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Thread: 2017 Transat Jacques Vabre

  1. #11
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    Ultimes Near Finish, Class 40 Abandonments Continue



    At midday, Jacques-Arnaud Seyrig and Marc Dubos warned the Transat Jacques Vabre race office of serious delamination of their hull on the port bow, from the waterline to the deck and 30 cm wide. Water is seeping into the forward watertight bulkhead causing a leak into the boat. The two skippers made the decision to sail upwind on port tack to the Canary Islands in order to stay on the sound side of the boat. More information to follow…




    The reverberations from a tough first week continued today with another duo abandoning and two more making pit stops. But after six days of “living like animals” as Servane Escoffier (Bureau Vallée 2) said – more specifically living like fish, so deluged by water have the skippers been at times – there was some relief today. As the temperatures rose and the sea flattened, the skippers were able to get out of their dry suits and fleeces, eat normally, and catch up on some DIY and sleep.



    TRACKER

    Estimated first arrivals (UTC)

    Ultime: Monday, November 13, end of the afternoon

    Multi50: Thursday, November 16th

    Imoca: Friday, 17 November

    Class40: TBC



    Third abandonment (after Campagne de France Class40 and Drekan Groupe Multi50)

    Early this afternoon, the Class40 Carac (Louis Duc and Alexis Loison) informed the race office that they would be abandoning. The duo arrived in Funchal (Madeira) last night after diverting because of serious knee injury to Duc. Duc is currently being treated at the hospital of Funchal and should be able to return to France in a few days with Loison.

    “This is a huge disappointment,” Duc, who finished third in 2015, said. “We had worked hard to be ready for this transat and had high hopes on this first big race (for the new Carac), but it give us experience to come back better. It may be necessary to think about adding some padding on the boat…I want to thank Alexis who had to cope with this and did it very well.”

    he newly-launched Carac, with its distinctive and powerful bow, had been one of the main challengers to Britain's Phil Sharp and Spain's Pablo Santurde (Imerys Clean Energy), who have held the lead after taking it on Tuesday late afternoon.






    Pit stops

    Enel Green Power (Class40): The Italians, Andrea Fantini and Alberto Bona arrived at 02:00 in Cascais (Lisbon) to repair their starboard rudder and a hole in the stern.

    Ciela Village (Multi50): Thierry Bouchard and Oliver Krauss will make a stopover in the port of Mindelo in Cape Verde tomorrow morning to fix multiple technical problems: No antenna, no autopilot, port helm seat torn off and a crack in the hull level with the gennaker tack point.





    Ultime

    Doldrums? What Doldrums? Rather than being swallowed by dreaded Intertropical Convergence Zone, the two giant trimarans at the head of the race, ate them up in one bite. Jumping from one squall to the next they passed through last night and this morning in a matter of hours, were soon into 12-15-knot south-easterly tradewinds. They now at 18:00 have just over 1,000 miles of drag racing in what will build to 15-20 knots to the finish. Maxi Edmond de Rothschild closed but Sodebo Ultim’ still held a 10-mile lead.


    Multi50

    “50 miles in a Multi50, it's nothing, it doesn’t worry us,” Lalou Roucayrol on Arkema said at noon. But by the evening they were 100 miles behind the favourties, FenêtréA - Mix Buffet, whose westerly strategy paid out and they are extending away in better breeze as they emerge from the disturbed area north-west of Cape Verde. They could pass the Doldrums – which looks like being not very active for another 72 hours - in about 30 hours time.



    Imoca

    In lighter airs further east of the stormy depression than the Multi50 around them, St Michel-Virbac’s lead has been shortened a touch. AT 18:00 they were 40 miles ahead of SMA, continuing to astonish in a boat without foils. And watch out for Des Voiles et Vous! who have found extra pressure further east. Between them, Britain’s Sam Davies with Tanguy de Lamotte on Initiatives-Cœur remain right in the chasing pack in 7th, 140 miles behind. Which way will they go?

    SMA are clear about that. “We’re really happy because the forecast was maybe more for the foilers than the boats with daggerboards,” Paul Meilhat, the skipper of SMA said. “We’ve pushed the boat for the last three days. The problem is that St Michel-Virbac, the guys are good and their boat is faster. But we’re looking forward more than behind us. I think the weather conditions are going to be better for us until the Doldrums. I think we’re cross the Doldrums in 3-4 days. Virbac-St Michel have the best position, we need to be more to the west."





    Class40

    Imerys Clean Energy have held their 11-mile lead steady over the new 24-hour record holders, V and B all day. Sharp blamed the loss of much of 40 mile lead last night on a mountain of seaweed on the keel. Tellingly, they have extended away from Aïna Enfance et Avenir and TeamWork, who are now 30 and 60 miles behind respectively.

    The area of weak winds that slowed the classes ahead of them (St Michel-Virbac, a 60ft monohull is only about 400 miles further down the track) is shifting west and will therefore open the door to a stable trade wind. The conditions are clearly improving, especially the state of the sea. They could have nice smooth schuss to the Doldrums.

    They said:

    Louis Duc, skipper, Carac (Class40)

    “This is a huge disappointment. We had worked hard to be ready for this transat and had high hopes on this first big race (for the new Carac), but it give us experience to come back better. It may be necessary to think about adding some padding on the boat…

    In any case, I want to thank Alexis who had to cope with this and did it very well. It was really extremely frustrating to be unable to manoeuvre, not be able to make the right sail changes.

    “You have to be able to go fast, be efficient and stay safe on a boat and that was impossible for me, it was very annoying and harsh blow. Alexis took a lot on himself. He sailed well, his strategy in the rocks early in the course was perfect, he taught me a lot.

    “The boat has managed to show its potential, it is faster than the others at certain angles, I’ve found positive things, and things to improve as well. The level of the Class40 is very high, you have to be performing at 200% to be able to fight for the lead. This is all the more motivating for the future: I will continue to prepare myself for the next season and of course the Route du Rhum.”

    Paul Meilhat, skipper, SMA (Imoca)

    “We’re really happy because the forecast was maybe more for the foilers than the boats with daggerboards, but we’ve pushed the boat for the last three days, with some quite good change of sails and I think the training during the year with Gwéno (Gahinet) was excellent, so we can manage the boat in lighter conditions well. The problem is that St Michel-Virbac, the guys are good and their boat is faster. So, they’re quite far away in front of us.

