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Thread: A Record Number Of Single Handed Rum Runners

  1. #41
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    A New Front Approaches


    A new degradation arrives passing to the North of the archipelago of the Azores to sweep the Bay of Biscay next night and especially Friday! The loners of the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe still in the north of Cape Finisterre will have to do again the round back while those in the South will have to manage a delicate transition phase towards the trade winds. As for the two leading trimarans, they knit downwind in a still unstable breeze at the latitude of the Canaries ...

    This fourth day of the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe has (almost) been a break for most solitaires at sea: only 20 to 30 knots of wind on average and only three to four meters of hollow, except in certain areas. This "lull" allowed many of them to make a quick check-up of their mount and for some, to decide to make a technical stop to the image of Nicolas Troussel (Class40), Louis Duc (Class40) ), Romain Pilliard (ULTIME) or Alain Delhumeau (Multi Rum) ... Others have suffered a crippling damage such as Fabrice Payen (Multi Rum) who saw the mast of his trimaran Team Vent Debout , collapse following the break of a cadena: the skipper had yet remarkably negotiated the heavy weather of the Bay of Biscay!

    Strategic folds
    And apart from the technical problems that can not be solved at sea (and the navigators do not stop to settle many small worries on board), several competitors preferred to take refuge before the third depression which arrives already on the Azores. But this disturbance still looks powerful with more than forty-five knots before Cape Finisterre Friday noon and more than thirty-five knots in the heart of the Bay of Biscay, with a Southwest sector flow. This suggests that the state of the sea will still be terrible, with crossed swells and pyramidal waves, particularly near the Iberian coasts and around the Azores.

    But it is to this area that several Multi50 are headed by leaders Thibaut Vauchel-Camus and Erwan Le Roux: will they manage to pass before the front generating a free-swing from Southwest to West with violent grains? With Boris Hermann (IMOCA) who chose to transplant to the West Wednesday, they will be the most exposed. However, those who have not yet been able to extricate the Bay of Biscay will also be picked by this very muscular flow: fifteen Class40 and five rum will again face a very hard sea. This is also the reason why solitary refugees in Breton ports are still waiting like Jérémie Beyou or Alexia Barrier (IMOCA): a meteorological opening is planned at the end of the weekend and they should be numerous to resume the course of the race after this "third layer"!

    The trade winds are structured
    For all those who have crossed the virtual line that connects the Azores to Cape St. Vincent, navigation conditions will be totally different: already the ambient temperature has increased significantly even if the sun is not always at the rendezvous; then the wind took a more reasonable cruising speed around 15 to 20 knots; finally the sea is smooth over the miles earned in the South. For the moment, only the two ULTIMATE trimarans of François Gabart and Francis Joyon really slip in trade winds (still sluggish) while the first four IMOCA monohulls border the high pressure off Madeira.

    Finally between Cape Finisterre and Madeira, the configuration is intermediate and all those who sail in this area know that it is necessary this night to put coal to avoid the strongest of the new gust of wind. Like Loïck Peyron, Yann Marilley, Gilles Buekenhout (Multi Rum) who slide south along the Spanish coast or Romain Pilliard (ULTIME) who left Corunna this Thursday afternoon. Thierry Bouchard (Multi50) also knows, he who saw his mainsail carts let go, forcing him to go under reduced sails to Lisbon.


    This Thursday morning, just as the MACIF trimaran reached the halfway mark between St. Malo and Point-à-Pitre, and still in the lead, François Gabart considered the Ultime's Route du Rhum and admitted how much he admires Francis Joyon and how sorry he is to see the other trimarans in difficulty.

    What do you think of these first few days of racing?

    François Gabart: "The start was absolutely wonderful. I couldn't have dreamt of a better first series of tacks, reaching upwind, and then with the angle opening up a little until I reached Bréhat. I hope the pictures were good! I was really with it. I had a good start in the match. I did see that Gitana was going really fast. There's no hiding it. However, I manoeuvred better and things went pretty well around the tip of Brittany. I am happy with the way I got into this Route du Rhum. After that, the race did not turn out how I had imagined at all. The major damage to for Sébastien Josse's boat and then to Sodebo a few hours later changed the mood. I did not expect that at all, even though we all know that with the speeds that we reach, damage can happen. But it is surprising that it should happen to these boats in particular. Despite this, I haven't slowed down, because there's no point. I did not come off unscathed. I had some small technical problems and I spent a good part of the first few days trying to carry out repairs whenever the conditions made that possible. It was energy-intensive, since the wind was strong, and we suffered relatively little damage, except on the first night and I think that the Ultim class was the hardest hit."

    And then, Armel Le Cléac'h capsized.

    F.G.: "Armel's route was fairly tricky and it occurred to me that he would probably come back in our direction if it had worked out. Unfortunately, there was the accident. I know that he is okay. I hope that they'll be able to recover the boat and that Armel will get over it quickly."

    How have the last few hours gone?

    F.G.: "We're halfway through the course, this Thursday, and we are still under the influence of the big cold front that swept across the fleet. Clearly, we are not yet in the trade winds. We just need to get away from this front to pick up the trade winds and then the wind is with us. I'm really happy with the night I spent. I worked hard and the boat surfed well. I'm also delighted to be racing with Francis Joyon!"

    Have you managed to stave off the pressure a little, from IDEC Sport?

    F.G.: "I was a little worried yesterday, when I came to a halt and had the wind below. I was frightened that he was in a better position above and, in these instances, this can create huge distances between us. I managed to pick up the wind again and to position myself ahead and below. That's where I prefer to be. But it's going to be difficult. Francis knows his boat by heart and he also knows how to make quick speed with any multihull boat. I really admire what he can do with his boat with a minimal amount of preparation. It's crazy! I am amazed that we are in this race together. I know that it will be hard and that he won't let go. I am going to have to find the right balance, pushing myself into the red zone, but not too much. I don't want to make any mistakes in the trade winds. I will need to keep the boat flat. When you see what happened in the first half of the race, it makes you more vigilant in the second. There will be Sargasso seaweed, weather traps and FADs (fish aggregating devices), large blocks of metal or plastic installed to attract fish. If we touch them then..."

    There's pleasure in everything you've shared about what's happening in this race.

    F.G.: "It's quite hard to talk about the start of the race, with everything that happened, but at the same time, I'm delighted to be where I am, competing at close quarters with Francis. I'm having a ball pushing forward with this wonderful boat. I have set my pace and I have kept it since the start of the race. I'm really proud of this. All that remains is to win this second challenge, which means remaining extremely focused and precise right to the end. It will mean sticking "with" it. You can count on me for that."


    Out of the twenty IMOCA skippers who set sail four days ago from Saint-Malo, twelve are continuing on their way towards Pointe-à-Pitre after Yannick Bestaven set off again today from Cascais.While only two competitors have officially retired (Louis Burton and Sam Davies), five others are carrying out pit stops, while Isabelle Joschke is aiming to return to Brittany after dismasting. A group of four are out in front comprising Alex Thomson, Paul Meilhat, Vincent Riou and Yann Eliès, while Boris Herrmann is attempting a more extreme option. Today, it is Jean Le Cam's turn to give us his view of the Route du Rhum in the IMOCA class.

    "In the next few hours, Alex Thomson, Paul Meilhat, Vincent Riou and Yann Eliès will have to deal with a ridge of high pressure before picking up the trade winds. They should make it across to the south of this ridge without having too many problems. It is going to be more complicated for those chasing them, as the way through is about to close...

    "Very little between them when they get out of the ridge"

    Alex Thomson is still benefiting from his westerly option and is galloping away in the lead. He has always gone for extreme options and in this Route du Rhum was the only skipper to pass the Ushant TSS via the north, even though that meant even more unpleasant and demanding wind and sea conditions. He has clocked up some incredible speeds and managed to head back south at the right moment. He has repositioned himself, as he now needs to get below the area of high pressure. It is logical that the gap from east to west between him and his rivals has narrowed. Alex, Paul, Vincent and Yann will be getting plenty of wind and taking advantage of downwind conditions today. The wind will slowly come around and those who are further south may well gain a small advantage. But I think that in the end, there won't be much between them when they leave the ridge of high pressure behind them. In my opinion, three of these four sailors will make it to the podium at the finish.

