• Dancing In The Dark


    The 17 Défi Azimut IMOCAs are now all heading north since Miranda Merron on Campagne de France rolled up the Azimut 2 waypoint at 5:34 pm, a little over 7 hours after the first Charlie Dalin (Apivia).

    On this last 186-mile stretch, anything can still happen: a great battle of tacking begins at the start of the evening and to add a touch of suspense, in the early morning, a big brake application awaits the skippers at 30 miles from the coast! Arrival of the first in Lorient scheduled between 10 am and 3 pm.

    In this north-easterly wind, varying in strength and direction (between 7 and 10 knots), no direct route to the finish line. The skippers will therefore have to apply themselves to positioning their tack well at the option of small seesaw and work their trajectory with the gust of wind. Nothing is yet decided for the leader of the pack, Charlie Dalin (Apivia), in the lead since last night at sunset! On this rise, the gaps are narrowing despite the small lags: Jérémie Beyou (Charal), Armel Tripon (L'Occitane en Provence), Thomas Rettant (LinkedOut) and Sébastien Simon (Arkea-Paprec) have never been so close to the yellow and blue boat transom. The first 4 are held in less than 4 miles, but the approach to the seesaw could disrupt the established order given the lateral deviations.

    Duels and nice matches in the heart of the fleet

    6th in the scoring, Kevin Escoffier (PRB) followed by Samantha Davies (Initiatives-Cœur) and Boris Herrmann (Seaexplorer-Yacht Club de Monaco) extended the stride hour after hour, just 8 miles from Charal. The trajectory of this trio is tighter than that of the leading quartet which lets itself slip.

    A good match is also being played between the young Clarisse Cremer (Banque Populaire X), first of the IMOCA with drifts, and Isabelle Joschke (MACSF). The two women are only 3 miles apart and display the same speeds on the odometer. Not sure that neither of them closed their eyes tonight!

    Compression from the back

    After the 11th Damien Seguin (APICIL), 4 IMOCAs are held in less than 8 miles, including a certain Benjamin Dutreux (OMIA - Water Family) who is racing solo for the first time on his 2007 Farr plan. The Vendéen is playing elbows. with Maxime Sorel (V and B-Mayenne) and Stéphane Le Diraison (Time For Oceans), 14th and 15th respectively. For this group up to Miranda Merron, the gap of more than 40 miles (64 miles for Campagne de France) with the head of the fleet should narrow considerably. It is indeed likely that the last ones will benefit from the thermal wind tomorrow when they approach the coast of Lorient.

    Between a start with fanfare and an end in a random wind, these 48 hours alone are definitely not lacking in salt!

    This article was originally published in forum thread: Perfect Conditions For A Dress Rehearsal started by Photoboy View original post