    “We’re looking forward more than behind us. I think the weather conditions are going to be better for us until the Doldrums. I think we’re cross the Doldrums in 3-4 days, and I think it’s more light wind and more about VMG, but we know that after the Doldrums it’s a long way to Salvador and it’s more reaching conditions, so we need to be in front at the end of the Doldrums if we want to have a hope of winning.

    Last night was really difficult with a lot of wind changes and light. But it’s been better since this morning and the boat is faster and faster. I think St Michel-Virbac have the best position, we need to be more to the west, so maybe tomorrow we’re going to have a shift of the wind northeast - it’s more easterly at the moment - and maybe we’ll gybe to invest in the west. I think we’re going to cross the Doldrums more to the west than normal.”

    Thierry Bouchard, skipper, Ciela Village (Multi50)

    “We really wanted to do this Transat Jacques Vabre, even though it was a huge challenge for us. We knew at the beginning that all the facilities on board were not reliable, but we’re really happy to be here today. The idea is to stop for as short a time as possible in Mindelo and to leave 100%.”

    “The boat started to make big swerves. It became uncontrollable with the autopilot. So, since Tuesday, we’ve been helming 24 hours a day. It’s very difficult to wake each other up when you have to manoeuvre on the deck but not let go of the helm for a moment. We can’t adjust the boat or manoeuvre when we’re alone, especially since the boat is super responsive and the conditions have been pretty fierce from the start with a lot of big seas.”

    [Bouchard and Oliver Krauss finished 2nd on the last Transat Jacques Vabre on board Drekan Groupe, the boat which capsized on Wednesday night]. “They are not the same boats. Our new one is much more responsive, more powerful. We have to learn how to use it and we need all the tools to be able to attack and to be able to make it reliable.”
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    Sodebo Ultim' Crushes Transat Jacques Vabre Record




    Sodebo Ultim' smashes record to win Transat Jacques Vabre

    Thomas Colville and Jean-Luc Nélias on their maxi trimaran, Sodebo Ultim' have won the Ultime class of the 13th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre after crossing the finish line in the Bay of All Saints in Salvador de Bahia on Monday, November 13, 2017 at 10:42:27 (UTC), 7 days 22 hours 7 minutes and 27 seconds after leaving Le Havre, Normandy France. Sodebo Ultim' sailed 4,742 nautical miles at an average speed of 24.94 knots.

    Sodebo Ultim' beat the previous record of 10 days 0 hours 38 mins set by Franck Cammas and Steve Ravussin on Groupama 2 in the 60ft multihull class in 2007 (the last time the race finished in Salvador) by 2 days 2 hours and 31 mins.
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    Sébastien Josse and Thomas Rouxel, on their trimaran, Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, have finished second in the Ultime class of the 13th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre after crossing the finish line in the Bay of All Saints in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil on Monday, November 13, 2017 at 12:30:24 (UTC), 7 days, 23 hours 55 minutes and 24 seconds after leaving Le Havre, Normandy France.




    Maxi Edmond de Rothschild sailed 4,838 nautical miles at an average speed of 25.21 knots. They finished just 1 hour 47 minutes and 57 seconds behind the winner, Sodebo Ultim’.




    Andrea Fantini and Alberto Bona informed the race office this morning that they had abandoned the Transat Jacques Vabre with damage to their starboard rudder damage probably related to a collision with a UFO. The skippers had diverted to Lisbon to assess the damage.

    “As a result of the collision with a UFO, our starboard rudder is unusable and after thorough evaluations of the damage suffered, we are not position technically or in terms of safety to continue the Transat Jacques Vabre. We officially declare our abandonment. We will stay in Lisbon to make repairs. We wish you all good luck and thank you for your support in this experience.”

    Andrea Fantini - skipper of ENEL GREEN POWER, Class40 n. ITA55



    TRACKER


    With ten miles to the finish, Sodebo Ultim’ is expected to cross the line at sunrise in the Bay of All Saints in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil at 06:30 local time / 09:30 UTC and win the Ultime class of the 13th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre. But they face a nerve-jangling slowdown in the last two miles to the finish.

    Thomas Colville and Jean-Luc Nélias, the skippers of Sodebo Ultim’ showed that it was possible to control their pursuers, Seb Josse and Thomas Rouxel, on Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, who have seen their chances of victory fade with every minute that brought them closer to Bahia. The Maxi Edmond de Rothschild is now 60 miles behind.

    Control is also the question behind them, with some more successful than others. In the middle of the Doldrums, FenêtréA-Mix Buffet is back in a battle with Arkema, whose position slightly west allowed them to find the trade winds for longer and close a lead of 93 miles to just 17. In the Imocas, we have seen a ballet of the gybes. The leader St-Michel Virbac covered those behind is still 58 miles ahead but now slightly east of SMA. And in the Class40, it’s a three horse race with V and B, edging past long-time leader, Imerys Clean Energy, who have shifted east. Now the hunter becomes the hunted.



    Ultime: A new race record

    Both giant trimarans should pulverize the previous race record by two days, coming home in under eight days. The previous mark was set by Franck Cammas and Steve Ravussin on Groupama 2’s in 2007 (the last time the race finished in Salvador) in the 60ft multihull class with the then astonishing 10day 0h 38min.

    In solid north-easterly trade winds the two tandems whipped along the coast at 30 knots, with peaks at 37-38 knots. Despite a 40, growing to 60-mile cushion, Coville and Nélias cannot relax. “There will be 25 knots up until two miles from the harbour. And then two knots. In Bahia you can really find yourself stuck. If they’re going at 35 knots behind us, they will be on us in an hour ,” Nélias cautioned in the early morning.









    Multi50: The elastic contracts

    “It's always a lucky dip in the Doldrums," Vincent Riou said, clearly a little tired having been dramatically slowed as they hit the first clouds of the Doldrums. Behind, Arkema was still whipping along and eating the miles. No two squalls are the same and there is no guarantee they suffer like FenêtréA-Mix Buffet. We will only know tomorrow in the late morning if the elastic stretches in both directions.







    Imoca: How far west is best?

    At 16:30 UTC yesterday, Des Voiles et Vous! was the first to gybe and invest in the west. Less than two hours later, SMA and St Michel-Virbac did the same. The leaders are keeping an eye on everyone behind, they do not have to wait for the rankings, they can check the website, which is updated every hour. Nobody wants to miss a shift west, which will be profitable tomorrow with the approach to the Doldrums, but how far is too far?










