PDA

View Full Version : The Transat bakerly Begins



Photoboy
05-02-2016, 12:36 PM
http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/70596382613350547751.jpg

History of the Transat (http://www.thetransat.com/history)


The 25 boats in The Transat bakerly 2016 fleet set sail today on one of the great races in solo sailing, the 3,050-nautical mile passage across the north Atlantic from Plymouth to New York.

Spectators both on shore and on the water turned out to watch as the mainly French fleet gathered under grey skies on Plymouth Sound to answer the starter’s gun fired from the decks of the Royal Navy frigate HMS Kent at 14.30hrs.

Ahead of the solo skippers and their boats lies one of the most daunting challenges in professional sport – the north Atlantic, complete with bitterly cold storm force headwinds, an ever-present adverse swell, freezing fog and even the danger of ice.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwOFSOIGuFQ


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gUFeOwwHLc

The forecast for this year’s race – the first time this classic has been staged since 2008 – is for a reasonably quiet start but for 45-knot headwinds and big seas for the leading yachts by Wednesday, as they head into the Western Approaches.

The fleet is divided into four classes, each of which will produce an official winner of The Transat bakerly. The fastest boats are the giant trimarans of the Ultime class, three of which are battling it out for line honours, with the first expected to reach the finish at New York in around eight days.

Behind them comes the five-strong fleet of smaller Multi50 trimarans which could fly across the “pond” in 12 days, alongside the six IMOCA 60s - the state-of-the-art monohulls used in the Vendee Globe solo round-the-world race that starts later this year.

The slowest boats will be the smaller monohulls of the 10-strong Class40 fleet which should take around 15 days to complete the course but in which we should see some of the tightest racing.

http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/73034017152916204337.jpg


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fuCJusIcxPA

Alongside the fleet is a one-off entry by the French racing legend Loick Peyron who is sailing Eric Tabarly’s 44ft wooden ketch Pen Duick II in the same trim as she was when Tabarly raced her to victory in The Transat (then called the OSTAR) in 1964. Peyron is expecting to take around 27 days to reach the finish at New York.

Among the first to show in 10-12 knot southwesterly breeze, as the fleet headed out to sea, was the Multi50 Fenetrea-Cardinal skippered by Frenchman Erwan Le Roux who ripped across the startline flying-a-hull ahead of two Ultimes, the bright green Sodebo skippered by former Volvo Ocean Race winner Thomas Coville, and the blue-hulled Macif, skippered by Francois Gabart.

Several skippers were caught out by the lighter-than-forecast conditions at the start and were hastily shaking out reefs as those with full mainsails took advantage. Among the quickest away was Armel Le Cleac’h on the IMOCA 60 Banque Populaire who flew out of the blocks and established an early lead.

http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/91273362355956800563.jpg


http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/56051716578851008068.jpg


The IMOCA 60 class will see a fascinating battle over the next two weeks between the three entries with foils – Banque Populaire VIII, Edmond de Rothschild (Sebastien Josse) and St Michel-Virbac (Jean-Pierre Dick), and those with more conventional underwater profiles – PRB (Vincent Riou), SMA (Paul Meilhat) and 44 (Richard Tolkien). The foilers may well be quicker but will they be tough enough to last this toughest of courses?

Earlier there were pre-start nerves on a damp and overcast Monday morning as the skippers enjoyed a final big English breakfast and prepared to depart from Plymouth’s Sutton Harbour Marina and Plymouth Yacht Haven. Sebastien Josse was in a realistic mood about what lies ahead.

“I am in the mindset of someone who is about to experience very demanding times physically and mentally,” he said. “The Transat bakerly is not much fun but I am very happy to be here. I know I am going to be cold and it’s going to be tough, but I know why I am doing it. I want to do well and I am just thinking through all the things I must not forget and the mistakes to avoid.”


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8VCn6G5ecc

His fellow Frenchman Armel Tripon on the Class40 entry Black Pepper also talked of the jitters as he prepared to take on the north Atlantic. “Although I slept well I feel I have a little ball of nerves in my stomach but it will disappear once I am on the water,” he said.

Like all the skippers, Tripon was eyeing the forecast and trying to assess his routing choices, whether to head north or south once clear of the southern Irish coast. “It is not obvious – there is a strategic choice to make at the outset,” said Tripon.

Herve Favre, Event Director commented: “This race is one of the classics in solo sailing and after it was not staged four years ago we at OC Sport decided it was time to re-launch it. I am delighted to see this hugely competitive fleet of sailors on state-of the art racing machinery now taking on The Transat bakerly 2016 and we wish them all the best for the undoubted challenge that lie ahead.”

So fasten your seatbelts, this promises to be a wild ride across one of the most notorious stretches of water on the planet – the 2016 Transat bakerly is underway.

http://www.thetransat.com/

Photoboy
05-03-2016, 09:04 AM
http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/85460283255243441641.jpg


3.05.2016

First drama in The Transat bakerly 2016

A French yachtsman competing in The Transat bakerly solo transatlantic race from Plymouth to New York, was forced to abandone the race today after his boat crashed into a container ship.

Maxime Sorel on board the yacht VandB was among the leaders in the 10-strong Class40 fleet, as the boats raced downwind in the northern Bay of Biscay about 90 nautical miles west of Lorient, when he reported a collision.

It is thought the boat suffered damage to its bowsprit, forcing Sorel to head to the French port La Trinite sur Mer in Brittany. Sorel is safe and uninjured and the boat’s mast is stable but he is very disappointed to have to retire

The collision, which happened in broad daylight and good visibility this morning, in an area of busy commercial shipping off the French Brittany coast, is the first drama in The Transat bakerly which set sail from Plymouth on Monday afternoon.

Sorel said he was keeping watch as VandB sailed under spinnaker but he did not see the cargo ship. “I was not sailing particularly fast and I tried to avoid it but it was too late,” said the French skipper as he limped toward the French coast.

He said he had two options when he realised a collision was inevitable. Either hit the ship lengthways which risked bringing VandB’s mast down or hit the ship at an angle, helping to confine the damage to the bowsprit. “I’m stressed seeing all these freighters around me,” he added. “I have this image in my head and when I see one, I get stressed about it.”

Sorel is hoping to reach port tomorrow morning. Prior to his accident, his was one of 25 yachts in four classes racing across the Atlantic from Plymouth to New York. The fastest boats – the three giant trimarans of the Ultime class – are expected to finish in six days time.

Just a few hours before the incident Sorel had been in good spirits as he talked about his progress in the satellite phone. He said he had seen 35 knots of wind overnight but conditions were moderating. He joked that he was following the same course as he had taken in the Route du Rhum in 2014 – a predominantly downwind race – as he surfed before a fresh northerly wind.

“The sea has calmed down a bit compared with the beginning of night,” he said. “All is well on board at this time but I have a couple of hours ahead when conditions will not be easy but then it should settle again. I haven’t eaten too much but I have been drinking lots and managed to get some rest.”

Later he reflected on the cruel hand that fate played not long after that call. “I’m disappointed,” he said. “You called me this morning to tell me that I was leading the Class40s and now you call to talk to me about why I am giving up. It’s disappointing to have to retire like this. The boat is heading to La Trinite to see what repairs need to be done and there is work to do, so the race is over for me.”

SHARE THIS STORY
- See more at: http://www.thetransat.com/news/view/solo-yachtsman-crashes-into-containership-on-the-second-day-of-the-transat#sthash.G33tPtvk.dpuf

Prince of Whales
05-03-2016, 09:32 AM
That's one way to start a race with a bang.

Photoboy
05-03-2016, 01:39 PM
http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/16696917463443649644.jpg

Tracker (http://preprod-player.georacing.com/?server=Prod&event=100297&race=92841&name=The+Transat+Bakerly)


03.05.2016

The Transat bakerly is already featuring some classic battles.

A French yachtsman competing in The Transat bakerly solo transatlantic race from Plymouth to New York, was forced to abandon the race today after his boat crashed into a container ship.

Maxime Sorel on board the yacht VandB was among the leaders in the 10-strong Class40 fleet, as the boats raced downwind in the northern Bay of Biscay about 90 nautical miles west of Lorient, when he reported a collision.

The boat suffered damage to its bowsprit, forcing Sorel to head to the French port La Trinite sur Mer in Brittany. Sorel is safe and uninjured and the boat’s mast is stable but he is very disappointed to have to retire

The collision happened in broad daylight and good visibility this morning, in an area of busy commercial shipping off the Brittany coast.

Sorel said he was keeping watch as VandB sailed under spinnaker but he did not see the cargo ship. “I was not sailing particularly fast and I tried to avoid it but it was too late,” said the French skipper as he limped toward the coast.

He said he had two options when he realised a collision was inevitable. Either hit the ship lengthways which risked bringing VandB’s mast down or hit the ship at an angle, helping to confine the damage to the bowsprit. “I’m stressed seeing all these freighters around me,” he added. “I have this image in my head and when I see one, I get stressed about it.”

Sorel is hoping to reach port tomorrow morning. Reflecting on the cruel hand that fate played, he commented: “I’m disappointed. You (the organisers) called me this morning to tell me that I was leading the Class40s and now you call to talk to me about why I am giving up. It’s disappointing to have to retire like this.”

Elsewhere in the Class40 fleet, the sole British entry in the class, Phil Sharp on board Imerys, has been referred to the Race Committee Jury after apparently sailing through an area of water restricted to commercial shipping at Ushant. The Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) off that busy corner of France is strictly out of bounds to the yachts in the race rules.

Sharp has been sailing a superb race in the early stages, regularly holding the lead but he may face a penalty for the infringement. Contacted on the sat phone he said he had not realised the TSS was out of bounds.

“I was aware of the TSS and I kept well out of the shipping lane but I wasn’t aware that it was a restricted zone – I wasn’t aware that there was a boundary,” he said. Sharp also revealed that he nearly lost his spinnaker when it detached from the rig as he was down below and ended up in the water behind the boat.

“I looked up one time and the spinnaker was just not there,” he said. “I went on deck to find the whole thing in the water. But it’s fine and not damaged. I managed to get it back and re-hoist it after a couple of minor repairs.”

The Transat bakerly is already featuring some classic battles. At the front of the fleet the two leading Ultimes, Macif (Francois Gabart) and Sodebo (Thomas Coville) are a little more than a mile apart, heading down the Portuguese coast while, behind them in the southern Biscay, a battle royal is developing in the IMOCA 60 class.

The leader by a whisker is the hugely experienced Vincent Riou on board PRB who is just managing to stay ahead of the two leading foiling boats – Seb Josse’s Edmond de Rothschild in second place and Armel le Cleac’h’s Banque Populaire in third.

“Everything is fine, but we had to do a lot of manoeuvres during the night - it was a bit complicated, but as expected and I’m pretty happy with my position,” reported Riou earlier in the day. “The conditions are favourable for the foiling IMOCAs and will continue to be for a few days.

“I’m currently sailing under spinnaker in around 12 knots of wind. I’m trying to move quickly, but there is quite a lot of swell and there are still some sail changes to make. I’m staying vigilant, always looking out for the next transition. The weather is pretty nice compared to yesterday’s start and I was able to get some rest this morning. I am in good shape,” Riou added.