    "Four skippers in great form, a fantastic match"

    Once they have passed the ridge of high pressure, it will be all about speed between these skippers, who appear in great form. Yann Eliès is very consistent. He is always fast and knows his boat well. The same goes for Vincent Riou, even if he does not have quite as much experience of his PRB as a foiler. In any case, it is clear that he is able to sail quickly. What more can I say about Alex Thomson? Paul Meilhat is performing very well with his boat equipped with straight daggerboards. In the trade winds, it will logically be harder for him and he is likely to lose ground to the IMOCAs fitted with foils. But having seen what he has already achieved, we may well be in for another surprise. It will also depend on whether the other boats are still fully capable or not. It may well be that some have problems they are not talking about... In any case, we're in for a fantastic match.

    As they get further south, the sailors will be able to enjoy themselves more. It is really a weight off your shoulders when you have more decent conditions and downwind sailing. You can breathe again, get everything dry, get some rest, look around the boat and repair what needs to be repaired. On these boats, there's always something to be done. Having said that, you mustn't run away with the idea that the trade winds are always steady, as there can be squalls. It is more relaxed, but it is not really smooth sailing either.

    "Proud of backing Damien Seguin"

    For the moment, Boris Herrmann is still in second place in the rankings, as he is close to the direct route, but in theory, that will change in the next 24 hours. In my opinion, heading off west was a good option early in the race, but it is less interesting now. Boris is still a long way north. He will have strong winds until he slams into the ridge of high pressure.

    Over the next 24 hours, this ridge will become settled blocking the path. The first four will manage to make their getaway, but it will be harder for the little group chasing after them comprising Stéphane Le Diraison, Alan Roura and Damien Seguin. All three have had a very nice race. I'm particularly pleased with Damien Seguin's position, as I've been supporting him. His performance is remarkable, particularly when you see that he is sailing with sails that were used in the last Vendée Globe. It looks like he hasn't had too many problems aboard, and he is doing well for his first transatlantic race on an IMOCA. I'm proud of him."

    Jean Le Cam

    Multi 50

    While Thierry Bouchard, victim of damage last night, is heading to Portugal, the other five Multi50 still drive towards Pointe-à-Pitre. But the situations of these "small" multihulls differ between the gale that threatens Thibault Vauchel Camus and Erwan Le Roux and the downwind benefit of Armel Tripon.

    Well placed since the start, a time in mind, Thierry Bouchard led the fleet of Multi50 but now the race is no longer his priority. In a violent grain and an involuntary jibe, he broke his mainsail cart in the night from Tuesday to Wednesday and has nothing but an obsession: to rally the Portuguese coast. "A new front will arrive tomorrow on the North of Portugal and it is absolutely necessary that I go to the South to avoid it, " he explained in a worried voice during the session late morning. The skipper of Ciela Village set sail for Lisbon, but in the middle of the afternoon, he was still pointing more than 300 miles from the Portuguese capital. " I'm fighting to get there in time ."

    "I almost knocked me over"
    The harshness of conditions spares no one, even Armel Tripon, the southernmost skipper in the fleet. "I almost knocked on the night from Tuesday to Wednesday. We must be vigilant every moment, even when it's going to slide in the trade wind. On the chart in my cockpit, I also wrote 'concentration' in big. But the skipper of Réauté Chocolat continues his route, he who went west of Madeira Wednesday afternoon. It gets closer to the trade winds, 30 miles from IMOCA Paul Meilhat and Yann Elies.

    This road due south, it is also the choice of Lalou Roucayrol more than ever of attack the day after his departure from the port of Porto where he stopped. The sailor from Arkema , who is 400 miles west of Tripon, could even dive to the Canaries, taking advantage of his position as a hunter " It can allow me to find the trade winds faster than my comrades ". Lalou has returned the smile and ensures " think a lot to my friends up there who have locked themselves to the Azores ".

    More than 500 miles northwest of Arkema, Thibaut Vauchel Camus (1st, 2470 miles from the finish), Erwan Le Roux (2nd) and Gilles Lamiré (3rd) advanced slower early in the day (16, 8 knots average against 25 knots for Tripon). They are especially much more exposed to the new disturbance which should begin tonight and extend throughout the night. The sea, highly trained, will complicate their progress and will require vigilance every moment aboard boats exposed in this type of conditions.

    Classe 40

    Yoann Richomme (Veedol-AIC)
    I still have two-three days of fast starboard to the south of the Azores before going round the anticyclone. There are lots of little things on the boat, but no big damage, the boat is good, it is super strong, I'm really surprised, because every three seconds, it breaks a wave, it's impressive. I have more and more confidence in him, it's really great. I get to sleep well, I do not feel too tired, but I can not feed myself too much, if I eat two bars of cereals a day from the beginning, that's the maximum, I did not still not made a dish. I do not feel hungry, but as soon as it calms down, I will eat normally again. " but no big damage, the boat is good, it is very solid, I'm really surprised, because every three seconds, it breaks a wave, it's impressive. I have more and more confidence in him, it's really great. I get to sleep well, I do not feel too tired, but I can not feed myself too much, if I eat two bars of cereals a day from the beginning, that's the maximum, I did not still not made a dish. I do not feel hungry, but as soon as it calms down, I will eat normally again. " but no big damage, the boat is good, it is very solid, I'm really surprised, because every three seconds, it breaks a wave, it's impressive. I have more and more confidence in him, it's really great. I get to sleep well, I do not feel too tired, but I can not feed myself too much, if I eat two bars of cereals a day from the beginning, that's the maximum, I did not still not made a dish. I do not feel hungry, but as soon as it calms down, I will eat normally again. " but I can not feed myself too much, if I eat two cereal bars a day from the beginning, that's the best, I still have not made a dish. I do not feel hungry, but as soon as it calms down, I will eat normally again. " but I can not feed myself too much, if I eat two cereal bars a day from the beginning, that's the best, I still have not made a dish. I do not feel hungry, but as soon as it calms down, I will eat normally again. "

    William Mathelin-Moreaux (Beijaflore)
    the next two to three days, I put the race in parentheses, I was in mode you must not break anything. I just received the ranking, I am pleasantly surprised, I am happy. Physically, I'm fine, I slept a lot despite everything, I was not bad inside in the heavy weather, I had trouble on the other hand to eat, I vomited a little the first three days, but I am pretty good. I think I'll remember this first Route du Rhum, but it's not over, do not let go, morale is slowly rising, I get lots of messages of encouragement. " I was not bad inside in the heavy weather, I had trouble on the other hand to eat, I vomited a little the first three days, but I'm pretty good. I think I'll remember this first Route du Rhum, but it's not over, do not let go, morale is slowly rising, I get lots of messages of encouragement. " I was not bad inside in the heavy weather, I had trouble on the other hand to eat, I vomited a little the first three days, but I'm pretty good. I think I'll remember this first Route du Rhum, but it's not over, do not let go, morale is slowly rising, I get lots of messages of encouragement. "

    Aymeric Chappellier (Aïna Childhood & Future)
    hours and after, it should already calm down a little. I can not wait to be in the trade winds in tee-shirt and shorts because the dry(combination, Ed) , there are tired! And the tormentin, that had never used in Class40, I have used it already three or four times since the beginning of the race. With Phil (Sharp)we do not see each other, but we are used to being not far: since I have my Class40 Aïna Childhood & Future, each time, the chance is that we find ourselves both side by side . Yoann? It's Yoann, he sends! Afterwards, at times, I may have sent a little less to preserve the boat, it is a bit for that too that he has taken the lead. But the road is still long, we will see what will happen in the trade winds. The boat is nickel and the man too. I enjoyed a quiet moment this morning to sleep a little and at the time you called me, I was going to have breakfast, because the night was a little stressful: omelette, apples of earth and sausage to hide nothing! "