    Class40: A new leader

    After almost a week in the lead, the Anglo-Spanish duo of Phil Sharp and Pablo Santurde (Imerys Clean Energy) have been passed by the French boat, V and B and Aïna Enfance et Avenir are now right behind with 11 miles between all three. In fourth place, TeamWork40 is struggling to keep pace.
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    Prince de Bretagne Dismasts




    At 18:15 UTC, Maxi80 Prince de Bretagne dismasted just 93 miles from the finish line of the Transat Jacques Vabre in Salvador de Bahia. The 80ft trimaran, Prince de Bretagne was sailing off Palame, in north-east Brazil near the end of the 4,350-mile race from Le Havre in Normandy, France.

    The Transat Jacques Vabre race office and the team supporting the two skippers, Lionel Lemonchois and Bernard Stamm, are assessing what needs to be done because the boat is only 18 miles from the coast and drifting at 0.9 knots, pushed by the easterly trade wind.
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    Lalou Roucayrol and his Spanish co-skipper Alex Pella, on Arkema are due to arrive in the Savaldor de Bahia at around 07:00 UTC on Thursday morning to win the Multi50 class of the 13th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre. That would smash the race record to Salvador for the Multi50 by over four days.

    The race has also confirmed Pella’s thoughts in Le Havre on the quality of the boats and how competitive the Multi50 has become.

    At the 15:00 UTC ranking, Arkema had 331 miles to go to the finish in the Bay of All Saints and were 127 miles ahead of FenêtréA-Mix Buffet. Both were reaching at 23 knots in 15-17-knot westerlies off Recife, north-east Brazil.



    Latest ETAs

    Ultime: Prince de Bretagne – Thursday, November 16 at 01:00 UTC

    Multi50:

    Arkema – Thursday, November 16 at 07:00

    FenêtréA-Mix Buffet at 11:00

    Réauté Chocolat at 23:00








    Winner, Saturday, November 18 at 10:00

    Multi50: Attack is the best means of defence

    “We're going fast; speed is stress,” Lalou Roucayrol said this morning. “But the sea is flat and we’re under pilot, to allow us to trim the sheets. We’re sailing with spikes of speed at 30 knots. We’re balancing pacing ourselves with extending the gap and preserving the boat. But saying that, we lost the protective screen on the port helm cockpit. We’ve widened the gap with the others, the conditions are quite lively. Alex and I don’t have much time for chat during watches – we’re concentrating on the basics.”

    The victory will cap a stunning reversal that saw them overtake the favourites and multiple winners, Erwan Le Roux and Vincent Riou on FenêtréA-Mix Buffet, who had a 100-mile lead as the entered the Doldrums.

    In the space of 42 hours over Monday and Tuesday, Arkema took 160 miles off FenêtréA-Mix Buffet.

    Any chance of catching Arkema, seemed to evaporate on Wednesday morning as FenêtréA-Mix Buffet slowed in the shelter of the island of Fernando de Noronha, 200 miles off Natal, Brazil and Le Roux climbed the mast to replace the gennaker halyard that snapped on Monday when they were in Doldrums.

    The operation took an hour and a half. Roucayrol and Pella, who have both finished second in the Transat Jacques Vabre, but never stood on top of the podium, kept attacking.



    Ultime: the lone boat

    With only 90 miles to go the finish line at 18:00 UTC, Prince de Bretagne, (HAS DISMASTED) should enter the Bay of All Saints around midnight. It will be the third boat home and complete the Ultime class.

    The consistent trajectory and speed of 25 knots from Prince de Bretagne leave no room for doubt: Lionel Lemonchois and Bernard Stamm are obviously in a hurry to finish and definitely would not want to be caught by the Multi50. As lovers of high speeds and competitive sailing, Lemonchois and Stamm will complete a Route of the Café where conditions and technical issues on the boat – and two giant rivals ahead of them - have not made it a competitive race for them. A pit stop in the Azores to replace a halyard and energy problems left them closer to the Multi50 leaders.


    Imoca: St Michel-Virbac prosper from Doldrums but face upwind battle

    With 1,000 miles to the finish St Michel-Virbac are holding a 71-mile lead over their ever-keen pursuer, SMA. Its lead is a cushion, but not a comfortable one, according to Yann Eliès, co-skipper on St Michel-Virbac: “We’ve headed west, so now we're up close. We know from the training with them in Port-La-Forêt that they go one knot faster at this angle (headed by 13-15-knot south-easterlies). We have 48 hours until Recife before it favours us.” That disadvantage has only cost them five miles so far today.

    Having been caught up during the first few hours of the Doldrums by SMA on Tuesday morning, St Michel-Virbac had felt the heat, but not for too long. “It's always a relief to exit the Doldrums,” Yann Eliès, St Michel-Virbac’s co-skipper said. “But we managed to anticipate the sequences and not to change the sails too much.” First to exit, St Michel-Virbac accelerated first.

    182 miles behind the leader, Des Voiles et Vous! is still in the Doldrums and looking over its shoulder at the phalanx of five boast behind them.

    They have stabilised the gains made by Malizia II, who were very fast overnight but have lost 18 miles during the stay and are 68 miles behind in fourth. The rear group, led by Vivo A Beira, entered the Doldrums this morning.



    Class40: 6 skippers, 3 boats, 1 mile

    The 13th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre, could provide its closest finish. At one point this morning (Wednesday) just a mile separated the three boats that are fighting it out at the front of the Class40 fleet. At the 15:00 UTC ranking it was still only five miles, with the Anglo-Spanish duo of Phil Sharp and Pablo Santurde, always marginally in the lead as they prepare to enter the Doldrums overnight.


    Only time and luck will tell who has taken the best entrance to the notorious Doldrums with Imerys Clean Energy to the west, V and B, which finished second in 2015, to the east and Aïna Enfance and Avenir in between. The three boat have a lateral separation of just 26 miles, but those distance are enough in the in this zone (officially the Inter-tropical Convergence Zone), where boats can come to a standstill while ones within sight go past them.

    Sharp is due some luck. As well as parrying flying fish and keeping an eye on the attendant circling birds, he continues to be unable to download satellite images and weather files, because of bandwidth restriction on his spare satellite phone (the primary one is down after antenna failure last week).


    Pit stop

    Eärendil (Class 40) will take a little longer after breaking the lower bracket on its starboard rudder and informing the race office that they will be stopping in Cape Verde to make repairs.