- See more at: http://www.thetransat.com/news/view/the-full-days-round-up-tuesday-3rd-may#sthash.96yj1oR7.dpuf

Hanno
05-03-2016, 05:27 PM
The Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) off that busy corner of France is strictly out of bounds to the yachts in the race rules.
Sharp has been sailing a superb race in the early stages, regularly holding the lead but he may face a penalty for the infringement. Contacted on the sat phone he said he had not realised the TSS was out of bounds.
“I was aware of the TSS and I kept well out of the shipping lane but I wasn’t aware that it was a restricted zone – I wasn’t aware that there was a boundary,” he said.

Wait a minute ... You know what a TSS is, but you don't know it has a boundary ... or you didn't read the SI ... or you thought you just had to stay out of the way of ships ... or ??? BS meter twitching.

Photoboy
05-03-2016, 10:41 PM
http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/56348023183855666160.jpg

Josse en route to Vigo in Galicia, Spain

On Wednesday May 4th, shortly after midnight and while sailing off Cape Finisterre in 25-30 knots of northeasterly wind, Sébastien Josse sustained serious damage to the batons on his mainsail, when he broached his IMOCA60 Edmond de Rothschild during a gybe.

The damage poses no immediate threat but is irreparable at sea, and after consultation with his technical team, Josse has made the difficult decision to retire from The Transat bakerly. He is now en route to Vigo in Galicia, Spain, where he will be joined by members of the Gitana team.

At the time of the incident, Josse was in a battle near the front of the IMOCA fleet with Vincent Riou on board PRB and Armel le Cleac’h’s Banque Populaire.

More information to follow shortly.

- See more at: http://www.thetransat.com/news/view/newsflash-mainsail-damage-for-sebastien-josse-on-edmond-de-rothschild-force#sthash.673ce5Dz.dpuf

Photoboy
05-04-2016, 10:11 AM
http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/91494061664409450580.jpg


The Transat bakerly is living up to its reputation as one of the toughest challenges in professional sport

The Transat bakerly is living up to its reputation as one of the toughest challenges in professional sport, with three of the 24 competitors retiring within the last 24 hours and some fierce battles elsewhere in the fleet.

Shortly after midnight, on May 4th, Edmond de Rothschild skipper Sébastien Josse, was among the leaders in the 6-strong IMOCA fleet, as the boats raced around the north-west tip of Spain off Cape Finisterre, when the Frenchman reported damage to his mainsail.

In 25-30 knots of breeze, the foiling IMOCA broached during a gybe, resulting in irreparable damage to the sails batten. Josse was forced to head approximately 80 nautical miles to the Spanish port of Vigo in Galicia, where he will be joined by members of the Gitana Team.

At the time of the incident, Josse was locked in a magnificent battle at the front of the IMOCA fleet with Vincent Riou on board PRB and Armel le Cleac’h’s Banque Populaire, with just 3nm between him and leader Riou.

“Everything happened very quickly, in maybe 10 seconds. I broke the batons in the mainsail, which hold the top of the sail, in a violent gybe. Despite all precautions, it is unfortunate but these things can happen”, explained Josse. “The damage is not spectacular but it is impossible to imagine I could continue the race. It is really disappointing - I was in the game, in contact with Armel and Vincent. The boat was very well prepared. That’s all the more frustrating as I think the hardest part of this first race was behind us.”

http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/25959011163595553700.jpg

Just five hours earlier, at 19.00hrs and 60 miles off Cape Finisterre, Erwan Le Roux, the skipper of Multi 50 FenêtréA Cardinal, sustained substantial damage to the port float on his Multi50 trimaran.

Erwan was leading The Transat bakerly Multi50 fleet when the incident occurred, sailing downwind in a northeasterly 25-27 knots. He managed to secure his boat before alerting his shore crew.

“I had two reefs in the mainsail at the time and at first it was a big shock. I did not see what happened because I was under the cockpit cover”, explained Le Roux. “I had to intervene immediately to avoid a capsize. I went to roll the gennaker and that’s when I realised that about half of the float was missing”

“It is super, super hard for me and also frustrating,” added the triple winner of the Transat Jacques Vabre, who is currently heading upwind on port tack, and is expected to reach port near La Coruña within 24 hours.
Elsewhere in the Multi50 fleet, Pierre Antoine aboard Olmix is the only skipper to choose the northerly route, giving him the class lead at this stage, the rest favouring a southern course in the early stages before they begin heading west. Lalou Roucayrol on board Arkema leads that group, 3nm ahead of Gilles Lamire on French Tech Rennes St Malo.

Forty hours into the race the three-strong Ultime class are powering their way southwards past Lisbon, Portugal, with the overall lead being disputed by Thomas Coville on Sodebo and Francois Gabart on Macif, with Coville 12 miles ahead at 04.00am and flying along at over 30 knots of boatspeed.

“It is going well – and very quick. There is around 30 knots of wind and big seas which is causing the boat to fly off the waves,” explained Gabart. “Overnight it has been really dark – there were only three stars in the sky. We monitor the tracking to see where Thomas is. There are not many miles in it and when we go at 30 knots, it means 40 minutes is nothing.”

Further north and making their way through the Bay of Biscay, there are some classic battles within the the 9-strong Class40 fleet, with the overall lead being disputed by Britain’s Phil Sharp on Imerys – who may face a penalty after apparently sailing through a restricted area - and France’s Thibaut Vauchel-Camus on Solidaires en Peloton-Arsep, with less than a mile between the two.

Fellow Class40 skipper Maxime Sorel on Vandb was forced to retire yesterday morning, after sustaining damage to his bowsprit following a collision with a container ship in the northern Bay of Biscay, and he headed to the French port La Trinite sur Mer in Brittany.
- See more at: http://www.thetransat.com/news/view/top-imoca-skipper-retires-as-damage-takes-its-toll-on-the-transat-bakerly-f#sthash.5J7rwMdV.dpuf

Photoboy
05-04-2016, 11:39 AM
http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/95250307635971017455.jpg

Tracker (http://preprod-player.georacing.com/?server=Prod&event=100297&race=92841&name=The+Transat+Bakerly)


04.05.2016

The battle rages on, two fighting for the top in each class

Two of the fastest racing machines in sailing are currently lighting up the top of the leaderboard in The Transat bakerly as they rampage across the Atlantic just a few miles apart.

After two full days of racing in the 3,050-mile classic from Plymouth to New York, the leading pair of Ultimes, Macif skippered by Francois Gabart and Sodebo skippered by Thomas Coville, are thrashing along at average speeds of over 30 knots.

The two giant trimarans are being pushed to the limit and have already covered more than 1,100 nautical miles since the start on Monday afternoon. But most of that distance has been eaten up by miles to the south, leaving the “miles-to-go” figure to the Big Apple still up around 2,500.

This afternoon the two giants were about 30 miles apart about 550 miles west, south-west of the southern tip of Portugal, with Sodebo marginally ahead in terms of distance to the finish by virtue of its more northerly position. Current routing models suggests these two could finish in five days time and will sail a course downwind to the south of the Azores.

About 400 miles north of them, the leading boats in the IMOCA 60 monohull fleet and the Multi50 trimarans are now heading out into the Atlantic after turning to starboard off Cape Finisterre. For these skippers conditions are manageable at present, but in all their minds is an appointment with strong headwinds and big seas that will hit them on Friday morning.

A complex area of low pressure is heading their way and there are predictions of winds gusting in excess of 40 knots in what promises to be a truly authentic Transat ordeal. Jean-Pierre Dick, who is lying in third place in the IMOCA fleet on board St Michel-Virbac, reckons tackling this depression will be critical to the outcome of the race.

“On the weather files, I see a snarling depression arriving in two days,” said Dick succinctly. “We’ll have to make a crucial choice to bypass these very strong winds (40 knots in the forecast or more). This will be very physical and strategic: the key point of the race.”

A little further east, Paul Meilhat on SMA in fourth place, and 135 miles behind the IMOCA leader Vincent Riou on PRB, was assessing the same weather feature. Meilhat had a bad start to the race but is happy with his performance to date, having done little in the build-up because his boat was being re-fitted.

“Since the wind came in, it’s been going well,” he said. “I have not had a lot of sailing with my boat before the race, so it suits me well. We got up to 30-35 knots at Cape Finisterre with great seas amid all the shipping. Now it’s a case of how to negotiate this Azorean depression: I look at what others are doing, but overall, I do not intend to confront 50 knots.”

Like the Ultimes, the Multi50 race features a duel for the lead following the abandonment by Erwan Le Roux with float damage on FenêtréA Cardinal on Tuesday evening. In his place the remaining four boats are being led by Lalou Roucayrol on Arkema and Gilles Lamirè on French tech Rennes St Malo who are reaching along at 20 knots about 25 miles apart, 300 miles due west of Porto.

While they will face the same headwinds as the IMOCAs, more than 400 miles north of them, the third-placed entry in the class, Pierre Antoine on board Olmix is hoping to surf on favourable winds on the northern edge of the same system.

Olmix is the oldest Multi50 in the fleet and is currently the most northerly boat taking part in the race, but her skipper is happy with his choice.

“For now, I only have 15-20 knots from the south-west, but it will build,” he said on the satellite phone earlier today. “It’s a little wetter and colder than in the south, but it is an interesting option to be in the north. The boat is going well and the skipper too. It’s nice to see that everyone does not follow the same road… We will see how it turns out in the Azores.”

In the Class40 monohulls, meanwhile, the race to the west has begun with all the skippers turning hard-right mid-way across the Bay of Biscay. With nine of the 10 starters still racing after the retirement of Maxime Sorel aboard VandB following a collision with a container ship, the lead is being disputed by Britain’s Phil Sharp on Imerys and Thibaut Vauchel-Camus on Solidaires en Peloton-Arsep who is loving the fast sailing conditions.

“Life on board is very good,” the French skipper reported. “It’s a little bit cold and wet, but it’s good. I just gybed west and the boat is going well. Everything onboard is ok, I’ve had no breakages, I feel good and I’m eating well – it’s all ok.”

“We’ve had about 20 to 22 knots today, we’ve been sailing very fast downwind with one reef. I really like these conditions.”

The pair are only three miles apart in terms of distance to the finish and are heading into lighter winds before conditions ramp up later on Friday.

SHARE THIS STORY
- See more at: http://www.thetransat.com/news/view/giant-trimarans-rampaging-at-the-head-of-the-transat-bakerly-fleet#sthash.GFrKw9LM.dpuf

Single Hander
05-04-2016, 02:34 PM
Loick is definitely sailing his own race!

Photoboy
05-05-2016, 11:50 AM
http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/43331784194366801170.jpg


05.05.2016

Thomas Coville came within less than 10 miles of setting a new solo 24-hour distance world record

Thomas Coville, the hugely experienced skipper of the giant trimaran Sodebo, came within less than 10 miles of setting a new solo 24-hour distance record today as he raced on day three of The Transat bakerly.

The Frenchman had no concern for the record – which currently stands at 682 nautical miles - but was intent only on pushing his multihull as fast as he dared in his duel with his main rival in the Ultime class, Francois Gabart on board Macif.

However in the 24 hours to 03.00 BST today, Coville travelled 673 miles, just nine miles short of the mark set by his fellow French skipper Armel le Cleac’h on board the trimaran Banque Populaire VII in 2014.

Sodebo and Macif are currently about 550 miles due south of Horta in the Azores and sailing a classic tradewind route across the Atlantic on their way from Plymouth to New York. For much of the race the two skippers have been in sight of each other but are now about 40 miles apart on a north-south axis, with Coville just ahead.

“To be honest I was not concentrating on the record at all,” said Coville after being notified of his near-miss with the record-books, as his boat continued its remarkable westward progress. “I was really concentrating on running as well as possible and pushing hard to stay with Francois.