    Morgane Ursault Poupon (Fleury Michon Bio)
    " Everything is fine. I made the decision last night to go to Spain not to find myself in the thick of the gale of Friday. I'm trying to get there, but there are grains, it's hard to stay on course, I'm going to the coast, the idea is to stop at Gijon, and if I'm not I can not stop there, walk along the leeward coast and leave again as soon as the gale is over. I think I'll be in Spain tomorrow in the middle of the day and leave the next day, I do not have much to do there, maybe I'll get on the mast to install a spare wind vane, I'll do some sewing on my staysail, unless I do it at sea before, but the idea is to leave as soon as possible when the conditions are favorable to pass Cape Finisterre. From the start, life on board is not simple, it moves a lot, everything is soaked, it's more driving than pure performance, I had a problem with my staysail, I could not manage Wrap, suddenly, it was a little damaged, it's been a day and a half that I'm under torment, I'm a little under-clothed, but given the conditions, it's better like that, I play caution, slowly but surely. I find atmospheres similar to what I experienced in the Drake in the Great South, a gray sky, a strong sea, there were even small petrels that sailed yesterday above the waves, I am in known terrain, even if it is a few degrees higher and the boat is not the same, I was sailing on a boat of 20 meters and 30 tons. I'm really happy about what's happening to me, it's a bit hard, but I have confidence in the boat and in my previous experiences, I have often experienced heavy gales, I do not have too much ball in the stomach. I'm always afraid that something foolish, a bit, a listening, a stay, but I'm pretty serene and I really enjoy every moment, it's an adventure quite exceptional that I'm living, I'm really happy to be there ".

    Rhum Multi

    The early morning dismounting of his dolphin, Fabrice Payen's Team Vent Debout, further exudes the transom of Pierre Antoine's trimaran Olmix. The skipper of the old Crepes Whaou has managed to slide well in the west, leaving in its wake the depressions that break for four days on the Bay of Biscay. Clear horizon, boat to the maximum of its effectiveness, and a solid Pierre Antoine, in control to serenely begin the 2,600 miles separating it from Guadeloupe, and which, past the Azores, should flourish the trade winds. It is up to Jean François Lilti and his catamaran inspired by the Décision 35 that it is now incumbent to play the obstacles to triumph in circles. The pharmacist of Trévières in Calvados chooses, like many of his classmates, to go south, eager not to undergo yet another blow of tobacco so hard for the man and the material. He leaves the honor of the tributes of the day to Etienne Hochedé. The garage owner of Fécamp, aboard his venerable PIR2, classified boat of Patrimonial Interest, which rises bravely on the second step of the temporary podium, thanks to a fast and efficient road to the South West. Far in the east, we see the cautious and very intelligent descent of Loïck Peyron and his teammates, Yann Marilley and Gilles Buekenhout under Cape Finisterre, close to the coast of Galicia. All in measure, and wise navigation, these three men have so far been able to avoid the successive storms of the Bay of Biscay, preserve their integrity and that of their boats,

    Through Lisbon, Sidney Gavignet repeats to the octave close the same score that succeeds so well to his colleague Pierre Antoine Class Rhum Multi. In the lead since the starting shot of the Mono Rum, the skipper of Café Joyeux explodes in the role of the solo sailor, living and sharing a significant portion of his life as a sailor. With nearly 200 miles ahead of his immediate pursuer Wilfrid Clerton, still serene at the helm of his huge Cap au Cap Location - SOS Children's Villages, ex Kriter VIII, Sidney is setting himself new challenges, competing with the best Class40 specialists. A race in the race that will take all its flavor once the tradewind meets in the eastern Açorian.

    The attention in Rum Mono is however focused on the back of the race, where the brave ones who refused to take shelter, contrary to 8 units of this group, will again be picked this night by a new low-pressure front, and its winds at 45 knots and more. There are no other loopholes for Dominique Dubois, Jean Marie Patier, Eric Jail, or Luc Coquelin, than to make the round back, clothed at a minimum and well caulked inside their boats. Yesterday from Camaret, the Marseillais Nicolas Magnan seeks again this evening a shelter on the side of Lorient.

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  2. #42
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Abandonment Updates

    The skipper of the 50-foot trimaran Team Vent Debout, Fabrice Payen, announced that he had dismasted this morning while sailing about 230 miles in western Portugal. It was the starboard star, in the wind, which broke off, causing the mast to fall. Fabrice was sailing with three reefs in the mainsail and J 3 in the front. Conditions seemed to calm down in the area, with just over 20 knots of wind. Fabrice is fine. He secures his boat by dropping the rigging. He can then route the engine to a Spanish or Portuguese port not yet determined. The CROSS Griz Nez is informed and distributes an alert to the ships on the zone. Fabrice Payen had a great start on the Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe since he was second in the Rhum Multi group at the time of dismasting.


    After four days of racing, the fleet of 123 solitaires is divided into two large groups: those who preferred to take refuge in a port and those who stopped to repair minor damage, and those who continue to face very harsh conditions. North of the Azores or gliding towards the trade winds ... Update on the situation of pit stops.

    • Sébastien Josse (ULTIMA- Maxi Edmond de Rothschild ) in A Coruña. Damage: starboard float ripped off about ten meters.
    • Louis Burton (IMOCA - Valley Office ) in Saint-Malo. Damage: waterway through the starboard foil pit.
    • Samantha Davies (IMOCA - Heart Initiatives ) in Lorient. Damage: structural problem on the hull.

    • Armel Le Cléac'h (ULTIMA - Maxi Solo Banque Populaire IX ) off the Azores. Damage: capsize after breakage of the port float. Skipper recovered.
    • Isabelle Joschke (IMOCA- Monin ) en route to Lorient. Damage: dismasting.
    • Sam Goodchild (Class 40 - Narcos: Mexico ) is heading towards the Brittany tip. Damage: dismasting.
    • Fabrice Payen (Multi- Team rum standing wind ) off Porto. Damage: dismasting.

    • Thomas Coville ( Sodebo Ultim ' ) in A Coruña. Damage: crack in the arm. Under repair
    Two giant trimarans in the trade winds at the latitude of the Canary Islands, a departure from La Coruña on Thursday afternoon, a technical stop in La Coruna.


    • Manuel Cousin ( Groupe Tétin ) in Camaret. Damage: Faulty rudder attachment
    • Romain Attanasio ( Pure-Family Mary ) in Port-la-Forêt. Damage: explosion of the J3 and mainsail hook.
    • Alexia Barrier ( 4myplanet ) in Concarneau. Damage: air sensor problem
    • Jérémie Beyou ( Charal ) in Lorient. Damage: transmission of saffron.
    • Fabrice Amedeo ( Newrest-Art & Windows ) in Lisbon to repair. Damage: broken bowsprit
    Twelve sailors are at sea, plus one who makes a technical stop in Lisbon. The first, the Brit Alex Thomson ( Hugo Boss) is 150 miles west of Madeira, the last, the Finn Ari Pekka Huusela ( Ariel 2 ) is 180 miles west of Porto.


    • Thierry Bouvard ( Ciela Village ) en route to Lisbon. Damage: defective mainsail trolleys.
    Five competitors en route to the West Indies, including the southernmost, Armel Tripon ( Chocolate Rite ) near Madeira, the rest of the fleet halfway between the Azores and Cape Finisterre.