    Esprit Scout (Class40). After a technical stop in Tenerife (Canary Islands) with delamination of their hull on the port bow, they relaminated the hole in the boatyard and headed back out for Salvador de Bahia at 17:30 UTC.

    They said:

    Phil Sharp, skipper, Imerys Clean Energy (Class40)

    “It's great, these are conditions you dream of for crossing the Atlantic; flat sea, 15-20 knots of wind, a tailwind, it’s like the books you read. Yesterday, the sun was intense, I was at the helm and wow, it was hot, fortunately there were some clouds. The sea is very hot, there are a lot of flying fish.

    We’re just south of Cape Verde, we’ve had some unbelievably close racing. It's just amazing to be next to other Class40s after more than 2,500 nautical miles. We have 2 boats next door, it's very intense, we’re pushing the boat to its limits. It’s 24/7. It's like a Figaro on boats that are a little bigger and more fun. If it stays like this for the remaining 2,000 miles until the finish, it's going to be very tight, so we're going to look to get the advantage in the next few days in the Doldrums.

    “Through the night we were matching speeds with Aina, who are just to the east of us. We came quite close during the early morning and could see their masthead light, but now they are over 10nm away and out of visual. It’s incredible sailing conditions yet again! Flat water, 15 knots downwind, and it is overcast so not too hot. The cold front we passed west of Brittany a week back seems now like a distant memory.


    Erwan Le Roux, skipper, FenêtréA-Mix Buffet (Multi50)

    “As planned, we stopped at Fernando de Noronha to make the repair. We changed the halyard that we broke in the Doldrums on Monday. We don’t know what happened. This is the first time I’ve been faced with this type of technical glitch on this boat. We will analyse what happened once we’re back on land, but in the meantime, what is important for us is to be able to sail again under gennaker because this is sail that’s needed for the last few miles to Salvador de Bahia.

    "In total, I think between an hour and a half and two hours. I had to spend 45 minutes up the mast and this is added time it took pass round the island and the DIY. We did it as quickly as possible. We didn’t see much because it was dark, but the island of Fernando de Noronha looks like a real paradise on earth. "

    "We have between 20 and 24 knots of wind and a horrible sea, much like the one we had at the start - crossed and wild. We’re getting shaken around in all directions. Our arrival? In my diary, I’ve written 15:00 UTC tomorrow.”



    Aymeric Chappellier and Arthur Le Vaillant, Aïna Enfance et Avenir (Class40)

    Cape Verde is quite far in our wake now, we spent the day (Tuesday) heading south downwind towards the gateway to the Doldrums, which is looking pretty sticky both to the east and to the west. We’ll refine our trajectory tomorrow in the morning and after that we will hope that Aeolus (the Greek god of wind) is with us. Otherwise, after a downwind speed test of day, it's difficult to say if one of the boats has an advantage. In any case nobody is holding anything back on either side of us. It's almost like training With Tanguy - Aymeric et Arthur.”



    Servane Escoffier, skipper, Bureau Vallée 2 (Imoca)

    "We’re never really happy with the Doldrums because we have a boat which is good for sailing at 20-25 knots and for 48 hours now or more, it’s been very slow for us. But we’re trying to get the best position in the south of the Doldrums and we don’t know if we’re east enough, but we didn’t really have the choice with the very slow light wind that we had two days ago. We will do our best with this position.

    "When you’re offshore racing, you never can tell until you’ve crossed the finish line, because you can have a mechanical problem, or a wind hole, and we’ll try to do our best to get the third place but to be realistic I think Des Voiles et Vous! Is now out of the Doldrums and I don’t see how once they are off we can catch them, but nobody can tell. We will keep pushing until the finishing line and we want to finish in the best place we can.

    "Like all skippers doing a transat we’ve had some little words, but really, really little and we are still friends and still boyfriend and girlfriend I think, (shouts to Louis) yes, are we still boyfriend and girlfriend? Yes, I think it’s OK. We’re fine, we know each other very well, so, when once of us is in a bad mood the other is supportive."






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    Arkema Smashes Multi 50 Transat Jacques Vabre Record



    Lalou Roucayrol (France) and Alex Pella (Spain) on their 50ft trimaran, Arkema have won the Multi50 class of the 13th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre after crossing the finish line in the Bay of All Saints in Salvador de Bahia on Thursday, November 16, 2017 at 07:49:19 (UTC), 10 days 19 hours 14 minutes and 19 seconds after leaving Le Havre, Normandy France. Arkema covered the theoretical course of 4,350 nautical miles at an average speed of 16.81 knots but actually sailed 4,671 nautical miles at an average speed of 18.02 knots.




    Arkema beat the previous record of 12 days 06 hours 13 mins set by Franck-Yves Escoffier and his son, Kevin Escoffier on Crêpes Whaou! in 2005 by 1 day 10 hours 59 minutes and 40 seconds.


    After 30 years on the world’s oceans, the 53-year-old French skipper, Lalou Roucayrol, has probably sailed more multihull boats than any other skipper. He has marked the 13th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre, his 9th participation, with his first victory.




    When his previous co-skipper, Karine Fauconnier was injured in training two months ago, Roucayrol was looking for excellence to win the Route du Café that is a particular favourite of his. Alex Pella, the formidable and multi-skilled Spanish sailor, making his third appearance, fitted that bill and more. Both had finished second in the race before and both had a hunger to go one step on the podium higher.

    Leaving Le Havre in the lead, with the firm intention to staying in control of the race, the two men set the tone. But if there had to be a favourite in this newly competitive fleet with foils, it was FenêtréA - Mix Buffet, whose skippers, Erwan Le Roux and Vincent Riou, were the “dream team”, with five Transat Jacques Vabre victories between them. What followed was an exciting duel between the two Multi50, which took their turns at the top of the ranking. Before the Doldrums, Roucayrol / Pella were 100 miles behind but kept cool heads knowing that the Intertropical Convergence Zone can always shuffle cards.

    Handicapped by a gennaker halyard failure, FenêtréA - Mix Buffet lost ground. Arkema made 160 miles in 42 hours and took the lead as soon as they caught the trade winds in the Southern Hemisphere. On the home stretch, Arkema kept their foot on the accelerator all the way to the finish line.