“It’s funny that this happened during a race and it’s nice to hear – it means that we have been pushing hard and it’s good,” he added. “I am not really surprised by the speed I have been going – I am used to that. What I am very happy about, and amazed by, is the competition against Francois.

“We are close. Francois is faster in medium wind and light wind because his boat is new and lighter, but in stronger wind and reaching I think Sodebo is a fantastic boat. It’s amazing to be crossing the Atlantic in a race like this and be so close to each other. Yesterday was one of my best days ever racing multihulls – for sure.”

Looking at the routing ahead, when the two skippers will have to climb to the west-northwest, as they close on New York for the finish, Coville said he will be off the wind for much of the time but warned that New York is where Atlantic depressions form and things could change. “It depends what kind of low is being formed when we arrive,” he said.

In the meantime Sodebo is in perfect shape. “I’ve been cleaning a few things – like my wet underwear – and today has been about recovery, so I have been eating and sleeping for a few hours which is fantastic,” said Coville.

Several hundred miles north of the Ultime battle, the three other fleets in The Transat bakerly – the IMOCA 60s, Class40s and Multi50s - are preparing for the onslaught of an Atlantic depression which is set to hit them tomorrow night and then dominate their first weekend at sea.

The now nine-strong Class40 race is still being led by Thibaut Vauchel-Camus on Solidaires en Peloton-Arsep, while the four remaining Multi50s are being led by Lalou Roucayrol on Arkema.

The remarkable feature of the IMOCA race has been the performance of Vincent Riou on PRB. The former Vendée Globe solo round-the-world race winner has managed to either lead or hold second place despite racing a conventional boat against two foilers.

At present Riou is around 10 miles astern of the class leader, the aforementioned Armel Le Cleac’h on the foiling Banque Populaire VIII, and six miles ahead of Jean-Pierre Dick on the foiling St Michel-Virbac. Riou’s performance offers a fascinating insight into how the foiling IMOCAs and non-foilers will compare in this year’s Vendée Globe solo round-the-world race.


http://www.thetransat.com

Photoboy
05-06-2016, 10:31 AM
http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/90970841646670988802.jpg


06.05.2016

With an average speed of 25 knots, the Ultimes take it in turns to swallow up the lead

With 2,000 nautical miles sailed from Plymouth in under four days and 2,000 to go to New York, two of the world’s greatest solo sailors are still locked in a dual in The Transat bakerly this morning.

After a breathtaking dash south from Britain’s Ocean City to hunt down favourable west-going tradewinds, the giant trimarans Sodebo skippered by Thomas Coville and Macif skippered by his fellow Frenchman Fracois Gabart, are now positioned roughly halfway between the coast of Western Sahara and Florida.

With an average speed of 25 knots, the pair take it in turns to swallow up the lead as they go toe-to-toe in a route that has looked has looked more typical of a race to the Caribbean than to New York.

“After racing such a distance, our difference is ridiculous. It’s awesome! We wanted to get some competition, and it has delivered,” enthused Gabart speaking early this morning on the satellite phone.

Coville was thinking about a different sport altogether to help race followers understand the remarkable route he and Gabart have sailed. “To explain the strategy we have used in this race, you should interview Florian Rousseau, the greatest track cyclist of all time. He could tell you about the advantage of moving towards the outside of the track to take advantage of a slope. For us in this case we have moved (south) for a little more wind,” he said. “For us the route is long, but ultimately what matters is the intensity and effort that you put into everything on board that brings it all together.”

Coville and Gabart are not the only duo locking horns in the Transat bakerly. North of the Azores, Armel Le Cléac’h aboard Banque Populaire, and Vincent Riou aboard PRB, are enjoying their own battle.

Overnight both skippers began heading north, as they brace themselves for the first big phase of rough weather in the race. Later today they will be bashing into severe gale force headwinds as they tackle a classic east-going Atlantic depression.

In the Multi50 fleet, the class leader Lalou Roucayrol aboard Arkema is making slow progress as he begins to contend with the southern edge of the weather system. Heading south to avoid the depression, his rivals Gilles Lamiré aboard French Tech Rennes St Malo and Erik Nigon on Vers un Monde Sans Sida, are still enjoying a downwind sleigh ride before shifting their thoughts to the challenges ahead.

“Usually we expect the weather depressions in the early days of the race, but after five days in the trade winds, I am keeping an eye on the system that is slowly advancing towards the north of Spain, and I need to think about heading west,” commented Nigon.

“As I came down to Finisterre quickly, I will have to pass underneath the depression, and therefore expect headwinds while I am in the Azores of around 30 knots, gusting 40. This is serious but the boat is ready and I am rested.”

On French Tech Rennes St Malo, Lamire was in good spirits. “It’s going well, the boat and man are going well,” he said. “This wind is beginning to ease, we are still under gennaker but this time with a large mainsail. The boat is going well, I still have 14 knots of wind and the sea is beginning to flatten. Soon we will see the start of the depression, but I should not suffer too much.

“The first part of the race was pretty hard, especially at Cape Finisterre. I have not slept much since leaving, only last night to recharge my batteries. Before that I was only sleeping at small intervals as it was too hot. The first two days I hardly slept - one to two hours in 24 hours.”

Less than 50 nautical miles separates the top five in the nine-strong Class 40 fleet with Armel Tripon aboard Blackpepper paving the way. For the smallest boats in the fleet, their biggest challenge is yet to come, as Thibaut Vauchel-Camus aboard Solidaires en Peloton – ARSEP commented: “I’m pretty happy with my position in the north, although in hindsight I could have made that choice a few hours earlier, to position myself more in the west.

“The conditions have been cool and calm today, allowing me to make checks on the boat ahead of the depression that will tenderly greet the fleet late tomorrow afternoon…

“Everything is great onboard, British Pilot whales have been playing games along side the boat - the largest member of the dolphin family. It is the calm before the storm it seems.”

The class rankings at 0800 BST - updated every four hours.


http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/41082057671535556206.jpg


Tracker (http://preprod-player.georacing.com/?server=Prod&event=100297&race=92841&name=The+Transat+Bakerly)

Ultimes

1. François Gabart (Macif), 1986.5nm to the finish

2. Thomas Coville (Sodebo), 41.17nm to the leader

3. Yves Le Blevec (Actual), 74.26nm to the leader

IMOCA

1. Armel Le Cléac’h (Banque Populaire), 2120nm to the finish

2. Vincent Riou (PRB), 17.13nm to the leader

3. Jean-Pierre Dick (St-Michel Virbac), 39.72nm to the leader

MULTI50

1. Lalou Roucayrol (Arkema), 2,150.8nm to the finish

2. Gilles Lamiré (French Tech - Rennes St Malo), 128.78nm to the leader

3. Erik Nigon (Vers un monde sans SIDA), 172.03nm to the leader

CLASS40

1. Armel Tripon (Blackpepper / Les P’tits doudous par Moulin Roty), 2,388.5nm to the finish

2. Thibault Vauchel-Camus (Solidaires en Peloton - ARSEP), 21.69nm to the leader

3. Louis Duc (Carac) 24.62nm to the leader

SHARE THIS STORY
- See more at: http://www.thetransat.com/news/view/a-breathtaking-show-as-the-battle-of-the-giants-continues-in-the-transat-ba#sthash.x0lp6LjU.DanlFTQF.dpuf

Photoboy
05-07-2016, 11:12 AM
http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/54145022906906875552.jpg


07.05.2016

The Transat bakerly skippers last night faced their toughest and roughest night of the 3,050-mile race yet.

While this week’s news has been all about the Ibiza temperatures set to scorch the UK this weekend, The Transat bakerly skippers last night faced their toughest and roughest night of the 3,050-mile race yet.

Between early evening on Friday and the early hours of this morning, the fleet was shaken by a deep depression sweeping across the Atlantic. Braving 35 to 45 knots of wind, gusting 50 knots overnight, the fleet has come through the other side with no major casualties to report.

Starting to feel the affects of the low pressure at around 1600pm yesterday, the storm peaked at 0300 this morning, with conditions now easing off a little as the centre of the system continues southeast.

The nine Class40 monohulls remaining in the race were left most exposed to the storm. Not fast enough to outrun it, eight of nine boats held tight their northerly route, making the most of the following winds in that sector of the system.

The class was being led by Britain’s Phil Sharp on Imerys this morning with the previous leader Thibaut Vauchel-Camus on Solidaires en Peloton-ARSEP, dropping back to third, 17 miles behind.

A big winner in the storm is one of the only two women in the class – and in the entire Transat bakerly fleet – Isabelle Joschke on Generali-Horizon Mixite - who has climbed from fifth to second place, just seven miles behind Sharp.




http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/60891428919019445908.jpg

Tracker (http://preprod-player.georacing.com/?server=Prod&event=100297&race=92841&name=The+Transat+Bakerly)


Contacted by satellite phone early this morning, Vauchel-Camus reported: “I’m still in the remnants of the gale, there are still gusts of up to 35 knots, and I saw 56 knots on the anemometer last night. I made it through the night with two reefs in my sail and saw a top boatspeed of 27 knots. We had winds of up to 45 knots and gusting 55. It was a complicated and sleepless night on board. Today I need to rest and try to dry everything out – it’s time for a cheese fondue!”

The most southerly boat in the Class40 fleet, Armel Tripon on Black Pepper found himself in the direct path of the storm and made a dramatic dive south towards the Azores to avoid the worst of the weather, reporting that he has some unspecified breakages on board. For Tripon the depression has been a big setback, dropping him from disputing the lead to seventh place, 185 miles behind the leader. “I had to flee,” he explained this morning. “I’m heading south.”

At the front of the fleet, the Ultimes continue their magic carpet ride towards the finish in New York, now with just 1,500 miles to go. Having reached the most southerly point of their course, class leaders Francois Gabart on Macif and Thomas Coville on Sodebo have begun a physical series of gybes in a southeast wind of around 20 knots – each gybe taking up to an hour to execute aboard their giant ocean racing machines.

Speaking this morning, Gabart said he was hoping to reach the finish in a total time of under eight days. “It’s going pretty well, we went around the depression. It’s been a good 48 hours and the conditions have been ideal. Now we look towards New York, we’re finally on the road to Manhatten. It won’t be straightforward, but we are looking at an ETA of early morning on Tuesday and I’m still in crocs and shorts!”

In the wake of the Ultimes, the Multi50 leader Lalou Roucayrol on Arkema felt the full force of the depression while the chasing boats further south - Gilles Lamiré on board French Tech Rennes St-Malo and Erik Nigon, on Vers un Monde sans Sida - stayed clear of the depression.

The IMOCA 60 front-runners Armel Le Cléac’h (Banque Populaire) and Vincent Riou (PRB) also faced a challenging night but are now in a lighter patch and only 250 miles southeast of the eastern edge of the ice exclusion zone. This will force the two skippers, locked together in a fascinating battle every bit as compelling as that between Gabart and Coville, to head more southwest to keep clear of the zone’s southern edge.

Paul Meilhat, Louis Duc, Isabelle Joschke, Phil Sharp, Thomas Coville

Paul Meilhat/SMA

Hello everyone

I did not write before because it has been impossible to type on a keyboard for the last 24 hours. The worst of the weather is now behind us, but there are still 24 hours to go with winds up to 30 knots. Last night the wind was up around 35 knots. Since yesterday evening I have had two reefs int he mainsail an have been under J3 since the middle of the night.