    • Marc Dubos ( Scouting Spirit) in Roscoff.
    • Maxime Cauwe ( Azeo-On is large ) in Camaret
    • Cédric Kervenoael ( Grizzly Barber Shop ) in Camaret.
    • Sébastien Desquesses ( Kersia-Le Guével-Spirit of Saint-Malo ) in Camaret.
    • Dominique Rivard ( Marie Galante-April ) in Brest.
    • Jean Galfione ( Serenis Consulting ) in Brest.
    • François Lassort ( Bijouteries Lassort-Tonton Louis ) in Brest.
    • Halvard Mabire ( Colombre XL ) in Bénodet.
    • Emmanuel Hamez ( Teranga ) in Bénodet.
    • Arthur Gascoin ( Up Sail & Connect ) in Bénodet.
    • Nicolas Jossier ( Manorga ) in Concarneau.
    • Loïc The Dean ( Saint Cast-The Exotic Land Guildo ) in Lorient.
    • Andrea Fantini ( Enel Green Power ) in Lorient.
    • Hiroshi Kitada ( Kiho ) in Lorient.
    • Olivier Magre ( E. Leclerc-Ville La Grande ) in Lorient.
    • Bertrand Delesne ( ) en route to Lorient. Damage: genoa impossible to roll on the forestay.
    • Morgane Ursault-Poupon ( Fleury Michon Bio ) en route to Spain.
    • Sébastien Marsset (CTohapi ampings ) en route to Brittany. Damage: Butternut outriggers.
    • Louis Duc ( Carac ) en route to A Coruña. Damage: Jib stay.
    • Emmanuel Le Roch ( Edenred ) en route to A Coruña.
    • Nicolas Troussel ( Corum ) is heading to Lisbon. Damage: more overhead and engine fastening
    • Claire Pruvot ( Civic Service ) is routed towards A Coruña. Damage: delamination of the starboard bow
    • Jean Marie Loirat ( Klaxoon ) takes refuge in A Coruña.
    • Jacques Valente ( Destination Evian ) takes refuge in A Coruña.
    • Jonas Gerckens ( Volvo) takes refuge in Lisbon
    • Olivier Rousset ( Obportus ) takes refuge in A Coruña.
    • Donald Alexander ( Power of One ) takes refuge in A Coruña.
    • Florian Guéguen ( Parkison Sailing School ) takes refuge in Lorient
    Twenty-seven sailors are at sea: the first Yoann Richomme ( Veedol AIC ) is at the latitude of Lisbon when Romain Rossi ( Digestscience Foundation ) is in the middle of the Bay of Biscay.

    Multi Rum
    • Franck Sainte-Marie ( Branec IV ) in Camaret.
    • Erwan Thiboumery ( for Bioniria ) in Brest.
    • Gildas Breton ( Bo Square ) in Loctudy.
    • Bertrand De Broc (C reaual) in Bénodet.
    • Christophe Bogrand ( Sterec Aile Bleue ) in Bénodet.
    • Christian Guyader ( Guyader Gastronomie) in Bénodet.
    • Charlie Capelle ( Acapella-Soreal-Proludic ) in Concarneau.
    • Pierrick Tollemer ( Resadia ) in Lorient.
    • David Ducosson ( Air Caribbean-Caseneuve Maxi Catamaran ) in Lorient.
    • Gérald Bibot ( Zed7 ) in La Trinité / Wed.
    • Alain Delhumeau ( Rayon Vert ) is routed towards Vigo. Damage: waterway.
    Ten skippers are at sea: the first (Pierre Antoine-Olmix ) sails with the Multi50; the last (Yann Marilley- No Limit BMP ) tackles Cape Finisterre.

    Mono Rum
    • Bob Escoffier ( Kriter V-Socomore-Quéguiner ) in Roscoff
    • Willy Bissainte ( C 'La Guadeloupe ) in Roscoff. Towed following a grounding resulting in a waterway.
    • Eric Bellion ( Commeunseulhomme ) at Aber Wrac'h.
    • Laurent Jubert ( Breath Space ) at Aber Wrac'h.
    • Christophe Souchaud ( Rhum Solidaire Cap Handi ) in Camaret
    • Olivier Leroux ( Real Estate Art Construction ) in Camaret.
    • Jean-Luc Bizien-Jaglin ( Groussard Transport ) in Camaret.
    • Andrea Mura ( Vento di Sardegna ) in Lorient.
    • Nils Boyer (The funeral choice ) in A Coruña.
    • Nicolas Magnan ( SOS windshield ) en route to Lorient.
    Eight Mono Rum are at sea: the first (Sidney Gavignet- Café Joyeux) is at the latitude of Lisbon; the last (Dominique Dubois- Ghéo ) is 200 miles west of Brittany Point.
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  3. #43
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Multi Ultime Gitana Damage Up Close

    La Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe came to a halt very quickly, too quickly, for Sébastien Josse and the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild. At the helm of the latest addition to the Gitana fleet, an emblem of the new generation of flying maxis, the sailor from Nice set sail as one of the race favourites. However, on the first night, his starboard float suffered major damage, the bow ripped off across an 8-metre section. Positioned at the head of the fleet at the time having demonstrated the incredible potential of his machine, the skipper had no other option than to retire from the race and make for La Coruña, the closest and most suitable port to accommodate him when the incident happened, in a bid to preserve the Maxi’s integrity.

    Put the race to one side, get the man back and then the boat... when there is major damage, the team and the sailor rarely ask any questions. The safety of the solo sailor always takes precedence over the hostile nature of the elements, as was the case earlier this week in the Bay of Biscay. On Monday evening, shortly before 21:00 GMT, the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild arrived at the entrance to the Galician port of La Coruña, to the North-West of Spain. Thanks to his composure and his seamanship, Sébastien Josse brought to an end a long sixteen-hour journey at a reduced speed to make terra firma. It came as a great relief to the owners of Gitana, who were kept informed in real time about the situation offshore, as well as to all the members of the team based in Lorient.

    The first words from Sébastien Josse offshore of La Coruña

    The low-down

    The day after his arrival in La Coruña, after several hours struggling to get some sleep, the skipper of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild gave us the low-down on his race. Airborne from the start to Cap Fréhel, on a reach that will remain etched in ocean racing history for a long while to come, he discusses the passage off Ushant and the mindset he was in before getting into the teeth of the low pressure system. As usual, the sailor tells us exactly how it is in these few hours of racing in the Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe prior to his retirement.

    This retirement has come as a tough blow for the members of the five-arrow stable, who demonstrated unfailing commitment in their preparation for the major meeting that is the Route du Rhum. Every one of them was keen to offer Sébastien Josse a steed that was on a par with his talent. It's a massive disappointment as we had to do a lot of work to be present and relevant at this race However, offshore racing is and will always be a mechanical sport where breakage is sadly one of the risks. The damage suffered on the starboard float will force us to call ourselves into question, to try to find out and understand what's happened and effect repairs so we can come back stronger. We are in no way seeking to discard the work that has gone before. The quest for innovation we've launched into with the support and enthusiasm of our owners and associates of the Edmond de Rothschild group is no easy task, but the game is worth the candle. Calling into question our pioneering spirit and the vision we have of tomorrow's sailing is not on the agenda,” admits Cyril Dardashti, the director of the team.

    We have a heavy heart for our pontoon neighbours, Team Banque Populaire, who are today trying to recover their boat from offshore of the Azores. These are very hard times, and though the most important thing is that Armel will soon be back amongst his nearest and dearest, my thought have been focused a great deal on Ronan Lucas' team since Tuesday.

    Thank you!
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    Armel Le Cleac'h Back On Terra Firma

    Rescued by the Portuguese crew of the "Sonho de Infancia" Tuesday night, Armel joined this morning the port of Vigo in Spain where expected members of his team. He gives us his first words before joining his relatives in Brittany.

    After Ouessant we find ourselves in a somewhat complicated wind zone. There was a transition, we decided to go for a little more wind in the west. Indeed we find ourselves again to catch up with our little comrades who had escaped a little, there are four boats in front of me and very quickly we recover some places, due in particular to the damages of two direct competitors Gitana and Sodebo, and then I found in second place on Monday night in the Bay of Biscay where we went to look for this second that we had already well monitored for several days in Saint-Malo on the ground with my team, so we finally continued our strategy as originally planned.