    Erwan Le Roux and Vincent Riou, on their trimaran, FenêtréA-Mix Buffet, have finished second in the Multi50 class of the 13th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre after crossing the finish line in the Bay of All Saints in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil on Thursday, November 16, 2017 at 15:26:23 (UTC), 11 days, 2 hours 51 minutes and 23 seconds after leaving Le Havre, Normandy, France.

    FenêtréA-Mix Buffet covered the theoretical course of 4,350 nautical miles at an average speed of 16.33 knots, but actually sailed 4,726 nautical miles at an average speed of 17.71 knots. It finished 7 hours 37 minutes and 4 seconds behind the winner, Arkema.








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    IMOCA Record Fall In Transat Jacques Vabre

    Dick coasting to record win as Anglo-Spanish duo re-take lead



    Jean-Pierre Dick and Yann Eliès on St Michel – Virbac were a few miles away from a record-breaking victory in the Imoca class of the 13th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre tonight (Saturday, November 18) and were expected to cross the finish line in Salvador de Bahia around 19:30 UTC.

    Victory will make Dick the only person in the history of this bi-annual double-handed Route du Café, in any class, to have won four times. Dick, the 52-year-old skipper from Nice, won the Imoca class in 2003, 2005 and 2011.

    A 19:30 UTC finish would also mean that Dick and Eliès will set a new record for the Transat Jacques Vabre to Salvador, with Dick beating his own record, of 13 days 09 hours 19 minutes and 2 seconds set with Loïck Peyron on Virbac-Paprec in 2005.

    Photo sent from the boat St Michel - Virbac, skippers Jean-Pierre Dick and Yann Elies, on November 17th, 2017 - Photo St Michel - Virbac

    Behind them, in the Class40, the Anglo-Spanish pair of Phil Sharp and Pablo Santurde (Imerys Clean Energy) had a strong night re-taking the lead, emerging from the Doldrums in the darkness and taking 20 miles from their four French pursuers. But many of the 26 boats still in the race this morning, have not said their last word.

    Imoca: "We're counting the miles one by one"




    TRACKER



    ETAs

    St Michel –Virbac, Saturday, November 18, 19:30 UTC

    SMA – Sunday, November 19, 09:00

    Des Voiles et Vous!, Sunday, November 19, 17:00

    Malizia II, Monday, November 20, 12:00

    At 15:00 UTC St Michel-Virbac still had 48 miles to go. They were sailing a few miles from the coast of Brazil, acutely conscious of fishing boats, UFOs and that the Ultime, Prince de Bretagne, dismasted on Wednesday, just 93 miles from the finish.

    Having angled further offshore overnight, a lack of wind forced them to make four gybes back west yesterday afternoon allowing SMA to comeback 30 miles to 84 behind.

    "We're counting the miles one by one The race isn't over yet," Eliès, for whom this would be a first victory in the Imoca, after his Multi50 win in 2013, said. "We've moved away from the coast to avoid the fishermen, we have to be careful because they're very small and low on the water. We're happy to still have a big lead on SMA. We know we have a lot of room to manoeuvre but we don't want to fall asleep."

    In 13 days of racing, Dick and Eliès, the heavy favourites at the start in Le Havre, have made no serious mistakes. They have patiently built their lead mile by mile and looked uncatchable since they emerged from the Doldrums. They have been helped by the fact that the other latest generation foiling Imoca all have new skippers getting used to their boats. SMA is a 2011-boat without foils. But their performance has been commanding.

    "We've been analysing the race from the start," Paul Meilhat, the skipper of SMA said. "And if we had our time again, we would follow the same route; St Michel-Virbac's perfect. There's no shame in the positions, it's easier to swallow second behind winners who've sailed so well."

    Victory was a taboo subject for Dick when speaking last night, but he did recall his memories of arriving in the port of Salvador of Bahia, the destination where he announced himself on the world stage 14 years ago. It was his first victory on the Transat Jacques Vabre on his iconoclastic Farr-plan boat that was "my first real statement," he said. "Another page is turning over and whatever the outcome of the race tomorrow, we're very proud (of our performance)."

    Behind SMA, Des Voiles et Vous! in third are gaining but not enough (251 miles behind the leader). Behind the podium, the race is on, with keenly fought battles throughout the fleet, which is all now grateful to be out of a Doldrums which hit their class hardest.

    Class40: Imerys Clean Energy win on the west

    ETA: The leaders, Thursday, November 23, 02:00 UTC

    Phil Sharp and Pablo Santurde are not the types to just go with the flow. Having suffered at the beginning of the Doldrums from their shift in the west, they re-took the lead last night, sometimes advancing at 8 knots while the group to the East - V and B, Aïna Enfance et Avenir, TeamWork40 - barely exceeding 3. "The Doldrums have been really difficult, more difficult than I imagined, especially psychologically," Sharp said. "A day in the Doldrums is a good dozen sail changes," Sharp said. "I haven't slept more than an hour in the last 24 hours and if the boat is in perfect condition, we're beginning to get tired."

    Imerys Clean Energy made 206 miles in the last 24 hours, 24-30 more than their pursuers, who are now in their wake as they're diving to Salvador de Bahia headed by the south-east trade wind. Imerys Clean Energy has 1,130 miles to go.

    "Last night was hard as it was still a little soft, and our English friends cleared off," Arthur Le Vaillant, co-skipper, Aïna Enfance et Avenir, "We're a little faster but Phil (Sharp) knows his boat well. There's not going to be much in it and we hope to get back in touch with him."

    The Class40 emerged from the Doldrums overnight and Sharp is aware that his second-generation boat is inferior on paper to the latest generation V and B and Aïna Enfance & Avenir in the reaching angles and speeds they should have on the coasts of Brazil. They need a lead if they want to be first to Bahia and had 20 miles at 09:00 UTC.

    Multi50

    ETA

    La French Tech Rennes St-Malo, Sunday, November 19, 01:00 UTC

    Point café
    Date : 18/11/17 - 16h06

    Class40
    1 - Imerys Clean Energy
    2 - Aïna Enfance & Avenir
    3 - V and B

    Multi50
    1 - Arkema
    2 - FenêtréA - Mix Buffet
    3 - Réauté Chocolat

    Imoca
    1 - St Michel - Virbac
    2 - SMA
    3 - "DES VOILES ET VOUS!"