The sailing has been uncomfortable, because the wind has shifted to the northwest and we are going head on into waves. Conditions will improve significantly by tomorrow as we continue on the southerly route which is fast, but definitely the long way round to New York.

Phil Sharp/Imerys

It was very windy, it was very windy indeed. The motion was very uncomfortable, it was really windy and the boat was ploughing into massive waves coming head on - it was pretty stressful and I didn’t get any rest until it eased off a little at 0300am this morning. I was already tired, but I think I was running on adrenaline most of the night.

The wind has eased off a little bit and I’ve got a little bit more sail up now. There’s still about 30 knots blowing and there’s still quite a lot of big sea as well. So it’s still pretty uncomfortable.

In terms of wind speed I saw over 50 knots at one point and it came in so quickly. I got caught with my main sail up and I had to head into the wind and try and becalm the boat a little while I put some reefs in and start downwind again. It just came in so quickly.

It was howling outside, I had the boat on pilot with a few reefs in the sail and the storm jib up and went down below. I’ve come out today and it’s still pretty dangerous on deck. I came out to drive this morning, but I put the pilot back on because it’s still pretty big waves and quite hairy out there.

I’m very happy with my position, but there’s a long way to go. A lot can happen between now and the finish. The important thing for me is to be up there with the front runners. It’s really great to be able to see Class40s around, despite the size of the Atlantic we are mostly relatively close. It’s good to be able pace ourselves off each other, with also means you’re constantly pushing harder and harder trying to beat the other boat. Not only that, but it’s nice to see other sailors around you, you can take a bit of comfort from that, we’re all dealing with the same challenges and weather.

I’m also thinking about Armel Tripon, he was at the front of the class and I saw him take a dive down south, so I hope he’s ok.

Louis Duc/Carac

Everything is fine, one might even say it’s like being on holiday - the sun is out!! It is still blowing 30/35 knots outside and I spent the night with three reefs in my main sail. The doors have been closed to keep down below dry, but it’s now almost too hot down there. Last night was uncomfortable, gusty and bumpy. The wind was around 40 to 45 knots and gusting 50, the boat was tumbling along at over 20 knots. Inside it was bouncy as the boat jumped the waves, but I was able to rest. I wanted to write an email but I was unable to put my fingers on the right keys (it’s not that easy for me when I’m not in the middle of a storm) Nothing is broken, I’m letting out the sail gradually.

Isabelle Joschke/Generali - Horizon Mixité

Last night it was amazing. We passed north of the centre of the depression and the wind shifted to the southwest and we 45 to 50 knots, and many times 50 to 60 knots. The boat handled it well and was very fast. I was inside, wondering what was going to happen, what I could do if the boat broached out and whether it could handle that. In the surf there was a crazy noise. Everything was great. It was pretty stressful, but crazy fun too. I had never sailed in conditions like this, in as much wind. The boat reached speeds of 25 knots, my top speed. It was an experience.

This morning I really felt part of The Transat bakerly, it was like I was reliving my first Mini Transat. I feel so full of adventure as I don’t properly know the Class40, how it handles manoeuvres - I often wonder how things are going to turn out. It uses a lot of energy to sail it and it is really physical. But it’s really fun and I’ll say that during the storm, I felt happy with myself and my performance. I’m back in the game and although it’s exhausting, I’m doing well and I want to keep it that way.

Thomas Coville/Sodebo

The night was fairly quiet and easy, the sea is flat and it’s windy - it’s bliss. I admit that when we started from Plymouth, I did not expect to be racing a transatlantic race that resembles the Route de la Découverte. Over the next and last four days of racing, we have so many things to still see and do. At some point we will come off of the high and will be reaching hard with hopefully some top boat speeds. After that, the area is looking more complex and the files aren’t telling me too much. The arrival in New York is a low pressure area and unlike the Route de Rhum, we don’t know much about the finish. To be honest, without going into it too much, there are a few routes we could take.

Otherwise, I’m managing well onboard. I try to snack before and after every manoeuvre. It’s often in 25/30 knots and in your head you want to stay committed and always driving the boat forward, but the pilot works well too. I have an onboard routine and I’m going into the next four days feeling well rested.

SHARE THIS STORY

- See more at: http://www.thetransat.com/

Photoboy
05-08-2016, 09:03 AM
http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/18651382639059771608.jpg

Tacker (http://preprod-player.georacing.com/?server=Prod&event=100297&race=92841&name=The+Transat+Bakerly)

08.05.2016

The skippers in the south in shorts and T-shirts and zipping across the ocean, while in the north they are still being thrown about the boat

Approaching the end of the sixth day at sea, The Transat bakerly from Plymouth to New York is still led by the Ultime Macif, skippered by Francois Gabart. A brand new 100ft trimaran, Macif is lightweight and built for speed.

Averaging 5-6 knots faster in the lighter weather than Thomas Coville on the heavier Sodebo, this morning Gabart leads by 165 miles with just over 1,000 miles to New York – the flat and fast conditions on the western side of the Azores High playing to Macif’s strengths.

Yves Le Blevec aboard the third Ultime, Team Actual, now more than 300 miles behind Macif, is taking his first solo race in the class in his stride, enjoying watching the intense battle to the Big Apple unfurl ahead of him.

Today the Ultimes continue on their ascent to New York, with the leader expected to arrive early on Wednesday 11th May.

Tailing the Ultime fleet in the south are the Multi50s French Tech Rennes St Malo skippered by Gilles Lamiré and Vers un Monde Sans Sida sailed by Erik Nigon. Benefitting from less hostile conditions in the south, Lamiré now leads the Multi50s by 100 miles, taking the initiative from Lalou Roucayrol on Arkema.

Further north, Roucayrol and the majority of the monohull fleet are sailing a very different race – the skippers in the south in shorts and T-shirts and zipping across the ocean, while those in the north are still being thrown around in the aftermath of the depression that swept the fleet on Friday and Saturday.



http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/41913084161068362945.jpg

Now that the storm-force winds have abated, it is the sea-state that is the problem. “These last 48 hours have been painful, extremely painful,” said Roucayrol who is fighting to stay in contention. “There has not been so much wind, but the sea-state is really holding us up. We have to slow down.

“I have no problems on board, but I can only just about eat and I’ve had little sleep. Gilles (Lamiré) and I have different strategies and we making our own way to New York. Gilles is on a calmer express highway today, but the games goes on and there’s more weather to come. It will be a complicated race right to the end.”

The Multi50 fleet is expected to arrive in New York around the 13th and 14th May.

In the IMOCA 60 Class, Armel Le Cléac’h (Banque Populaire) has extended his lead on the five-boat fleet, now 40 miles ahead of chasing Vincent Riou on PRB. Le Cleac’h and Riou are continuing to sail on a southwesterly heading parallel with, and about 200 miles south of, the southern limit of the official Ice Exclusion Zone.

“This edition of the race is all about weather transitions,” Le Cléac’h explained via email as he too tackled the light winds that have followed the depression. “We had a pretty tricky passage where the wind swung round from the southeast to northwest in the space of two miles. The sea-state was chaotic. We went from starboard tack under gennaker to port tack under staysail. That is physical on these boats. The wind has been quite unstable.

“I’ve managed to get a few miles on the fleet, but Vincent is still clinging on. It’s going to be a complicated race until the end – it is tough,” added Le Cleac’h. The first IMOCA 60 is expected in New York on 14th May.

In the Class40s, Armel Tripon (Black Pepper) has decided to put into Horta in the Azores following damage aboard his boat. As the worst of the low pressure hit, Tripon took a dramatic dive south, fleeing the storm. The skipper has spent the last 24 hours trying to rectify what he had hoped would be minor issues - aerial problems, a torn sail and power charging issues - but has today decided he needs to stop.

At the front of the Class40 fleet, the battle still rages between Isabelle Joschke (Generali-Horizon Mixité), Thibaut Vauchel-Camus (Solidaires un Peloton–ARSEP) and British skipper Phil Sharp (Imerys).

While Sharp is the nominal leader, the British skipper still has to carry out a six hour stop-go time penalty that will put him out of the running for a time, leaving Joschke and Vauchel-Camus to fight for the top spot. Talking from the boat this morning, Vauchel-Camus joked that there is no shortage of salt on board right now!

The first Class40 should arrive in New York on the 19th May.


http://www.thetransat.com/

Photoboy
05-09-2016, 09:31 AM
http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/92639750290179100139.jpg


The current routing is showing Gabart’s estimated time of arrival as tomorrow at 1300 EDT (1800 BST)

The Transat bakerly from Plymouth to New York is in its final stages for Macif skipper François Gabart who is now just 450nm away from the finish line. The current routing is showing Gabart’s estimated time of arrival as tomorrow at 1300 EDT (1800 BST).

Now well into his seventh day of racing, Gabart is 126 miles away from his closest rival Thomas Coville aboard Sodebo, and 473 miles ahead of the third Ultime Actual, skippered by Yves Le Blevec.

Gliding towards the Big Apple at around 20 knots, the 33-year-old skipper looks set to break The Transat bakerly race record tomorrow. Gabart’s mentor and friend, Michel Desjoyeaux, currently holds the record after sailing the ORMA trimaran Géant from Plymouth to Boston in 2004, in a time of eight hours, eight days and 29 minutes.

Although sailing towards a different finish line, this year’s edition of The Transat bakerly to New York is in fact longer than the record-setting course to Boston. If Gabart can finish before 1730pm local time tomorrow, the record is his.

However, although closing on a first solo win in his magnificent new racing machine, there are still 450nm to go. Speaking briefly via sat phone this morning, Gabart was keen not to tempt fate, well aware that a small mistake or a breakage could yet be his undoing. He was also not underestimating Coville, saying he expects a furious fight to the finish.

For the other classes in the fleet, the New York City skyline is over 1,000 miles away. This morning, Armel Le Cléac’h (Banque Populaire) continues to lead the IMOCA 60 fleet by 37 miles, with Vincent Riou on PRB still hot on his stern.

http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/23428901279696851512.jpg

Tracker (http://preprod-player.georacing.com/?server=Prod&event=100297&race=92841&name=The+Transat+Bakerly)




After a week of racing at breakneck speed, followed by a rough and uncomfortable weekend, Le Cléac’h is enjoying a little respite in lighter airs this morning.

“The conditions are much calmer,” he reported.“I’m taking advantage of not having the boat so heeled over. I can stand up normally to eat and I’ve been able to dry out a little.

“It’s been damp on board since the start and we’ve not had much time to rest and regroup. The race is still very much in full force and I’m always watching my friends behind. Vincent (Riou) is always close and, in the lighter wind conditions, I do not feel comfortable. Adding to that pressure is Jean–Pierre (Dick on St Michel-Virbac in third place). The race to the finish is set. We’re only lacking Jojo!” (Sébastien Josse on Edmond de Rothschild who retired early in the race with broken mainsail battens).

In the four-boat Multi50 class, Gilles Lamiré (Frenchtech Rennes St Malo) still leads the fight with an advantage of 193 miles between him and the chasing Lalou Roucayrol (Arkema).

Thibaut Vauchel-Camus (Solidaires en Peloton–Arsep) still leads the nine-boat Class40 fleet, locked in battle with Isabelle Joschke (Generali–Horizon Mixité) just four miles behind.

