2004-5 Vendée Globe, Vincent Riou’s seventh Transat Jacques Vabre and is his second back to back IMOCA class win in this biennial coffee route race.

They best the 2013 reference time by 19mins and 23 seconds. Sailing in 2013 with Jean Le Cam the PRB co-skippers set the inaugural benchmark for this new course, finishing in Itajaí, southern Brazil, at 17d and 41mins. In 2013 PRB actually sailed less distance on the water, 5771 miles.

Riou’s 2010 launched VPLP-Verdier design won the 2013 race even after a short, express pit stop in Mindelo, Sao Vicente, Cape Verde Islands to make a rudder repair. After winning the 2013 Transat Jacques Vabre Riou had to withdraw in the early stages of the 2104 Route du Rhum solo Transatlantic.

His boat is reported to be the lightest and most optimised of the competitive 2011 generation VPLP-Verdier designs. After having to retire from the Vendée Globe in 2102 when he hit a metal buoy off South America and sustained hull and rigging damage, Riou paired up for the 2013 Transat Jacques Vabre with Jean Le Cam partly as a footnote to their history together, Riou rescued Le Cam from his upturned IMOCA off Cape Horn. But this year, one year out from the next Vendée Globe start, Riou chose Col a partner to learn from, to help improve the small details of boat speed and tactics. Col sails on many different cutting edge grand prix monohull classes. This is the first IMOCA Transatlantic for Seb Col.


Riou and Col lead out of the English Channel and held a strong position slightly to the south of the group which sailed west towards the arriving depression. PRB was snared momentarily when they erred too close to the centre of the low, allowing Yann Eliès and Charlie Dalin on Queguenir-Leucemie Espoir to escape slightly. But by the latitude of Gibraltar they shared first and second. PRB took the lead again in the light airs of the Azores anticyclone but as soon as the top group of four were into the N’ly trade winds Banque Populaire VIII of Armel Le Cléac’h and Erwan Tabarly was quicker by one or two knots in 18-19kts of breeze and they took the lead.
PRB made another small gain at the Canaries, setting up to the east of Banque Populaire just after fourth placed Paul Meilhat and Michel Desjoyeaux diverted towards Guadeloupe with technical problems.
Entering the Doldrums there was just four miles separating PRB from leaders Banque Populaire VIII but it was Riou and Col who emerged first into the S’ly trades. Their margin grew quickly and by Recife they were 36 miles ahead. That margin stayed similar all the way until last night when they extended on the initial approach in to Itajaí.

Of the 20 IMOCA class starters eleven abandoned racing with technical problems.

11-11-2015, 04:04 PM
Well that settles it. Foils will never work.

11-18-2015, 04:14 PM

Yannick Bestaven and Pierre Brasseur sailing their Guillaume Verdier designed Le Conservateur won Class 40 in the 5400NMs two handed Transat Jacques Vabre when they crossed the finish line off Itajaí, Brazil at 2040hrs and 09secs UTC this Wednesday evening to conclude a long, tense duel with Maxime Sorel and Sam Manuard on the 2015 Manuard designed V and B.

When Bestaven and Brasseur clinched their overall triumph, the runners-up Sorel and Manuard are about 12NMs from the finish line. Third placed Carac Advanced Energies is more than 250NMs behind.

Bestaven and Brasseur win Class40 from a fleet of 14 boats which started on Sunday October 25th from Le Havre. Their elapsed time for the rhumb line, most direct course distance of 5400NMs is 24d 08 hrs 10m 09secs at an average of 9.24kts. In reality they sailed 5963NMs at a real average of 10.21kts.
Their elapsed time is some 3d 10hrs 29m 44s more than the reference time for the course set in 2013 by winners Sébastien Rogues and Fabien Delahaye, at 20days 21hrs 41m 25s.

After leading by more than 310 miles into the Doldrums when they saw their substantial cushion ahead of V and B slashed to just 30 miles, Bestaven and Brasseur triumph after a cliffhanger final few days, pushed all the way to the winning gun by Sorel and Manuard.

After taking Class 40 victory by a matter of 10 hours into Pointe a Pitre, Guadeloupe with Eric Drouglazet in 2011 on Aquarelle.com this is Bestaven’s second Class 40 win on the Transat Jacques Vabre, With co-skipper Brasseur the duo already won the Les Sables-Horta-Les Sables race this summer on Le Conservateur which is a TIZH 40 design launched for last year’s solo Route du Rhum.

On that solo race to Guadeloupe Bestaven finished fourth across the finish line but was dropped to seventh because of a jury decision following a collision on the first night of the race. Brasseur finished sixth on that Route du Rhum on Matouba and finished third in the last edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre, sailing Mare.de with German co-skipper Jorg Riechers, one place ahead of Bestaven who raced the 2013 race with Aurelien Ducroz.

Le Conservateur has always been among the top three boats since leaving the English Channel. They opted for the north-western route towards the first depression but were not as extreme as rivals Team Concise, the early leaders Jackson Bouttell and Gildas Mahé, who had to retire from the race with structural damage. On the morning of the third day at sea Nicolas Troussel and Corentin Horeau on Bretagne Credit Mutuel Elite, one of the other top contenders, also withdrew with keelbolt issues and autopilot failure. At that point Bestaven and Brasseur were already ahead, leading V and B by 12 miles. They sailed smartly through the second depression getting west early racing side by side with Sorel and Manuard for the coming days of big winds and waves. It was when they emerged first out of the Azores High that Le Conservateur started to extend distance on V and B, gaining to be 37NMS ahead as they passed the latitude of the Azores. By the Cape Verde Islands that delta had grown to what was increasingly looking like an unassailable lead, some 267NMs. As Bestaven and Brasseur entered the Doldrums they were 318Nms ahead of rivals V and B.

But they became badly stuck for more than 48 hours, making only a handful of miles while Sorel and Manuard scythed down towards the trapped Le Conservateur. When they emerged their lead had dropped from over 300NMs to 30. An indeed at Fernando de Noronha it was a meagre 14NMs.
From there the duel has continued unchecked, never more than 20NMs between the top two boats. Whilst outwardly Bestaven and Brasseur appeared serene in the Doldrums, the battle down the Brazilian coast has been intense, hour after hour, day after day. Victory in Itajaí is especially sweet this evening for Yannick Bestaven and Pierrer Brasseur.

First quotes will be published on www.transat-jacques-vabre.com