    Ultim
    1 - Sodebo Ultim'
    2 - Maxi Edmond de Rothschild



    Paul Meilhat, skipper, SMA (Imoca)

    "We sailed along the Brazilian coast all night, we met a lot of fishermen. Since this morning, we've had between 12-15 knots of easterly wind, we're going pretty quickly under a Code 0, we were averaging 15 knots. We crossed La French Tech (Multi50) several times, last night we saw their light. It was our last night at sea, we're not very tired; the late watches are beautiful, we're enjoying the lights and the stars. We've talked a lot over the last day, we're trying to enjoy being at sea. There are a few localised effects, we won't be slow with the spinnaker at the beginning of the night. Even if there is not much wind, it can suddenly come back a little. We've been analysing the race from the start. And if we had our time again, we would follow the same route; St Michel-Virbac's perfect. There's no shame in the positions, it's easier to swallow second behind winners who've sailed so well."

    Yann Eliès, co-skipper, St Michel-Virbac (Imoca)

    "We're counting the miles one by one, we cannot wait to be there but there is not much wind and we'll have to gybe a few times. It's a beautiful sunny day for sailing into Bahia. The faster the better. We've moved away from the coast to avoid the fishermen, we have to be careful because they're very small and low on the water. We'll see them again when we come back to the coast in a few hours, they're nice, some came to see us yesterday. Once we passed the Doldrums, we've been sailing on long gybes and that immediatel allowed us time to recover pretty well. It's very difficult to know what kind of state you're in when you're at sea. We'll find out back on land, but we're relatively fit, I think. For this last day, we're keeping the same watch system, we're try to stay in race mode; there are a few stupid things to avoid. The race isn't over yet, we'll tell you everything when you get there; we're happy to still have a big lead on SMA. We know we have a lot of room to manoeuvre but we don't want to fall asleep. Jean-Pierre and I talk a lot about strategy and routes. JP is very logical, there's a reason for everything. Everything's gone well, but we spare a thought for those behind (who were unlucky in the Doldrums). At the moment, we're enjoying it, we are savouring it...Another 8-10 hours of sailing and it'll be over. We're doing our best to arrive before sunset."

    Arthur Le Vaillant, co-skipper, Aïna Enfance et Avenir (Class40)

    "We're out of the Doldrums! Now we've got good conditions to get to Salvador de Bahia quickly. Last night was hard as it was still a little soft, and our English friends cleared off. We're trying to keep pace, us and V and B can see each other well, we're almost equal, they're 3 miles ahead, we guess its their sail, there's no AIS, so it's not easy to see its speed. I am on watch, there's a small squall ahead, I'm trimming, I'm trying to find an opening. We're a little faster but Phil (Sharp) knows his boat well. There's not going to be much in it and we hope to get back in touch with him. We don't know (if we can do it) but we know that it will be tight. We hope that there will be some opportunities, but normally it's just straight to the finish line!"

    Phil Sharp, skipper, Imerys Clean Energy (Class40)

    "We're doing a change of sail, it's normal in the Doldrums! We've made a dozen changes of sail a day, these last few days in the Doldrums have been really difficult, more difficult than I imagined, especially psychologically. Yesterday's wind was amazing, we had 2 or 3 hours with 25 and 35 knots, under the little spinnaker, and then nothing, for hours...Tonight is decisive, it's the last before the change of conditions. We would like to get out (of the Doldrums) in the lead because in reaching conditions, we know that we are slower than the third generation boats. After Cape Verde, we downloaded (weather) files that were pushing us to go to the west. This is something we could not
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    St Michel-Virbac breaks record to win Transat Jacques Vabre Imoca class
    Jean-Pierre Dick and Yann Eliès on St Michel-Virbac, have won the Imoca class of the 13th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre after crossing the finish line in the Bay of All Saints in Salvador de Bahia on Saturday, November 18, 2017 at 20:11:46 (UTC), 13 days 7 hours 36 minutes and 46 seconds after leaving Le Havre, Normandy, France. St Michel-Virbac covered the theoretical course of 4,350 nautical miles at an average speed of 13.63 knots but actually sailed 4,652 nautical miles at an average speed of 14.55 knots.

    On his 60ft foiling monohull, Dick became the only sailor in the history of this bi-annual double-handed Route du Café, in any class, to have won four times. The 52-year-old skipper from Nice, won the Imoca class in 2003, 2005 and 2011.

    St Michel-Virbac also established a new record time for the Imoca class to Salvador with Dick beating his own record of 13 days 09 hours 19 minutes and 2 seconds set with Loïck Peyron on Virbac-Paprec in 2005 by 1 hour 42 minutes and 16 seconds.

    16 octobre 2017, entre l'ile de Groix et les Glénan, navigation d'entrainement pour Jean-Pierre Dick et Yann Eliès sur le monocque 60 pieds IMOCA St-Michel/Virbac, préparation à la Transat Jacques Vabre 2017. Photo Yvan Zedda / St-Michel Virbac

    Dick recalled today that was his first Transat Jacques Vabre win in 2003 into Salvador de Bahia in 2003, that really announced his arrival as a serious contender in the sailing world.

    It was a first victory for Eliès in the Imoca class, after his Multi50 win in 2013.

    After leaving Le Havre on Sunday, November 5, at 12:35 UTC, St Michel-Virbac has led since the early morning of Tuesday, November 7 as they crossed the cold front that battered the fleet as the passed the Bay of Biscay. One of six latest generation foiling Imoca in the race, it was actually the older generation, foil-less SMA that has proved St Michel-Virbac's toughest challenger. That was something the two French sailors, Dick and Eliès, predicted before the start of their training partner, and SMA closed to within 28 miles in the Doldrums before of St Michel-Virbac escaped first and extended as the headed down the coast of Brazil.
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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    A Three Way Dash For Finish In CLass 40'




    Anglo-Spanish pair fights French and Physics

    We may be about to witness the closest finish in Transat Jacques Vabre history as the Anglo-Spanish duo of Phil Sharp and Pablo Santurde (Imerys Clean Energy) attempt to catch the two newer French boats in a three-horse race down the coast of Brazil.




    TRACKER

    As the Imoca peloton continued to arrive in comparatively relaxed fashion today, parading into the Bay of All Saints, the contest for the Class40 could barely be more furious behind them.








    Class40

    ETA: The leaders, Wednesday, November 22, 22:00 UTC

    Locked together for the last fortnight, the three boats are passing Recife on the coast of Brazil and Sharp and Santurde have managed to stem further losses to just nine miles in the last 24 hours. At 17:00 UTC, with 325 miles to the finish line in Salvador de Bahia, Imerys Clean Energy was 17.2 miles behind the leader Aïna Enfance and Avenir, with second-placed V and B (Maxime Sorel / Antoine Carpentier), just 4.4 miles behind.