After carrying out a six-hour stop-go time penalty yesterday, British skipper Phil Sharp is now back in the race on Imerys and is holding onto third place and only 23 miles behind the leader. With at least eight days of racing still ahead of him, Sharp has by no means given up hope of regaining the top spot in the class.

“I’m determined to make up the miles and I’ll be seeking every advantage possible,” he said. “There are several compression zones in the weather between now and the finish, so I hope I can take advantage of these, and try and get back in front before New York. It’s a hell of a long race - we still have another 2,000 miles to go - so anything can happen!”


http://www.thetransat.com/

Prince of Whales
05-09-2016, 10:24 AM
An amazing pace. Hope he crushes the record and kills it in the Vendee!

Photoboy
05-09-2016, 03:22 PM
http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/39887575032750050479.jpg

09.05.2016

Alone and by some way the most easterly and most northerly boat, Loick Peyron is ploughing on on board Eric Tabarly’s old ketch Pen Duick II

He can’t see the skyline yet but the French solo sailing superstar Francois Gabart is now closing in on the finish of The Transat bakerly in New York where line honours, an Ultime class win and a race record await him.

This afternoon the 33-year-old skipper of the state-of-the-art 100ft trimaran Macif was just 377 nautical miles southeast of the finish and gliding along in light airs with an ETA at the line of 17.00hrs UK time tomorrow.

Gabart’s nearest pursuer – Thomas Coville on Sodebo – was 122 miles behind with the third boat in the class, Actual, skippered by Yves Le Blevec, another 345 miles astern.

Back in the mid-Atlantic, the battle for glory in the highly competitive Class40 monohull class is still raging as the leading boats make their way across an area of light winds, south of the official Ice Exclusion Zone.

The two leading boats are locked together about four miles apart and with almost the same figure - 1,612 - in the “miles to go” read-out on their GPS plotters. The more southerly of the two boats is the nominal leader, Thibaut Vauchel-Camus on Solidaires en Peloton-Arsep while the one to the north is Generali-Horizon Mixite, skippered by Isabelle Joschke, one of only two women in The Transat bakerly this year.

The remarkable story in Class40s, however, is that of Britain’s Phil Sharp in third place on Imerys who was forced to take a six-hour stop-go time penalty on Sunday that dropped him from leading to 46 miles adrift of the other two boats. But Sharp has been working hard to make up the deficit and is now only 12.6 miles behind Vauchel-Camus.

The Briton used his time well when he was hove-to, as he reported this afternoon. “I’m massively pleased to find out I’ve caught up by over 30 miles since last night,” he said. “Sitting like a duck while I lost first place was obviously quite a painful process, but I just made the most of the time to improve the performance of my boat and had ‘engineering time.’ I spent the entire six hours making fixes.”

Among the tasks he carried out was fixing a loose pin in one his boat’s rudders, mending his spinnaker pole and sorting out problems with the boat’s hydro-generator. Now Sharp will be looking to take different options to the leaders as he plans a route back to the front. “When you’re behind, I think it’s really important to continually seek any advantage possible and look for alternative routes, using transition zones (in the weather) to make gains,” he added.

In the IMOCA 60 class Armel Le Cleac’h on Banque Populaire now has a little more breathing space over his nearest rival, Vincent Riou on PRB who is 66 miles astern of him with Jean-Pierre Dick’s St-Michel Virbac 150 miles back in third place.

In the Multi50s, the huge spread in the leaders continues with Gilles Lamire on French Tech Rennes St Malo still holding the initiative in the deep south over Lalou Roucayrol on Arkema in the north. But Roucayrol - who is following the track of the leading IMOCA 60s - has been finding more breeze than his southerly rival and has now cut his deficit on Lamire from 224 miles to 160.

Meanwhile, alone and by some way the most easterly and most northerly boat, Loick Peyron is ploughing on on board Eric Tabarly’s old ketch Pen Duick II that he is sailing alongside the race in tribute to the great master of French offshore sailing.

Peyron is a born racer and has been comparing his relative performance in the same boat, and in the same trim, to that of Tabarly when he sailed to victory in The Transat – then known as the OSTAR – in 1964. Peyron is currently about 175 miles ahead of Tabarly’s equivalent position and 270 miles southeast of him as he pushes the old boat along on starboard tack in a bitterly cold northerly gale. At a position about 800 miles west, northwest of Cape Finisterre, he still has 2,053 miles to sail on a direct route to New York.

“There’s either a little or a lot and we had a storm for two days,” reported Peyron. “There is a lot of wind and it’s pretty wet. My proud ship is made of wood and wood works, but it leaks a bit everywhere.

“I hope that the coming days will be a little better, but otherwise it’s really good, the pace is quiet. I have no news from the outside world. Of course I’m a bit alone, but that was the idea of this voyage - it’s good and I have started my fourth book.

“Gales have been quite difficult to handle, but all is well,” he added. “It’s true that I’m a little bit ahead of my wonderful predecessor. Initially I did not want to compare my journey to his, but it was inevitable once the game began. Every lunchtime, I look at his position in his log book.

“On board it’s more comfortable than on one of the boats speeding to New York, even if it’s not at all in terms of the ergonomics. It leaks everywhere and there is water in every corner. The boat is wet, but the spray comes over the top a lot slower! It’s quite tolerable and there is a lot less stress onboard.

“I’m learning the limits of the boat. She has not sailed in conditions as violent as these, and she’s creaking all the time - but stands firm! It really is a pleasure to be here.”

- See more at: http://www.thetransat.com/news/view/the-endgame-for-macif-as-loick-ploughs-on-through-a-cold-northerly-gale#sthash.Dm93zlTZ.dpuf

Photoboy
05-10-2016, 10:33 AM
http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/35013256788657489416.jpg

1656 EDT - 2056 GMT - 2156 BST - 2256 CET

With 143nm between MACIF and New York, Francois Gabart is expected across the finish line at 1656 EDT/2156 BST/2256 CET this evening.

Gabart looks set to take line honours, class honours and if he can arrive before 1730 local time, The Transat bakerly race record - currently standing at eight days, eight hours and 29 minutes! Keep tracking!

Previous Post:


0.05.2016

The Frenchman’s ETA currently forecast for around 21:00 BST (16:00 EDT) this evening.

François Gabart has enjoyed a magic carpet downwind ride across the Atlantic in The Transat bakerly, but his progress to the race finish at New York has been slowed somewhat as he encounters light airs crossing the Gulf Stream.

This morning Macif, Gabart’s giant blue white and yellow trimaran, is just over 200 nautical miles from the finish line with the Frenchman’s ETA currently forecast for around 21:00 BST (16:00 EDT) this evening.

Speaking via satellite phone this morning, Gabart confirmed that the home straight will not be easy: “I’ve spent the last few hours with not very much wind. I’m still a little way off the finish line. The arrival in New York will be difficult, and that is the least I can say,” he said.

The light and fickle conditions have once again thrown the game wide open. Although Thomas Coville on Sodebo is still 64 miles behind Macif, under current conditions, anything could happen. Today the skippers continue to face a prolonged spell of light airs that could rock the rankings.

Behind the Ultimes, Gilles Lamiré (French Tech Rennes St Malo) still leads the Multi50 fleet, 227 miles ahead of Lalou Roucayrol aboard Arkema. The Multi50s are also feeling the effect of the lighter conditions, currently sailing at around 6 knots.

“This is a great race, I am really enjoying it,” said Lamire this morning, who is delighted that his choice of a more southerly route than Roucayrol is paying off. “I am trying to concentrate on what I am doing and I apply myself, because it’s hard. I tell myself that if I do everything right, it will continue.

“I am very happy with my trajectory,” he added. “The choice of this southern route has been carefully thought out, it was not obvious at first. But I thought the best route in the north would not avoid the (Ice Exclusion Zone) and the routing looked a little optimistic to me. But it’s true that I did not expect to be enjoying my deckchair in the sun, downwind and south of Azores – it’s amazing!”

At the head of the IMOCA 60 class, the top three boats Banque Populaire, PRB and St Michel-Virbac remain as tight as ever as they race past the western edge of the Ice Exclusion Zone, about 450 miles southeast of Prince Edward Island in Nova Scotia. With 934 miles to the finish, Armel Le Cléac’h on Banque Populaire still leads Riou by 32 miles.

In the Class40 race, the fleet is split between seven skippers following in the wake of the IMOCA 60s heading towards the Ice Exclusion zone, and Louis Duc (Carac), going it alone behind Arkema, 445 miles south of them.

Duc’s decision seems to be paying off for the moment, sailing at nine knots, compared to an average five knots by the northernmost boats who are running out of sea room up against the restricted zone. Currently Carac lies fifth overall, 75 miles behind the leaders.

But the battle in the north continues to rage with Isabelle Joschke (Generali-Horizon Mixité) now ahead of Thibaut Vauchel-Camus (Solidaires en Peloton-Arsep) by just three miles. British skipper Phil Sharp on Imerys is still third, 28 miles behind Joschke.

http://www.thetransat.com/news/

El Capitan
05-10-2016, 12:07 PM
Just looked at the tracker, and Sodebo is closing in fast.

Photoboy
05-10-2016, 12:36 PM
http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/29691117057891463316.jpg


10.05.2016

Disappointment for Tripon on Black Pepper

Between early evening on Friday 6th May and the early hours of Saturday morning, The Transat bakerly fleet was shaken by a deep depression that swept across the Atlantic.

At the time, Armel Tripon on Black Pepper found himself in the direct path of the storm and made a dramatic dive south towards the Azores to avoid the worst of the weather, reporting that he had some breakages on board.

After making a stop in Horta in the Azores to assess the damage, Armel has made the difficult decision today to retire from The Transat bakerly. He explained:

“I arrived yesterday in Horta and I can not leave right away as I still has a few repairs to make. There lots of little damages that have built up and it means I have no choice but to stop.

“I am a competitor and to see my competition so far ahead is of no interest. It is a huge disappointment. When you engage in a race, you put a lot of energy and desire into it, and when everything crashes, it’s always hard.”

Elsewhere in the Class40 fleet, a battle is raging at the front, with Isabelle Joschke on Generali Horizon Mixite currently leading Thibaut Vauchel-Camus aboard Solidaires en Peloton – ARSEP by just 6.9nm, with British competitor Phil Sharp abaord Imerys 21.7nm behind Joschke

SHARE THIS STORY
- See more at: http://www.thetransat.com/news/view/armel-tripon-retires-from-the-transat-bakerly#sthash.pyIfjpU4.dpuf

Photoboy
05-10-2016, 04:47 PM
http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/48581740170773546704.jpg


0.05.2016

Macif, crosses The Transat bakerly finish line at 18:24 EDT (22:24 GMT) this evening off New York

Frenchman François Gabart on board his new 100ft trimaran Macif, crossed The Transat bakerly finish line at 18:24 EDT (22:24 GMT) this evening off New York, taking line honours in the Ultime class.

The finish time, recorded by the Sandy Hook Pilot Association boat, marks the first solo race win on Macif for the 33-year-old, who in 2013 became the youngest ever winner of the Vendée Globe solo round-the-world race. Gabart covered the official course distance of 3,050 nautical miles in 8 days, 8 hours, 54 minutes and 39 seconds.

(Michel Desjoyeaux, currently holds the record after sailing the ORMA trimaran Géant from Plymouth to Boston in 2004, in a time of eight hours, eight days and 29 minutes.)

Gabart actually sailed a total distance of 4,634 miles at an average speed of 23.11 knots in a remarkable voyage. Unusually for The Transat bakerly, it took him, and his close rival Thomas Coville on Sodebo, hundreds of miles south of the Azores into the tradewinds before sling-shoting northwest up to New York.