    We really had limits in force of wind and sea state, to be able to preserve the boat. Above all, the goal with the team was to arrive in Guadeloupe. We knew we had the potential to make a beautiful place, but first of all the main thing was to arrive. For that we had put limits to the weather conditions.

    Despite our departure delay, we have not changed this course of action with Marcel my with my team ashore, so we continued this strategy, so we had a small counter-board to make in the west to get a wind rotation, in wind conditions and sea a little stronger but not at all dantesque. We went up to 5 meters deep, there were gusts at 35, 40 knots maximum, but it was not going to last very long.

    Tuesday morning, I am close to the east of the Azores and we continue our road map with our weather team ashore. The conditions were a little degraded as expected, we have 35 knots of wind, the sea was formed a little, I am at that time with the minimum sail on board of Banque Populaire, 3 reefs in the , the so-called J3 the , the smallest sail up close, and the boat advance normally.

    I really reduced the speed so as not to hurt the boat because we know it's a little bit complicated to pass that behind the conditions in the evening will improve significantly, and that eventually it will be really the descent, the slide to the West Indies.
    All goes well, I managed to sleep a few hours the previous night to just pass these conditions a little difficult, and then the boat is moving normally. I am at this moment in standby at the level of the piano to be able to be able to the plays because there were from time to time small windings .

    All of a sudden, the boat to the side, in a few seconds, I do not really realize what's going on, the boat is completely gitted, I realize that we are capsizing. I see the in the wind that is detached from the boat, so I tell myself that there must have been something that has failed, I do not know what, in any case, I am rather in the urgency of managing the crisis, especially for me to try to find a solution to be safe and find myself if possible inside the boat in the central hull when the boat has finished turning around.

    I do not know what happened, it was very fast, the , or something that broke loose. There for once, it was so brutal and so fast that I was surprised, I did not expect that of course.

    Already I had to get into the boat, it was not easy. I managed somehow to reach the central hull and to return by the porthole which is planned for that, in the back, and thus to find myself inside the boat, in safety, to be able to trigger the relief and especially distress . I operated it quickly enough, then I was able to open the survival bag that is on board to be able to immediately have the first tools to be able to put me in safety and finally contact the ground.

    I called my team to tell them that I was on board and that it was okay even if I had sore ribs, I was a little stunned but I was in the boat safe and sound and I now waiting for help to pick me up. It took a little while.

    After the organization of the rescue was set up with the various security agencies, the French Navy, the Portuguese Navy, the Race Direction and the Team Banque Populaire. Things were done gradually, I was in contact with the earth regularly, they gave me news.

    Already, they had the position of the boat, which was pretty good. Then it was necessary to divert one or more boats. I knew later that there was a cargo ship and a fishing boat that would join the area I was on and that a French plane would take off to fly over my position and that a second Portuguese plane was also going to come on area. It took 6-7 hours before the arrival of the first French plane, with which I made contact by to clarify my position, to say that all was well on board, and at that moment they informed me that a Portuguese fishing boat had been baffled and that it was going to arrive on zone at the beginning of the night around 8 pm 21h (French time), to be able to help me.

    First I was picked up by the fishing boat, it was still a pretty hot time, because the conditions of sea and wind had not really calmed down. On the zone, it was always well shaken, it stirred a lot in the boat. The fishing boat arrived around 20h. We had set up an organization for my rescue: I had exchanged with the two planes to tell them how I could get out of the trimaran and join the fishing boat. I had planned to put my liferaft into the sea, get in it, and if possible join the fishing boat at that time to get on board. This is what I managed to do around 21h.

    It was a little complicated because the sea was difficult, it was dark but fortunately, the fishing boat and especially the Captain was very well maneuvered, the crew was great, they really helped me in this maneuver .
    Very quickly I managed to board this Portuguese fishing boat where I was very quickly welcomed, they offered to take a shower to give me clothes because I only had my survival suit , and worried about whether I was fine. Really very nice crew.

    At that time, I was able to tell my team and the various means of rescue to say that I was on board and that the rescue operation had gone well and that we would then go to Vigo (Spain). but it would take a little bit of time because it took two and a half days to reach the destination port.

    The whole team is mobilized to try to recover the boat, today things are set up. It's not easy, because the boat is between the Azores and Cape Finisterre, the conditions of sea and wind are a little agitated at the moment, it is necessary to find the good boats, there is normally a boat which will leave in the coming hours with a part of the team Banque Populaire to go get the boat as soon as possible. "
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  5. #45
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    LAST NIGHTS UPDATE 8:30pm 08/11/18: Boris is now in 1st but he sent us this update last night.
    Now I am sitting here taking my “apero” alone. A beer and bel cheese with crackers. I try not to think about the race for 20 minutes. I feel it’s important to refresh my mind starting to be quite tired. A moment of mental recuperation after the stressful first days.

    A long swell is pushing us like a very deep breath and then almost stopping us. This is the rhythm of my day. Maybe 4-5 meters but the swell is very long. Not ideal on my upwindcourse as it lowers significantly the average speed. But for my evening beer it’s impressive to see and I try to enjoy. The sunset is fast. When I started this text it was just starting. Now the horizon is purple and grey. As I sail south I can’t see the sunset itself. It’s hidden by the high side of Malizia heeling over to the east and no view to the west. I look out to the northeast from my Veranda cockpit. Rapidly I feel also the temperature dropping. Big amplitude between day and night.
    Yesterday’s j3 tack breakage is still stuck in my bones. My mind less innocent, always looking up to the mast and sails as if I got weakened in my confidence. Maybe also because I am pushing Malizia hard. J2 and one reef at 22-24 knots wind from 65 degrees.

    I miss my companions sitting here with me usually on all our other trips. I think thankfully about my teammates. Can’t wait to find them again in Guadeloupe. It’s often hard to disconnect the senses from the boat and stop sailing in the brain to sleep. I then try to picture Malizia gliding quietly along on perfect flat water. I try to picture my arrival in Guadeloupe reunited with my friends. Still not easy to sleep. The wind is so unstable that I can’t relax. The boat is soaking and suffering and so I am. Basically since the start. In that sense it can only get better.

    24 hr ago I was highly stressed. Had just managed to repair and tryout the j3 when I got hit by a series of squalls. Some up to 43 knots. My god what a stress. Each time you think if you should furl the j3. And then suddenly the wind is back to normal. Later at night we started slamming so hard that it became impossible to live on board. I couldn’t sit anywhere or stand. I had the choice to go to delivery mode or to keep racing. But the only place to exist is the bunk, ideally asleep. I think I managed to sleep some but maybe only minutes. I had to press hard with my legs against the bulkhead to prevent sliding forward in every wave. Each gust I lift my head and observe the instruments under tension. Made some good miles that night and this morning second place.
    Our little moment of glory. Very conscious that this is not likely to remain. But why not enjoy as we are here today!

    It all depends on the high pressure and ridge situation. A cold front is pushing from the west and helping to develop a new high. The models say I would be in the perfect timing to just take advantage and slide through but it remains highly uncertain. The formation of a new high is less accurate in the predictions than a big system. Now I need a big chunk of luck to still be in the race next Monday when I will have finally reached the trade winds.
    Besides endless studies of routes and models there is now the factor of destiny. It will happen as it will. I am in my special west position away from the fleet and can’t correct this anymore.

    I will try to proceed my route directly ssw. I try not to tack back up to the Azures as I initially thought. I am so tired of the slamming and stronger winds expected up there. The routing gains are marginal. So I prefer to continue my path here to the south west in the quest for some flat sea where Malizia can glide along effortlessly and in all harmony and safety without suffering and slamming. I remember those moments in the se trades with Thomas exactly one year ago in the Transat Jacques Vabre. I remember how impressed Thomas was with our downwind speed.