    The three boats are all Manuard design, but the two French boats are version 3 of the Mach 40 design and Sharp's, version 2 and simply slower in the reaching wind angles they have had since the Doldrums. It may only be a half a knot, but over 24 hours that is heartbreaking.

    Design physics has forced them into a tactical decision to head further offshore in the search for more wind, whilst the two front boats gybe closer to the coast (they are 12 miles from land). As the trade wind begins to swing behind them this evening, Imerys Clean Energy, should be able to hold its own. But until then perhaps their best hope is that the French boats will push too hard against each other.

    "This contest won't be decided until the end," Aymeric Chappellier, the skipper of Aïna Enfance and Avenir said. "Imerys Clean Energy is 15 miles behind now. Of course, nothing is impossible, especially as there are 350 miles to go, and it will still be complicated. There's still a long way to go. The goal is not to get into a match-race but to sail as well as possible."








    Imoca

    Arrivals

    Monday, November 20, 2017

    Sixth-place Tanguy de Lamotte and Samantha Davies (Britain), on Initiatives Cœur at 20:15:39 (UTC)

    Race time: 15 days, 07 hours 40 minutes and 39 seconds



    Tuesday, November 20, 2017

    Seventh Louis Burton and Servane Escoffier, on Bureau Vallée 2, at 04:37:58 (UTC)

    Race time: 15 days, 16 hours 02 minutes and 58 seconds

    Eighth Isabelle Joschke (Germany) and Pierre Brasseur, on Generali, at 13:08:01 (UTC)

    Race time: 16 days, 00 hours 33 minutes and 01 seconds

    Ninth Alan Roura (Switzerland) and Frédéric Denis, on La Fabrique at 14:39:16 (UTC)

    Race time: 16 days, 02 hours 04 minutes and 16 seconds

    Tenth Yoann Richomme and Pierre Lacaze on Vivo A Beira at 17:55:21 (UTC)

    Race time: 16 days, 05 hours 20 minutes and 21 seconds

    ETAs

    Wednesday, November 22

    Newrest-Brioche Pasquier & La Mie Câline – Artipôle, 06:00

    Famille Mary – Étamine du Lys 14/15:00

    As well as courage and intuition, ocean racing is all physics and mathematics; from the design of the boats to the autopilot algorithms and analysis of weather and routing. But for Tanguy de Lamotte and Britain's Samantha Davies on Initiatives-Cœur, there were other calculations to consider as they crossed the Atlantic. They finished sixth yesterday (Monday) in a powerful field, but overacheived even more in their other mission.

    Their unique campaign raised enough money for 25 children from around the world in need of heart operations to have them in France. At the start in Le Havre they were aiming for 15. De Lamotte, who started working with the charity in 2004, is now handing over the helm of both boat and campaign to the capable hands of Davies.

    Read more here

    Point café
    Date : 21/11/17 - 16h06

    Class40
    1 - Aïna Enfance & Avenir
    2 - V and B
    3 - Imerys Clean Energy

    Multi50
    1 - Arkema
    2 - FenêtréA - Mix Buffet
    3 - Réauté Chocolat

    Imoca
    1 - St Michel - Virbac
    2 - SMA
    3 - "DES VOILES ET VOUS!"

    Ultim
    1 - Sodebo Ultim'
    2 - Maxi Edmond de Rothschild




    Aymeric Chappellier, skipper, Aïna Enfance and Avenir (Class40)

    "We have a dozen knots at the moment. The wind will start to favour us and we'll be able to go under the big spinnaker by the end of the day. This contest won't be decided until the end. Whether you're in the lead or second, it doesn't change much in the immediate future. The advantage is it means we're in the game. But we can't rest on any laurels. We're on the lookout for the slightest flurry of breeze, the slightest change in wind direction, anything. We're trying to think of all the possible scenarios and to do everything we can do until the finish to try to stay ahead. Imerys Clean Energy is 15 miles behind now. Of course, nothing is impossible, especially as there are 350 miles to go, and it will still be complicated. There's still a long way to go. The goal is not to match-race but to sail as well as possible."

    Isabelle Joschke (Germany), skipper of Generali (Imoca)

    "It was demanding, it was difficult, and sometimes a little scary, we went to find the limits of the boat and our own limits too. This was a race where we exploded out of the blocks and then came to a complete standstill in the Doldrums. That was really difficult because we hoped to finish the race with the leading boats, who we'd been fighting with since the start. In the Doldrums, all those hopes disappeared. But it motivated us to give the best of ourselves. It was three races in one: before, during and after the Doldrums."

    Sam Davies (Britain), co-skipper of Initiatives-Cœur (Imoca)

    "It was an amazing race. It was really intense, especially the first week - but for me that was kind of my favourite bit as well; I love it when it's full on and windy and rough. I can't wait to sail again. We're learning a new boat, there are bits that we missed that the leaders knew – they did an amazing job - Jean-Pierre (Dick) and Yann (Eliès), and Paul (Meilhat) and Gwénolé (Gahinet) had an amazing race, hats off to them. I'm going to use them as an inspiration The welcome in Salvador is brilliant. For me, there are memories from 2001, I did my Mini-Transat and that was the first time I'd come to Salvador."

    Tanguy de Lamotte, skipper of Initiatives-Cœur (Imoca)

    "The circle is complete; I came by Mini to Bahia some years ago (2004), and I now I'm finishing in Bahia. The boat is top; it was the first foiler for both of us, and it adds intensity in everything. It feels natural that Sam should take the helm of this boat (Davies will the boat and campaign into the 2020 Vendée Globe). We have two objectives: sport and solidarity and we've been able to save a lot of children, that's 150 since we started the projec
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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    Neck and Neck Finish For Class 40 Leaders

    French and Physics defy Anglo-Spanish duo
    The closest finish in Transat Jacques Vabre Class40 history is still on the cards at around 23:00 tonight (Wednesday), but the Anglo-Spanish duo of Phil Sharp and Pablo Santurde (Imerys Clean Energy) will need to play a joker from up their sleeves if they are still to be at the table and upset their French rivals on the line.