As Gabart crossed the line Coville was still some 118nm from the finish while the third-placed trimaran in the Ultime class – Actual skippered by Yves Le Blevec – was still 509.6nm away.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAabxysJFXo

More information, high res images and video footage to follow.

- See more at: http://www.thetransat.com/news/view/newsflash-gabart-takes-line-honours-in-the-transat-bakerly-2016#sthash.r2xfKtVw.dpuf

Big Brass Balls
05-10-2016, 07:00 PM
Nicely done!

Single Hander
05-10-2016, 11:06 PM
How one person can sail, efficiently, a boat that size, for days or weeks on end, is just amazing.

Me and my 24' boat find enough trouble in a 3 hour voyage!

Photoboy
05-11-2016, 09:51 AM
http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/19570417185541038567.jpg



Sodebo crossed the finish line at 09:02:02 BST

Thomas Coville, one of the great French solo sailors of recent times, became the second competitor to finish The Transat bakerly this morning when he bought his Ultime trimaran Sodebo to the finish at New York.

After a voyage from Plymouth of eight days, 18 hours and 32 minutes, the 48-year-old who has completed seven circumnavigations of the world plus numerous transatlantic races and record-setting voyages, finished just nine hours, 37 minutes and 23 second behind class winner Francois Gabart on Macif.

Coville’s giant multihull crossed the finish line in the dark off Sandy Hook at 09:02:02 BST, having travelled a total of 4656 miles through water at an average sped of 22.11 knots.

Coville put on an astonishing display of big boat solo racing as he matched Gabart for much of the voyage

Thomas Coville, one of the great French solo sailors of recent times, became the second competitor to finish The Transat bakerly this morning when he brought his Ultime trimaran, Sodebo, to the finish at New York.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVN2mnIDMfA


After a voyage from Plymouth of eight days, 18 hours and 32 minutes, the 48-year-old who has completed seven circumnavigations of the world plus numerous transatlantic races and record-setting voyages, finished just nine hours, 37 minutes and 23 second behind class winner Francois Gabart on Macif.

Coville’s giant multihull crossed the finish line in the dark off Sandy Hook at 09:02:02 BST, having travelled a total of 4,656 nautical miles through water at an average speed of 22.11 knots.

He may be the runner-up, but Coville put on an astonishing display of big boat solo racing as he matched Gabart for much of the voyage, despite sailing a heavier boat.

The two sailors raced either in sight of each other, or just a few miles apart, for hours on end as they swooped low into the tradewind belt south of the Azores looking for the fastest passage across the Atlantic.

Speaking at the finish Coville said he was delighted to have been involved in such a close contest with his younger rival. “It was a fantastic battle with François,” said a magnanimous Coville on the dock. “I think François is a fantastic and worthy winner.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDG_85vUFNI


“I’m competitive, so of course I’m disappointed not to win, but when you lose to a winner like François, and you have the chance to compete against such a great sailor, it’s also an achievement. You have to be honest and say, he was better and I’m very lucky to have raced against such a guy.”

Coville said he loved the great competition and the speed of the race, and being part of a major event in the early history of the Ultime class.


http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/94029330247405001566.jpg
Images © mark lloyd/lloyd images

“It’s the first time I think that a southerly route has been faster and safer,” he said. “The northern route was not an option for us. The south was an easier route as well; it was fast and we almost beat the race record, even sailing an extra 650nm, which really shows you how fast it was because we took a long, long route.

“Every race is different, sailing is such an unpredictable sport and that’s why I love it,” he added. “For a few years we have been dreaming about a race like this, solo across the Atlantic on Ultimes, and today I think our dreams are realised. I’m very happy to be a part of this new class history.”

On seeing the dramatic New York City skyline, Coville gave an insight into the contrast he had experienced. After being alone at sea for nearly nine days he was overwhelmed to find himself in the heart of one of the great cities of the world. “You have to imagine a man on board by himself and suddenly you just arrive into a city like New York where it’s crowded - there are helicopters, lots of traffic and tall buildings - it’s very emotional and you share that with all of your team. It’s a really nice destination; I think Plymouth to New York is a good idea,” he concluded.

As Coville finished, the third-placed competitor in the Ultime class, Yves Le Blevec on Actual, is 255 miles from the line.

Elsewhere in The Transat bakerly fleet, Isabelle Joschke has managed to establish a lead of six miles in the competitive Class40 battle. In second place British skipper Phil Sharp on Imerys, who celebrates his 35th birthday today, is now nine miles ahead of third-placed Thibaut Vauchel-Camus on Solidaires en Peloton-Arsep.

Also celebrating his birthday today is Armel Le Cléac’h who still leads the IMOCA 60 fleet, now well to the west of the Ice Exclusion Zone and about 280 miles southeast of the coast of Nova Scotia. Le Cleac’h on board Banque Populaire is 40 miles ahead of the chasing Vincent Riou on PRB and 154 miles ahead of Jean-Pierre Dick on St Michel-Virbac in third.

In the Multi50s, Gilles Lamiré on French Tech Rennes St Malo still holds his lead over the four-boat fleet and is now 235 miles ahead of rival Lalou Roucayrol aboard Arkema. Roucayrol is currently assessing his options after his boat hit an object in the water, damaging a daggerboard.

Just over 768 miles from the finish line, the Multi50s are expected to be the next class to hit the dock, on or around May 14th.

- See more at: http://www.thetransat.com/news/view/coville-makes-it-to-new-york-as-runner-up-in-the-ultime-class#sthash.OCDjM3Jy.dpuf

Prince of Whales
05-11-2016, 10:13 AM
So the IMOCA 60's turn around and race back to France in the NY- Vendee, do the Ultimes do likewise?

Buzz Light Beer
05-11-2016, 11:05 AM
Nothing organized that I can trace. Just another record attempt from NY to somewhere in Europe.

Then around the world solo attempt in November?

Photoboy
05-12-2016, 05:36 PM
http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/30682362489519798996.jpg

http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/44707472564390049699.jpg



The IMOCA 60 battle has been dominated by the duel between Armel Le Cleac’h on the foiler Banque Populaire and Vincent Riou aboard PRB

The IMOCA 60 battle in The Transat bakerly, now in its 11th day, has been dominated by the duel between Armel Le Cleac’h on the foiler Banque Populaire and Vincent Riou on the more conventional PRB.

For days now Le Cleac’h has managed to stay ahead of Riou but never quite shake him off. With 450 miles left to sail to the finish at New York, at a position around 200 miles south-southeast of the southern tip of Nova Scotia, Banque Populaire was this afternoon 63 miles ahead.

http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/53294136931769609942.jpg

Tracker (http://preprod-player.georacing.com/?server=Prod&event=100297&race=92841&name=The+Transat+Bakerly)

The two boats were sailing in a dying northwesterly and will then slow down during a light patch before the breeze picks up again from the south. For le Cleac’h this race was as much about competing as it was confirming his new boat’s durability for the upcoming Vendee Globe solo round-the-world race.

The Frenchman today reported that he is happy with what he has found. “With two days of racing left, I’m confident now that the boat is reliable which is a big step forward,” he said. “I’m happy with how it has handled and how it works on foils. We came into this (race) to gain experience of big weather and that is what we have had, with some room for rest. It’s been a useful experience and has put me in good stead for the Vendee Globe.”

If two-time Vendee runner-up Le Cleac’h does hold on for the win ahead of Riou, it will reverse the finishing positions of the boats when raced two-handed in the Autumn in the Transat Jacques Vabre when Riou and Seb Col brought PRB home ahead of Le Cleac’h and Erwan Tabarly on Banque Populaire.

In the Class40 fleet the battle at the front has made for compelling armchair viewing as the boats skirt the southern edge of the Ice Exclusion Zone, 750 miles astern of Le Cleac’h and co. The leader Isabelle Joschke on Generali-Horizon Mixite, took an interesting hitch to the north, heading straight for the ice zone, before tacking back – a move that has given her a faster angle of attack as the westerly airflow builds in strength.

In her first race in a Class40 monohull, Joschke is bidding to become the first female winner of a professional transatlantic race since Dame Ellen MacArthur won The Transat in 2000. This afternoon she has a lead of 23 miles over Britain’s Phil Sharp on Imerys with Thibaut Vauchel-Camus on Solidaires En Peloton-Arsep in third place, another nine miles back.

Sharp is anticipating a rough passage to the finish, still some 1,180 miles away. “I’ve started the long upwind slog,” he reported. “It’s seriously uncomfortable. Built for speed, not comfort, the boat slams and shudders on every wave. Only another 1,000 miles upwind – I’ll be pushing hard to get it done.”

The Class40 race winner has always looked as if he or she will come from the group led at various times by Joschke, Sharp and Vauchel-Camus but they all know that, 200 miles to the south of them, the hugely experienced campaigner Louis Duc on the oldest boat in the fleet, Carac, could yet play a winning hand.

“I think we will see the (relative) benefits of the northern or southern routes in the approach to the finish line,” Duc summarised today. Duc has been enjoying his race, particularly the endless variation in conditions that he has had to deal with and he has been enjoying the wildlife too. “Over the last few days I’ve had dolphins accompanying me. I’ve also seen whales, spouting water – that was pretty cool,” he said.

The Multi50 battle between Gilles Lamire on French Tech Rennes St Malo and Lalou Roucayrol on Arkema is still continuing, even if the two protagonists are 350 miles apart. But Lamire retains his edge with a lead of 241 miles and with only 566 miles left to sail to the finish line at Sandy Hook.

The next boat to cross that line in the early hours of tomorrow morning UK time, will be the third and final Ultime trimaran, Actual, skippered by Yves Le Blevec. With 11 miles to go and travelling at 16.6 knots the job was almost done and Le Blevec could reflect with satisfaction on his first big solo outing on an Ultime.

“I’ve not experienced the hellish conditions that I expected on this transatlantic, but I’m really happy with my first solo Ultime experience,” he said. “It’s been a really special race following all the effort it took to get to the start. At no time have I felt in trouble or at risk of damaging the boat – it’s been very satisfying.”

- See more at: http://www.thetransat.com/news/view/with-two-days-to-go-le-cleach-professes-himself-happy-with-his-foiler#sthash.Ponb6Vzg.dpuf

Photoboy
05-13-2016, 09:09 AM
http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/24275584159623033289.jpg


Joschke is currently assessing her options with her shore team in the north-Atlantic after she discovered structural damage to the bow area

The Franco-German sailor Isabelle Joschke is currently assessing her options with her shore team in the north-Atlantic after she discovered structural damage to the bow area of her Class40 yacht, Generali-Horizon Mixité.

Joschke, aged 39, had been leading the very close battle at the head of the Class40 fleet at a position about 630-nautical miles east, southeast of Nova Scotia but is now deciding where to head to, to make repairs.

http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/15688651143648422797.jpg

The boat was sailing on starboard tack in 30 knots of wind when Joschke heard strange noises coming from the portside bow area, forward of the main bulkhead.

On inspection, she discovered water coming into the sail locker and quickly rolled her staysail and turned the boat downwind, 180 degrees away from the race heading.

It seems the failure is a crack in the hull which means there is no chance that she can continue upwind to New York, still over 1,000 miles away. This is a bitter disappointment for Joschke who was sailing a remarkable race in her first outing on a Class 40.