    I had planned to stay with the pack for this race but with a long full stop inside the secondary low just after the race start on Monday I started the race from far behind. I could see Paul and Vincent sailing away at 15 knots speed while i was stuck at 2 knots. For hours. And hours. Like Yann but then he found the wind and left, I kept rolling around with flapping sails. That was the verdict on Malizia just then on day one. Just hours later I got out and no one was on the AIS any more. I was in my own race. Lonely. It’s so much nicer to race direct opponents. At least we got our day of glory on the tracker here today and some hope for the future. I’ll keep pushing as hard as possible and especially try to be smart with every opportunity laid out. I will try to share as best and enjoy. I have learned a lot already for the vendee but I don’t want call it yet just that. The race is still long and I will give it all. I want to see Malizia glide along over the finish line in about 8 days. Team Malizia - Yacht Club De Monaco Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe
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  6. #46
    I guess they stopped braking boats today?

  7. #47
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    Nov 10th Update


    Between Francis and Francis, there is only one 'O' difference. An O that resembles the outline of Guadeloupe, or 4 to 6 hours of sailing, perhaps the delta between the two men when crossing the finish line Sunday in the late afternoon between the Islet Pig and Islet Gosier ...

    Between the Charentais and the Eurélien, there is also 27 years of gap. With a little imagination, Francis could have been François's father. Their respective boats are also born one generation apart (2006 and 2015), but these are two VPLP plans with remarkable pedigree. On one side MACIF, a trimaran that took Gabart alone around the world in record time (42 days 16 hours), transfigured into a very effective version 2 flying. On the other IDEC Sport, ex Groupama and former Banque Populaire VII, double winner of the Route du Rhum, with which Francis won the Jules Verne Trophy in 40 days and 23 hours.

    The epilogue of this Route du Rhum Destination Guadeloupe sees fighting in two singular combat two formidable machines led by two sailors exceptional talent and mental.

    The youngest is in the lead with 120 miles of margin, but nothing is final yet at 36 hours from the end of this transatlantic race. On the road to Guadeloupe, while MACIF and IDEC Sport may have made their last jibe to Papillon Island, the trade winds are poorly lunar. Under the grains, the east wind is very irregular, with large variations in strength (10 knots) and in direction (30 degrees), forcing navigators to be vigilant at all times. The 30 knot speed race is also a balancing act: you have to go for it but do not skid. Not easy for the skipper of MACIF, pushed into its entrenchments by a tireless hunter. " In its place, I would do exactly the same " confided this morning a François Gabart good player.

    Camille El Beze


    Hour by hour, Alex Thomson digs his lead over his pursuers. We knew that Hugo Boss was formidable downwind and his imperturbable skipper confirmed his leadership. Behind, everyone appreciates being finally out of the low pressure systems. This is not a break on the Atlantic. After six days of wrecks, everyone scrap to his level! And ashore, from Brest to Lisbon, five competitors sharpen their weather files to decide when to go back to sea. At the time when we close these lines, Fabrice Amédéo was preparing to cast off the moorings of Cascais ...

    2 nodes. 2 knots is the speed difference between Alex Thomson and his pursuers for 24 hours. When yesterday yesterday the leader re-crossed the Canaries West in front of SMA's bow , his lead was only twenty miles. It rises to more than seventy today. Obviously, the skipper of Hugo Boss is in great shape. " I have confidence in my boat and her speed downwind and that's where the race is going to be.He confided when questioned 48 hours ago about his risk of resetting in the South. Alex took risks at the beginning of the course, pushed the bar as long as there was still time to return to control the fleet and found the right speed in the transition phase. A perfect copy for now, while the evolution of the trade winds does not announce a tactical game. This does not prevent Yann Elies to dive to the South to find more pressure than his comrades ...

    There are more than 2000 miles to run for the leading IMOCA and the first to see Guadeloupe will also be the one that will make the least mistake. Who will keep his big spinnaker until the end? Who will negotiate all the small flip-flops on the right side? Position war, this second week of racing will also be a war of attrition. The Atlantic is certainly a garden for the four tourdumondiste at the forefront, but the trade winds brew nice embankments and agitates grains like crazy grasses ...

    Three "vintage" in 10 miles!
    Some 350 miles to the north, Boris Hermann knows today that he is unlikely to hang up the top three. " I hope I can make a transition to the backbone without losing too much speed. I get into the game but they are still in front of me, Alex is at least half a day ahead (...). I stay in the race and maybe I can hang Yann (Elies)! "Not sorry to finally get out of the low pressure system, the skipper of Malizia II-Principality of Monaco came this afternoon to return his high mainsail high for the first time since the start and it sounded like a party. " I am starboard tack, under J2, with close to 65 degrees. This Saturday, the sea is calm so life becomes more pleasant »

    Same story in the East where the trio Finot-Conq 2007 plans a great fight that should last until Pointe à Pitre. "The match is nice, but it's a war of nerves! Our hulls are close, but the sail planes are noticeably different and under certain conditions, the foils of Alan can be an advantage "explained Stephane The Reason at the session. Well in his race, the skipper of Time for Oceansails very "cleanly" according to the skippers' well-known expression - translate a fairly tense and economical track in miles, well in the timing of the weather systems, which allowed him to pass in front of Alan Roura. Behind, the young Swiss do not spare his efforts, as Damien Seguin, at the rendezvous of the 11th Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe.

    Still on the back, Erik Nigon will cross the road of Arnaud Boissières who knows the potential of the Farr plans for the generation of A world without AIDS since he has barred two successively on the last Vendée Globe. Faced with a lot of small problems (pilot, watermaker) and thumb injury, Cali will put coal in the trade wind to hope to emerge and perhaps pick up with the trio installed 170 miles ahead. Well pleased to be out of this first week of racing, Erik confessed he did not look too much at his competitors, rather worrying not to be trapped by the ridge he crosses at Madeira.

    When Fabrice Amédéo returns to sea tonight, the first competitor on his hunting board will be Ari Pekka Huusela who still closes the boats on the way to Pointe-à-Pitre. But Newrest-Arts and Windows will have to play full South near the Moroccan coasts not to be caught up in the ridge that lies on the Atlantic. As for the IMOCA stopover in France (Manuel Cousin, Alexia Barrier, Jérémie Beyou, and Romain Attanasio), they will have to choose between starting tomorrow in the tread of the depression or wait until the beginning of the week to see to reconstitute a favorable situation. to a quick return and less risky in the race.

    Pierre-Marie Bourguinat

    Multi 50

    Armel Tripon continued his progress in the trade winds and took the opportunity to pass the IMOCA who were sailing alongside him. Lalou Roucayrol, who has just crossed the Canaries, is 420 miles further east, while Thibaut Vauchel-Camus and Erwan Le Roux have crossed over to the Azores.

    He spins off and confirms his lead. Armel Tripon, who took the southernmost option in the Multi50, is harvesting the fruit. Having spent a day more than 20 knots average in this sea row, the skipper of Reauté Chocolat has even offered the luxury of overtaking IMOCA Paul Meilhat, Vincent Riou and Yann Eliès who accompanied him in recent days.

    Crossed in Ponta Delgada
    The other "southerner" of the adventure, Lalou Roucayrol passed safely between the Canary Islands. The skipper of Arkema still accuses 420 miles behind the leader of the class despite its 20 knots average this Saturday. For the rest of the fleet, the time is not really appeasement. Thibaut Vauchel-Camus, victim of the breakage of part of the rail of his mainsail, had to make a stopover in Sao Miguel in the Azores. He stayed only eight hours before leaving at 6:30 on Saturday morning, heading south.

    On leaving, the sailor of Solidaire in pack-ARSEP did not pass away from Erwan Le Roux. Always worried about autopilot problems, the skipper of FenêtréA-Mix Buffet also arrived at the port of Ponta Delgada at 8:55 am. "Northerners", only Gilles Lamiré ( French Tech Rennes Saint-Malo ) did not is not stopped. But advancing at an average of 12 knots, he had to compose this Friday with the return of Thibaut Vauchel-Camus who was 20 miles from him at midday.