    Meanwhile, in Salvador de Bahia, the final three 60ft monohull Imoca boats crossed the line in the Bay of All Saints today in more relaxed fashion. Thirteen Imoca left Le Havre and thirteen made it to Salvador de Bahia.




    TRACKER






    Class40

    ETA: The leaders, Wednesday at November 22, 23-24:00 UTC



    With 80 miles left to the finish in Salvador de Bahia, the three-horse race seemed to have narrowed to two as the latest generation French boats continued to pull away remorselessly from the Anglo-Spanish duo of Phil Sharp and Pablo Santurde (Imerys Clean Energy). But on the eighteenth day of the race, adrenaline is driving them all through the fatigue.

    At 16:00 (UTC) V and B (Maxime Sorel / Antoine Carpentier) had edged past Aïna Enfance and Avenir (Aymeric Chappellier / Arthur Le Vaillant) into the lead, but only by 1.6 miles, with both making 9 knots in what has become a match race. Imerys Clean Energy was 33.7 miles behind.

    "The end of the race is coming, the conditions for sailing are incredible, but unfortunately we're not in the position we'd like," Sharp said at lunchtime. "We lost the lead while reaching. There's nothing we can do at this angle, these boats are faster, we did the best we could, but they've just been irresistible. But all is not lost, we made this small shift offshore, we had no hope staying on this line 15 miles behind. We know that at night there's very little wind at the finish in Bahia, so you never know. We'll give everything right up to the line."

    That is not just wishful thinking. Even the larger and faster multihulls and 60ft Imoca monohulls have parked up in the Bay of All Saints, so it could still favour a boat arriving later with momentum.

    Imerys Clean Energy was first across the start line in Le Havre, has led the race for 12 and was first out of the Doldrums. It had a 20-mile cushion, a lot in the context of a race where one mile has sometimes separated these top three, but it proved not be a comfortable one.

    The French 40ft monohulls are version 3s of the Manuard Mach 40 design and Sharp's version 2 is simply slower in beam reaching wind angles.

    "With nothing to lose, we decided to implement a different strategy - to sail further east offshore in the hope that we'd find a stronger breeze in the night," Sharp said. Disappointingly, this prediction didn't materialise and the Mach 3s inshore enjoyed the same breeze. I think it will take some unlikely calms or an angry fisherman with long floating nets to slow down the front runners now – having been victim of this myself in the past, anything is possible."

    Softening winds have already seen the two French boats head right into the coast in the search for any zephyr. Imerys Clean Energy, forced further offshore looking for different wind, has gybed back towards them. Aïna Enfance and Avenir reported tearing their spinnaker and getting their keel caught on a net overnight...there are still some pitfalls along the road.

    Whatever the outcome, all three boats will smash, by over five days, the Transat Jacque Vabre record of 22 days 13 hours 2 minutes 22 seconds set by the Italian duo Giovanni Soldini and Pietro D'Ali on Telecom Italia in 2007 (the first time Class40 had been included in the Transat Jacques Vabre and the last time the race went to Salvador).



    Imoca

    Romain Attanasio and Aurélien Ducroz on Famille Mary – Étamine du Lys completed the set of 13 Imoca in Salvador de Bahia, crossing the line in the Bay of All Saints at 16:17:27 (UTC). Attanasio was reunited on the pontoon with his partner in life and on land, Britain's Samantha Davies and their son Reuben. Davies had finished sixth on Monday evening with Tanguy de Lamotte on Initiatives Cœur.

    Arrivals

    Wednesday, November 22

    Eleventh Arnaud Boissières and Manuel Cousin on La Mie Câline – Artipôle at 05:42:45 (UTC)

    Race time: 16 days, 17 hours 07 minutes and 45 seconds

    Twelfth Fabrice Amedeo and Giancarlo Pedote (Italy) on Newrest-Brioche Pasquier at 10:16:16 (UTC)

    Race time: 16 days, 21 hours 41 minutes and 16 seconds

    Thirteenth Romain Attanasio and Aurélien Ducroz on Famille Mary – Étamine du Lys at 16:17:27 (UTC)

    Race time: 17 days, 03 hours 42 minutes and 27 seconds

    Point café
    Date : 22/11/17 - 16h06

    Class40
    1 - V and B
    2 - Aïna Enfance & Avenir
    3 - Imerys Clean Energy

    Multi50
    1 - Arkema
    2 - FenêtréA - Mix Buffet
    3 - Réauté Chocolat

    Imoca
    1 - St Michel - Virbac
    2 - SMA
    3 - "DES VOILES ET VOUS!"

    Ultim
    1 - Sodebo Ultim'
    2 - Maxi Edmond de Rothschild




    Phil Sharp, skipper, Imerys Clean Energy (Class40)

    "V and B and Aina are an evolution to the Mach 2 boat that we're on, they're generation 3 boats - it's beamier and much more powerful in the hull. It's much more suited to beam reaching conditions in strong winds, which are unfortunately the conditions we've had all the way since the Doldrums. We fulfilled our objective of being in the lead at the exit of the Doldrums, we had a 20-mile lead, but it wasn't enough of a cushion to fend off the Mach 3's when they were in their prime condition. There wasn't a lot we could really do except helplessly watch them pass us. Now, we're 20 miles behind, so it's looking like a difficult shout to catch them before the finish but we've been doing everything we can to make up the gap. Are feeling is that we have nothing to lose and we have to enjoy the end of the race, keep the boat at its maximum and just be grateful for what an amazing opportunity we've had in this race. We're both looking forward to the finish, it's been a long race, two and a half weeks has gone pretty quickly, but this has been our home long enough and we're looking forward to getting back to land and celebrating the performance we put in. We've worked really hard for this race and pushed ourselves right to the limit of mental and physical fatigue. We're pleased with what we've done and it will nice to have a few caipirinhas with friends and family waiting at the finish to celebrate that."

    Maxime Sorel, skipper, V and B (Class 40)

    "The longest day...Hello earth, this is our last message to you, we have less than 200 miles left to go and it's going to be smoking hot finish; we're not sure on how this story ends."

    Fabrice Amedeo, skipper, Newrest-Brioche Pasquier (Imoca)

    "This crossing has been a mixture of joy and frustration, but that frustration will turn into positive energy for the future."

    Arnaud Boissières, skipper, La Mie Câline – Artipôle (Imoca)

    "The crossing? We started in the cold with waves and finished in the warm without wind. It's not been unpleasant, but it was a little longer than expected."
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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