“We are currently developing a strategy for Isabelle who is looking for more favorable weather conditions to minimise the water ingress and settle on a route to a destination that will save her boat - Isabelle is well,” summarised Joschke’s team leader Alain Gautier.

The main options for her are to try to head for Nova Scotia or perhaps head south, southeast towards the Azores which are about 1,000 miles away.

Joschke is the third Class40 skipper to sustain damage during the race after Maxime Sorel whose boat hit a containership and Armel Tripon who stopped in the Azores following a storm.

Among the seven remaining entries Edouard Golbery on Region Normandie in sixth place had to run off downwind while he worked to repair damage to his mainsail but he has now resumed his course to New York.

The class is now being led by Thibaut Vauchel-Camus on Solidaires en Peloton-Arsep who is just four miles ahead of Britain’s Phil Sharp on Imerys.

The next boat to reach the finish line off Sandy Hook is expected to be the longtime IMOCA 60 leader Banque Populaire, skippered by Armel Le Cléac’h. He currently has 220 miles to sail and is expected early tomorrow afternoon UK time.

SHARE THIS STORY
- See more at: http://www.thetransat.com/news/view/joschke-forced-out-by-damage-to-her-boat#sthash.PVrLyhuD.IMfrEp3P.dpuf

Photoboy
05-14-2016, 05:50 PM
http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/74185161745113267915.jpg

Tolkien relives his mid-Atlantic rescue

The British sailor Richard Tolkien today spoke about his dramatic rescue in the mid-Atlantic when he was picked up by a cargo ship after deciding to abandon his IMOCA 60, 44, in The Transat bakerly.

Tolkien, 61, from Lymington in Hampshire on the English south coast, was picked up by the cargo ship Anton Topic at a position about 880 nautical miles west of Horta in the Azores.

He had been sailing in last place in the IMOCA fleet in an old Finot-design from 1998 that was originally called Sodebo and sailed by Frenchman Thomas Coville. Tolkien took the difficult decision to abandon the boat - now called 44 after the UK dialing code - on Friday night and then made a perilous, but successful, transfer to the ship.

“I had had a sustained period of bad weather…and the wind had started to go down from 40 knots to 30,” he said on the satellite phone from the bridge of the Anton Topic this morning as it made its way towards Philadelphia. “I thought there was no trouble ahead and I was down below, looking forward to calmer conditions, when there was a large bang.

“The fitting holding the staysail stay to the deck had ruptured. By the time I got on deck the sail was flailing around. I turned the boat downwind and spent the next two hours trying to sort out the mess – it is very difficult on a boat of that size.

“I was hit in the face and then later again by a glancing blow to the side of the face by the furling drum at the bottom of the stay. On the second occasion there was a lot of blood on the deck and I went down into the cabin and realised I needed to call for assistance.

“I used the AIS (Automatic Identification System) to call up the nearest ship and the Anton Topic and its captain and crew were not too far away and came towards me and manoeuvred their ship alongside me. It was not easy at all and then I had to climb up the pilot ladder at the side of the ship and I only just made it, so it was very difficult.

“I had to leave the boat which has a tracker on it – not an easy situation - and I hope to rescue the boat. It was just a glancing blow – but if it had been a bit more full-on, then the outcome could have been very different,” Tolkien concluded.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nz3TACrUGw

When he got on board the Anton Topic he was treated by the ship’s medic who applied four stitches to his head wound. After a few hours sleep on board, Tolkien said he was happy that all his faculties were intact. “Apart from being tired and bit shocked, I’m OK,’ he said.

Tolkien set sail from Plymouth bound for New York with 25 other solo skippers on The Transat bakerly on May 2nd. A former civil servant and corporate financier, Tolkien is an experienced amateur ocean racer. He completed this race in 1992, finishing 6th in the monohull division after 17 days. In 2000 he entered the Vendée Globe solo round-the-world race but had to retire halfway down the Atlantic with sail damage. In 2010 he finished 33rd in the Route du Rhum Destination Guadeloupe.

At the start of this race Tolkien said his aim was not to beat the other boats in his class but to qualify for the Vendée and learn about his boat.

- See more at: http://www.thetransat.com/news/view/tolkien-relives-his-mid-atlantic-rescue#sthash.aVjKXBd4.dpuf

Photoboy
05-14-2016, 05:55 PM
http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/51134923024638027589.jpg


French sailor Armel Le Cleac’h crossed the finish line of The Transat bakerly off New York today at 11:27 local time.

French sailor Armel Le Cleac’h crossed the finish line of The Transat bakerly off New York today at 11:27 local time (16:27 BST), taking honours in the IMOCA 60 class.

Le Cleac’h, at the helm of the IMOCA 60 Banque Populaire, completed the 3,050-nautical mile course from Plymouth in 12 days, 2 hours and 28 minutes and 39 seconds. The final time includes a 31-minute time penalty for accidental breakage of the boats engine seal, which Le Cleac’h informed Race Direction about at 16:26 local time yesterday.

The two-time Vendée Globe runner-up had actually sailed a total of 3,751 miles through the water at an average speed of 12.91 knots. As he crossed the finish line waving in his moment of victory, Le Cleac’h’s main rival for honours in the IMOCA 60 class, Vincent Riou on PRB, was still 31 miles from the line, meaning that Le Cleac’h can be confident in his victory despite the penalty.

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

Le Cleac’h takes his first victory in the IMOCA 60 class for a decade

He is known as the Jackal in French sailing because of his relentless competitive zeal and Armel Le Cleac’h lived up to his name with an impressive win in the IMOCA 60 class of The Transat bakerly today – his first victory in the class in 10 years.

Le Cleac’h’s elegant blue and white monohull, Banque Populaire, with its trademark dark blue sails, crossed the finish line under clear blue skies off Sandy Hook at 11:27 local time – 16:27 CET.

The two-time Vendée Globe runner-up had completed the 3,050-nautical mile course from Plymouth in 12 days, 2 hours and 28 minutes and 39 seconds. His total time includes a 31-minute penalty for the accidental breakage of his boat’s engine seal. Le Cleac’h informed the Race Director about this at 16:26 local time yesterday.

The French skipper had sailed a total of 3,751 miles through the water at an average speed of 12.91 knots. As he crossed the finish line, waving in his moment of victory to his shore team on their coach boat, Le Cleac’h’s main rival for line honours in the IMOCA 60 class, Vincent Riou on PRB, was 31 miles out to sea.

Ever since day three, as the leading IMOCA’s surged westward after turning to starboard at Cape Finisterre, Le Cleac’h has kept Riou at bay and covered his every move.

This was a fascinating battle between the foiling Banque Populaire and the more conventional hull on PRB as two of the favourites for this year’s Vendée Globe went toe-to-toe. In the end, it was as Le Cleac’h was docking his boat at Brooklyn Bridge Park, that Riou was crossing the line, just 2 hours, 21 minutes and 32 seconds behind him.

Riou reported earlier today that 24 hours after the fleet set sail from Plymouth on 2nd May, he lost two of his sails overboard, which forced him to rethink his tactics and routing for the race.

The Transat bakerly showed us two things. One, that even without two of his most important sails Riou can mix it with the best of the foilers, and two, that Le Cleac’h has a boat that is robust enough to deal with a full Atlantic storm. Just two days ago he said this race had given him the confidence he needs in his new rocketship to take on the Vendée Globe in it.

Speaking at the dockside, Le Cleac’h said he was delighted to take his first win in the IMOCA 60 class for a decade.

“I am very happy,” he said. “Ten years ago I came into the IMOCA class and this is the first time I have won. I have finished second a lot of times – in the Vendée Globe, The Transat, the Transat Jacques Vabre and the Route du Rhum, so today is a new day for me. I now I hope to be the first in the Vendée Globe.”

He paid tribute to Riou: “Vincent is a very good competitor. He has won all the races over the last year and he was favourite at the start. It was a pleasure to do this transatlantic race, because every day I could see Vincent behind me, and I said to myself, ‘OK, this race is for me.’”

Asked about his new boat, Le Cleac’h commented: “The foiling boat is a good choice. Last year it was the first year with this boat and we had some little problems and we didn’t have good speed.

“But now, we make a statement. And I hope it is the best boat for the next Vendeé Globe and I that I proved it during this race. So I am very happy for me, for Banque Populaire and for this very nice boat.”

Behind Riou the third-placed IMOCA 60 is Jean-Pierre Dick’s St Michel-Virbac which is still 138 miles from New York and expected to arrive at midnight tonight. Then comes Paul Meilhat on SMA who has been using The Transat bakerly as a qualifier for the Vendée. He still has 343 miles to go to reach the finish.

Two other IMOCA 60 skippers have failed to complete the course. Seb Josse on Edmond de Rothschild, retired mid-way through day two after the battens in his mainsail were damaged during a gybe. And yesterday Britain’s Richard Tolkien was forced to abandon his yacht 44, 880 nautical miles west, southwest of Horta in the Azores. After struggling with technical issues and sustaining an injury to his head, Tolkien has been taken on board the cargo ship Anton Topic which is bound for Philadelphia.

In the four-boat Multi50 class, Gilles Lamiré (Frenchtech Rennes St Malo) is less than 30 miles from the finish line, and is expected to arrive by 17:30 local time this evening, with a 320-mile advantage over Lalou Roucayrol (Arkema).

Trading places at the top of the Class40 fleet are Thibaut Vauchel-Camus (Solidaires en Peloton–Arsep), and Phil Sharp (Imerys). Earlier today, Isabelle Joschke (Generali-Horizon Mixité) officially announced her retirement from The Transat bakerly, after discovering serious damage to her boat’s structure yesterday. She is now en route to Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon in Newfoundland.

SHARE THIS STORY
- See more at: http://www.thetransat.com/news/view/le-cleach-puts-a-marker-down-for-the-vendee-globe#sthash.Uj6l7aA5.dpuf

Photoboy
05-14-2016, 05:59 PM
http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/87576296478677159076.jpg

Lamire completes his first big win in professional sailing

The relatively unknown French sailor Gilles Lamire, stormed across the finish line of the Transat bakerly off New York this evening at 16:50 local time, to complete his first big win in professional sailing aboard French Tech Rennes St Malo.

The 45-year-old, who hails from the small Breton town of Cancale, ran away with the competitive Multi50 class, completing the 3,050-nautical mile course from Plymouth to New York in 12 days, 7 hours, 51 minutes and 17 seconds. The final time includes a 31-minute time penalty for accidental breakage of the boats engine sea.

He sailed 4,090 miles through the water at an average speed of 13.85 knots.

This was a resounding win for the French skipper whose nearest and better-known rival, Lalou Roucayrol on Arkema was still 350 miles out to sea, when the celebrations started on Lamire’s boat.

More news to follow

- See more at: http://www.thetransat.com/news/view/lamire-romps-home-to-claim-the-honours-in-the-multi50s#sthash.ABbbhFD9.dpuf

Photoboy
05-15-2016, 01:42 PM
http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/90777377984436355800.jpg


Peyron's nostalgic voyage from Plymouth to New York has come to an end following damage to the boat

Today Loïck Peyron, skipper of Pen Duick II, informed The Transat bakerly Race Management that his nostalgic voyage from Plymouth to New York had come to an end following damage to his staysail, that he can no longer use.

Peyron reported, “Unfortunately I can not continue into the wind, so for the moment I am proceeding to Quiberon (in France). Loïck.”

Strong winds and crashing waves have played havoc with The Transat bakerly racing fleet over recent days, and Peyron’s recently restored vintage wooden ketch is the latest boat to feel the wrath of the North Atlantic.