    The gap remains nevertheless very important between the trio come from the North and the leader, Armel Tripon shifted 600 miles to the South. The skipper of Reauté-Chocolat , who still has to travel 2,080 miles before arrival, must remain vigilant. The further west, the warmer the sea and the trade winds will be in grain. Conditions that require attention at all times, especially aboard these drag dragsters.

    Antoine Grenapin

    Classe 40

    While Yoann Richomme continues his cavalcade at the head of the Class40, his pursuers pull their tongues behind, worn by several days reaching and upwind that solicited boats and organizations. On the Iberian coast, several skippers have been sailing since Friday, while in Brittany, a departure is planned Sunday ...

    He and the others. In each ranking that has been falling for three days, Yoann Richomme has continued to increase his lead over his pursuers (Phil Sharp and Aymeric Chappellier at 70 and 80 miles Saturday in the early afternoon) who must find these hours very cruel , powerless against the pace printed by the leader whose plan Lombard is marvel in the conditions of reaching / near which are the daily life of the head of the fleet for three days. " Yesterday, there were 20 knots of wind, Yoann was a faster knot than everyone else, or even more, it's a really stronger boat", found Saturday morning Kito de Pavant, fourth on Made in Midi about 120 miles from the skipper of Veedol-AIC. A Kito de Pavant who confided the passage a certain lassitude, after six days of sinking past sea: "I can not wait to be downwind, because the close, it starts to do well, it's still not what There is something more pleasant about these boats. I want the wind to turn to go in the right direction.

    It is Sunday, or even Monday, that the doors of the trade winds should open for the "seven mercenaries" who race in the lead off Madeira, in the order Yoann Richomme, Phil Sharp, Aymeric Chappellier, Kito de Pavant, Antoine Carpentier, Arthur Le Vaillant and Luke Berry. It will no longer be question of leapfrog in the waves under staysail or tormentin, but slips under spinnaker, which why the 53 solitaires enrolled in Class40 on this eleventh edition, have partly come. "I can not wait to put on the spinnaker, take a shower, be able to store all that and have a more pleasant navigation. It will be interesting, there will be some game in the trade winds! "Saturday morning Yoann Richomme, while Jonas Gerckens, who left Cascais Friday evening after a technical stop that allowed him to solve the problems of electronics aboard Volvo, added: " I am slowly looking for the trade winds, it will soon unfold and we will finally have our surfs so much wanted.

    Technical worries also for Carl Chipotel (Pep 'Gwadloup'), arrived exhausted Saturday morning in Baiona, solent and mainsail torn, and for Maxime Sorel, whose bar system on V & B makes his own. " The temporary solution does the trick but it requires permanent control because the vibrations are important and the bolts unscrews. We will have to wait until the state of the sea is better to finalize the repairs ", said the Malouin, ranked 9th. Behind, the sailors who have chosen to face the depressions without passing through the station continue their descent to the South and conditions more lenient, the surprising Michael Hennessy (Dragon), leader in the Vintage category, to the Swede Mikael Ryking (Talanta) in passing by Olivier Cardin (Normandy Region), Miranda Merron (French Campaign), Jean-Baptiste Daramy (Chocolates Paries-Coriolis Composites), the German Arnt Bruhns (Iskareen), the Guadeloupean Rodolphe Sepho (Dream of Large) or Franz Bouvet (Yoda), the latter having entrusted Saturday morning: " I managed the weather by putting the minimum of canvas. I took my time, I let the big time pass. It was useless to stop because those who did it are still at a standstill, the best solution was to move slowly.

    The man has a thousand in the legs, some, less experienced, have chosen the path of wisdom in sheltering (sometimes because of technical glitches), they should not delay to take off again to Guadeloupe, in any case those who stopped in Spain and Portugal: Olivier Roussey (Obportus IV - Gras Savoye) left Gijon Saturday morning, it will be followed in the afternoon by Morgane Ursault Poupon (Fleury Michon Bio), Jonas Gerckens, on 've seen, left Cascais Friday night, Louis Duc (Carac) hopes to sail by Saturday night Baiona. And in Brittany? A departure is still envisaged Sunday for the fortnight of solitaires distributed between Roscoff, Brest, Camaret, Bénodet, Concarneau and Lorient. On the other hand, for Sébastien Marsset (Campigns Tohapi), it's over,

    Rhum Multi

    On the water as on land, the motto for the sailors of both categories Rum is back to business. Except perhaps the two leaders, Sidney Gavignet in Rum Mono, and Pierre Antoine in Rum Multi, the whole of the competitors, by managing in their way and in their soul and conscience the 4 trains of depression which swept the Bay of Biscay and seriously complicated the road to the West Indies, put in brackets the race, the sport and the competition.

    With a notable and global lull of the Madeira weather at the tip of Brittany, and although the sea remains difficult, the sailors are recovering in racing configuration, start to think again placement and classification. For the 11 skippers of monohulls having chosen at one time or another this terrible week of repeated storms, to return to port, time is a new start. This morning Eric Bellion and Laurent Jubert have left the Aber Wrach where they had been waiting since Sunday. Others are going to imitate them and reintegrate the race. For Andrea Mura and Willy Bissainte, alas, there will be no new firing, even fictitious. Damage to their respective boats does not allow a second chance. For Dominique Dubois, who wants to put back the palm of endurance and tenacity, Gheo , and the sailboats back in the race

    Same story in Multis. Eight catamarans and trimarans are getting ready to go back to sea. At the same time, sea fortunes oblige, some brave men who braved the elements, who have not been paid back, turn back and join the earth to assess their damage and lick their wounds. . This is the case of Jean-François Lilti, amazing dolphin of an imperial Pierre Antoine, who goes to Madeira for a quick technical stop. Gilles Buekenhout and a little earlier Yann Marilley, despite a cautious navigation, with a stop at Gijon, return to port with serious damage, cracks on the hull of Yann's cata, and loss of a foil on the trimaran of Gilles.

    As we can see, sport has regained its rights. Jean-Pierre Balmès, happy to escape the hard-line Iberian shores, is dreaming of performance and classification, while two small yellow trimarans, Happy and Friends & Lovers regatta of the side of Cape Saint Vincent.

    For Pierre Antoine and Sidney Gavignet, far ahead of their respective fleets, new challenges are emerging, and to finish before the Class40 swings that regale in their neighborhoods, would constitute for these two men a very personal satisfaction.

    Rhum Mono
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    Gabart On Pace To Crush Record!


    With less than 800 nautical miles to sail to the finish of the 2018 Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe solo transatlantic race – from Saint Malo in Brittany to Pointe-à-Pitre in Guadeloupe - the French sailor François Gabart is on course not only to win the ULTIME class but to smash the outright race record.

    After just six days at sea Gabart, at the helm of the maxi-trimaran MACIF, is now within a day-and-a-half of finishing the 3,542-nautical mile race and estimates published by the race director’s office suggest he could break the existing seven-day, 15-hour record by as much as 19 hours.

    Gabart is a sailing superstar in France – he has many victories to his name in single and double-handed ocean racing and has won the Vendée Globe solo round-the-world race and also set a new non-stop solo round-the-world record.

    But the diminutive 35-year-old from La Forêt-Fouesnant in Brittany wants this win in the ULTIME class to follow his victory in this race four years ago in the IMOCA division. He knows that his fellow Frenchman Francis Joyon on IDEC Sport has been on his tail all the way across the Atlantic and that – at around 120 miles behind – Joyon is ready to pounce on any mistake.
    “Francis never lets go, but that is normal and, if it were me, I’d be the same,” said Gabart today, as his boat continued heading west in the northeasterly trade winds. “Until the finish line is broken the game is open. You need to give it your all to the end.

    “I will do everything to stay in first,” he continued. “This lead in these boats that do 30 knots of speed is nothing. And having Francis on my tail is pushing me hard but I am still managing the risk, all the time. I could gain a few knots here and there if I took more risk, but I am pushing as hard as I can – there is no more on the gas pedal.”

    This race is being contested in six classes and while Gabart heads serenely on, hundreds of miles behind him there are intriguing battles going on in the smaller boats in the 123-strong field.

