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Thread: The Transat bakerly Begins

  1. #11
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    The Battle Of The Giants Continues




    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.





    Tracker

    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

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    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.






    Tracker


    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.

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    Fast In The South, Bumpy In The North



    Tacker

    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.





    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.


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    Macif On Record Pace




    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.



    Tracker




    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!”


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  5. #15
    An amazing pace. Hope he crushes the record and kills it in the Vendee!

  6. #16
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    Ploughing Along On Pen Duick II



    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/....Dm93zlTZ.dpuf
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    On Approach



    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/
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  8. #18
    Just looked at the tracker, and Sodebo is closing in fast.

  9. #19
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Black Pepper Resigns




    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

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    - See more at: http://www.thetransat.com/news/view/....pyIfjpU4.dpuf
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  10. #20
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Macif Arrives




    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.



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

    - See more at: http://www.thetransat.com/news/view/....r2xfKtVw.dpuf
    Last edited by Photoboy; 05-10-2016 at 05:53 PM.
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