Sailing over 3,050nm “the old way” as a tribute to the achievements of double Transat winner Eric Tabarly and sailing legend Mike Birch, triple Transat winner Peyron will now divert to Quiberon l’Ecole Nationale de Voile (ENVSN) midway through his voyage.

This downwind delivery back to Quiberon, where Pen Duick II has been owned and used as part of the sailing school for nearly 50 years, should take the skipper around 10 days to complete.

- See more at: http://www.thetransat.com/news/view/loick-peyrons-tribute-to-tabarly-is-cut-short#sthash.shb5AcXy.dpuf

Photoboy
05-17-2016, 02:32 PM
http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/70467002076396605221.jpg


The next competitor expected to arrive in New York is Erik Nigon

Having reluctantly decided to end his attempt to sail to New York on board Pen Duick II, Loïck Peyron today spoke of his disappointment at not being able to complete his tribute voyage to Eric Tabarly and Mike Birch.

After almost two weeks at sea, sailing alongside the modern racing boats in The Transat bakerly fleet, Peyron was forced to turn round and head downwind to France on Sunday. The relentless upwind slog of the north-Atlantic had taken its toll on the old wooden ketch, damaging the headstays and making further upwind work impossible.

Speaking to The Transat bakerly organisers this morning, the legendary French skipper, who has won The Transat three times and also holds the non-stop, fully-crewed round-the-world record, admitted he was disappointed but said it was the right decision.

“It was unfortunate to have to turn around so far into the race, but it’s better for the boat,” Peyron explained. “It’s the way it had to be, but it’s disappointing.

“The voyage was fun until we hit the bad weather, and then it got a little difficult. The course was nice, but it was very windy and the sea-state was not fun. I return to France empty-handed, but the decision was not hard to make.”

A hugely popular and successful figure in world sailing and a national treasure in France, Peyron inspired a nation with his historic and nostalgic endeavour. Although he did not manage to follow Tabarly’s tracks all the way to New York, he did achieve what he set out to - shine a light on the legends of sailing’s past.

“My state of mind is good. Life goes on and there are others worse off than I am,” the charismatic skipper continued. “I always take pleasure in sailing and I constantly think of Eric Tabarly and the pioneers of our sport.”

Faced with the harsh conditions of the north Atlantic aboard a 44ft wooden boat for 13 days, Peyron experienced firsthand the slow, wet and uncomfortable sailing conditions that Tabarly would have endured during his race-winning 27-day voyage across the Atlantic in 1964.

“These boats are slow and the sailing is not easy,” Peyron admitted. “Especially sailing head-on into depression after depression. I thought of Tabarly doing this race, the speed of the boat and the conditions he faced - he kept going all the way to the end. Our pioneers suffered a lot for their sport. To experience what they did is a memory that will stay with me.”


http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/26901696791470869322.jpg

Tracker (http://preprod-player.georacing.com/?server=Prod&event=100297&race=92841&name=The+Transat+Bakerly)


Strong headwinds and waves are taking their toll on the remaining boats still racing in The Transat bakerly. Every day, there are new reports of torn sails, damage to boats and exhausted, sleep-deprived sailors having to spend time bailing water – but all the skippers are determined to make it to Manhattan.

Erik Nigon on the Multi50 Vers un Monde Sans Sida is the next competitor expected to cross the finish line tomorrow evening. Now battling the changeable conditions of the Gulf Stream, a usually cheery Nigon was this morning feeling the strain.

“The last two days have been particularly complicated,” he said. “I have left the winds of the Azores High and entered into the big breeze of the Gulf Stream. I have not been able to put my pilot on and I am exhausted. I cannot sleep - I have to stay at the helm.”

Pierre Antoine’s Olmix today became the second Multi50 to lose a daggerboard to the concrete waves of the Atlantic. Currently in fourth place, Antoine will continue to the finish line in New York.

In the Class40 fleet, Thibaut Vauchel-Camus on Solidaires en Peloton-Arsep still leads the charge, while third-placed Louis Duc on Carac is piling on the pressure from the south. Still fighting in second position, Phil Sharp on Imerys, is having to sail with the top section of his mainsail ripped in half.

“After some time spent with the boat stopped trying to repair the sail, I realised such an extensive job wouldn’t be possible with the limited materials on board,” he explained. “I’ve rigged up a temporary solution with rope that should hopefully get me to the finish line. It is not pretty or fast, but it should get us there.”

Despite the many hurdles Sharp has had to overcome during the race, the British skipper has never strayed far from the top-three. The latest disaster in the Sharp saga is arguably the most serious yet, but this is a sailor who doesn’t know the meaning of the phrase “give-up.”

“It is hugely disappointing to realise I can’t challenge for the lead anymore in this race,” he said. “But based on the current advantage I have over the other boats, there is still a good fight to try and be on the podium.

“I’m now right back in full racing mode still tying to get the last 0.1 knot out the boat. It has been difficult to digest what has happened, but to finish on the podium would be amazing under the circumstances.”

The first Class40 is expected to arrive in New York on Thursday.

http://www.thetransat.com/news

Photoboy
05-18-2016, 04:43 PM
http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/82627830621156041342.jpg


The French skipper now has a 65nm lead on Nigon with an anticipated arrival time in Manhattan of 06:00 BST tomorrow.

The Multi50 fight to The Transat bakerly finish nears its conclusion today, as skippers Pierre Antoine aboard Olmix and Erik Nigon aboard Vers un Monde Sans Sida, battle it out over the final 100nm for the final podium position. Since reporting his failed daggerboard yesterday, Antoine was propelled forward on a direct route to New York overnight. The French skipper now has a 65nm lead on Nigon, and an anticipated arrival time in Manhattan of 06:00 BST tomorrow. Nigon is expected to conclude his epic Atlantic adventure early afternoon.

“It’s nice to see the number of miles to New York diminishing,” Antoine reported this morning. “Despite the damage to my daggerboard, I’ve made good progress. “A small depression started building over night. I was able to sail straight through it and latch onto the other side of it to take a direct route towards the finish line. It put me back in the race. It was a small stroke of luck, because if the wind had been on the nose, I would not have been able to do it. “The conditions were still pretty complicated but it played out well for me. Erik is only 60nm behind, so I now really need to manage my lead,” he explained.

http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/28248695902980153674.jpg

Tracker (http://preprod-player.georacing.com/?server=Prod&event=100297&race=92841&name=The+Transat+Bakerly)


In the Class40 fleet, Thibaut Vauchel-Camus aboard Solitaire en Peloton – Arsep holds onto his lead, positioning his boat well on the approach to the home straight. Despite there being only 300nm between Vaucel-Camus and the finish line, there is no room for error as the skipper constantly looks over his shoulder at the chasing Louis Duc aboard Carac, who favoured a more southerly route.

“As I get closer to New York, I can smell burgers, a good shower and comfort,” reported Vauchel Camus. “But I still have 300nm to sail, which is the equivalent to crossing the Bay of Biscay – a lot can still happen. “For now I must stay in the rhythm of the race and not relax because I’m getting close to the line. Louis Duc is catching up. I’m glad to see him in second, it also puts the pressure on me to keep up the pace until I finish the final mile of this race.”

The British skipper Phil Sharp has dropped into third, as his Class40 Imerys limps towards the finish line under a seriously damaged mainsail. Reporting this morning, Sharp described his sail as a “useless flag.” “In these gusty conditions the mainsail is redundant,” he said. “I’ve gone up the mast to try and hold it together. Sailing with no main will be a painfully slow finish.” The current ETA for the damaged Imerys is Saturday at 10:00 BST. - See more at: http://www.thetransat.com/news/view/olmix-hits-the-atlantic-expressway-en-route-to-the-finish-line#sthash.IqYycoyk.dpuf

Photoboy
05-20-2016, 02:52 PM
http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/75212387408594956611.jpg


The 37-year-old Frenchman was this morning celebrating the biggest win of his career

The Transat bakerly is a hard race and you need a certain kind of determination to finish, let alone win it, and Thibaut Vauchel-Camus demonstrated earlier today that he has what it takes.

The 37-year-old Frenchman, a great character who grew up in Guadeloupe but now lives in Brittany, was this morning celebrating the biggest win of his sailing career as he cruised over the finish line to win the hard-fought battle of the Class40 fleet.

Vauchel-Camus’s blue and white monohull – Solidaires en Peloton-Arsep – crossed the line off Sandy Hook late on Thursday evening local time after 17 days, 12 hours and 42 minutes at sea. Vauchel-Camus had sailed a total distance of 3,804 nautical miles at an average speed of 9.04 knots.

When he arrived he enjoyed every moment of a sweet victory, shaking his jeroboam of champagne for several minutes before spraying his shore team and supporters and then tucking into a New York burger on the pontoon. His boat looked in reasonable shape save for his main headsail that had clearly suffered serious damage after days of hard upwind racing.

Vauchel-Camus’s sailing campaign is helping to raise awareness and money for research into multiple sclerosis. The campaign is symbolised by his mascot, a teddy bear called “Seppy,” who has featured in many of his onboard videos during the race with Vauchel-Camus conducting impromptu interviews of him in the cockpit. At the finish his shore team presented him with a matching Stars & Stripes outfit to that of Seppy, much to his amusement.

“It’s an amazing race – I don’t know why I said I’d do it,” Vauchel-Camus said with the Manhatten skyline behind him. “Sometimes I was asking myself ‘what am I doing here – this is crazy?’ But when you finish, all of the bad memories are just gone and you remember only the good moments – the time you spent with whales and dolphins, the good weather, the good wind and the finish line.”

Vauchel-Camus led for much of the race which was arguably the most tightly-contested of all of the four Transat bakerly fleets. He was in a battle for the lead from the off mainly against Britain’s Phil Sharp on Imerys and the Franco-German sailor Isabelle Joschke on Generali-Horizon Mixite.

For days the top-three were locked in what amounted to a transatlantic match race as they tackled, successively, periods of big headwinds and ferocious seas and then areas of lighter winds. In the end Joschke had to retire to Newfoundland when the punishing pace took its toll on her boat and Sharp lost performance as a lengthening list of gear failures handicapped Imerys.

But the Frenchman on Solidaires kept it together as the others faltered. “In the good wind we went very fast,” he said. “It was rewarding to be able to look at the reports and see just how fast you were going compared to the other competitors and how strong your boat is. The race is one big fight between yourself, the boat and the weather.

“The race is also a kind of meeting with yourself,” he added. “Every day you face new weather, new challenges and a new problem on the boat and you have to try and find the motivation to keep going. Sometimes the race was very pleasurable, when the boat was going well – sometimes it was very challenging…and then you arrive in Manhatten and you see the amazing skyline and the Statue of Liberty and everything is good – I hope to visit the city tomorrow after my big night of sleep.”

This was Vauchel-Camus’ biggest win in a career that started in Tornado catamarans. His best Class40 results prior to this was coming second in the 2014 Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe classic and then second in the Les Sables - Horta - Les Sables race in 2015.

When he reached the finish in New York, his nearest pursuer, Louis Duc on Carac was 66 miles out to sea while Sharp was around 146 miles from the line. Then there was a gap of around 200 miles to Edouard Golbery on Region Normandie in fourth place.

- See more at: http://www.thetransat.com/news/view/sweet-victory-for-vauchel-camus-in-a-hard-fought-class40-battle#sthash.ha7ogb12.dpuf