    In the Multi50 class the early race leader Thibaut Vauchel-Camus (Solidaires En Peloton-Arsep) has now made a very quick and efficient pit-stop in the Azores where his shore team fixed his broken mast-track and mainsail.

    He has now rejoined the race in second place behind the new leader, Armel Tripon in Réauté Chocolat who is nearly 200 miles ahead and a whopping 600 miles further south than Vauchel-Camus.

    A nice sporting touch was that when Vauchel-Camus stopped in the Azores, the shore team of his other main rival in the class – Erwan Le Roux (FenêtréA-Mix Buffet) who made a pit-stop after him – helped the Solidaires team to dock his boat.

    n the IMOCA monohull class the leading group is south and west of the Canary Islands and well into the trade winds with Alex Thomson now comfortably ahead on Hugo Boss, from Paul Meilhat on SMA and Vincent Riou on PRB.

    Meilhat is sailing a 2011-vintage boat with a distinguished history but it does not have foils and is equipped with daggerboards. By rights the 36-year-old Frenchman should be further back in this fleet but he has held position against Thomson all the way through the bad weather in the opening stages and kept pace with Riou.

    Marcus Hutchinson who managed the SMA project until Christmas last year says that if the wind angles in the trade winds over the next week see the boats reaching then it will be very hard for Meilhat to hang on in the top-three as the others get up on their foils and race away. However if the wind is further aft then Meilhat has a good chance of making the podium.

    “Paul is sailing extremely well,” said Hutchinson. “He knows that boat inside out in its current configuration and he is a bloody good sailor – even in the tough weather in the early stages there has been no drama because he was very well prepared.”

    In the Class40 fleet, the leading bunch is following the IMOCAs south towards the Canary Islands before the skippers turn west under the Azores High. Yoann Richomme on Veedol-AIC continues to set a fierce pace ahead of second-placed Phil Sharp on IMERYS CLEAN ENERGY who is around 70 miles behind.

    harp is relieved to be out of the westerly storm track in the north Atlantic and settling into calmer conditions further south and says the routing predictions give him a 10-day passage to the finish.

    “The good news is that the new Lombard Lift Veedol rocketship is now going slightly slower than me for the first time in the race,” quipped Sharp referring to Richomme’s boat. “He could well be in lighter winds at the moment, but it’s a relief to see that the boat can actually sail at less than 10 knots!…I have a lot of work to do to catch up but I am hungry for it.”

    In the two amateur Rhum classes – divided between monohulls and multihulls – the boats are spread far and wide and there are still many skippers taking shelter from the rough weather in the Bay of Biscay who should begin re-joining the race tomorrow.

    In the Rhum Multi division Pierre Antoine on Olmix remains the runaway leader. Behind him Loïck Peron on Happy, a sistership of the small trimaran that won the first Route du Rhum back in 1978, is now up to sixth place as he heads towards the latitude of Cape St Vincent.

    In the Rhum Mono class, spare a thought for 58-year-old Dominique Dubois on the 50ft GHEO who has been battling three storm systems in the Biscay and has struggled to make headway south. His track from the start shows Dubois heading west, then north as he runs downwind from the worst of the weather, then back south, then north again and so on. After six days at sea, he is still 160 miles north of Cape Finisterre and remarkably still in sixth place in the class. What is more he is still in good spirits despite his trials and tribulations.

    In a recent message to the race organisation he was sounding pleased to be finally heading south after five days of “hell” as he rode out the worst of the weather. “He sounded fine, a bit tired but on good form, but his aim was just to ride out the storms until he felt it was time to go south,” said a race official.

    As the first finishers near Guadeloupe, OC Sport Pen Duick, the owner and organiser of the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe, is delighted to announce a new commercial partnership with the world leading deckware and safety equipment manufacturer, Spinlock, which becomes Official Life Jacket Supplier to the race.

    Spinlock is providing 50 of its award-winning lightweight lifejackets – the Deckvest LITE - to race staff and volunteers in Guadeloupe. They will be worn by local fisherman and other marine professionals, whose boats and crews are assisting the event management team with course marshalling, filming race finishers, ferrying race officials and hosting VIP spectators.

    The partnership with Spinlock, which is based in Cowes in the UK, reflects the importance of safety for all the many staff and volunteers who help to make this four-yearly solo transatlantic race a success.

    With about 700 nautical miles to go to Guadeloupe, Francis Joyon is taking full advantage of a strong trade wind blowing from the east-northeast at around 20 knots.

    IDEC SPORT and her skipper are really enjoying themselves with speeds permanently above 30 knots, which is way in excess of the boat’s polars, but also better than the performance achieved in the Jules Verne Trophy on the non-stop round-the-world course with a full crew.

    Joyon is not hiding the fact that he is pushing his boat hard and for this Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe is in the same mode as for the records, which built his reputation. He is keenly chasing after the blue boat. The MACIF trimaran is still within reach and is keeping IDEC SPORT in check, with the latter regaining 50 miles yesterday.

    “We’re in typical trade winds. The boat loves it,” said Joyon. “Twenty knots of wind and we’re speeding along at 30-36 knots all the time. It’s great and the boat isn’t suffering at all. It’s really fantastic. We chose a tactic to deal with MACIF, as she is a bit further south. I’m trying to play with them,” he added.

    “I’m still under full mainsail and gennaker, giving it my all. I’m pleased with the boat and when I look at how she performed with a crew, I can see I’m doing better, as IDEC SPORT is much lighter now and that’s an appreciable difference.”

    In sprint mode, Joyon is doing his utmost. He knows all about the Route du Rhum and having sailed several times around the north of the island of Guadeloupe, he also knows that anything can happen until they have passed Basse-Terre.

    I can smell Guadeloupe coming up. The finish is traditionally very tactical and you can find yourself stopped for several hours. I have seen that happen to my advantage and disadvantage. In 2014 with Yann Eliès, I made it through, but in another edition, I got completely stuck.”

    At the helm and under the protective cover on his boat after a quick spell out on the deck, Joyon is focusing on his obsession - speed. “The protective cover is my rest area, but I am spending more time at the helm and trimming the sails. I only go under the cover to grab a bite to eat, look at the weather and take a short nap. That is something that hasn’t changed for the better either.

    “I’ll be completely out of it by the time we get to the finish,” he continued. “I tend not to restrain the boat. She can take it, as she was well prepared and I’m really pushing her like crazy. I have narrowed the gap slightly to MACIF. I like that. It’s never over on a multihull until it’s over. It just takes a thundery calm and in our trimarans, it only takes a few hours to catch up what we have lost.”
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  9. #49
    Gotta pull for both Francis and Francois, both great sailors from slightly different generations.

    Rumor has it that Coville will push off tomorrow and attempt tp maintain 3rd place!

  10. #50
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Gabart Finishing Without Port Rudder

    A few hours from the amazing outcome of the Route du Rhum and the fierce fight that is currently being played out between François Gabart and Francis Joyon, lots of people are wondering about the MACIF trimaran's average speeds. Below is an update on the damage on board.

    At 4.00 pm (UTC+1) this Sunday, 11 November, François Gabart was still leading the Route du Rhum, with roughly 50 nautical miles to go before clearing the tête à l'Anglais and starting to go round the island, a last tactical effort that will take around five hours. And we are seeing an amazing battle between the IDEC Sport trimaran, record holder of the Jules Verne Trophy in 40 days, and the MACIF trimaran, record holder of the round the world single-handed in 42 days.

    The two big low pressure areas that had such a dramatic effect in the early hours of the race, and which caused structural damage to the Maxi Edmond-de-Rothschild, Sobebo Ultim and the Maxi Banque Populaire, have not left the MACIF trimaran unscathed. François Gabart has had more disabling problems in six days than in the 42 days of the round the world. Here are some of the problems the MACIF trimaran and its skipper have encountered:

    - First night. When he left Brittany, François had to deal with a J3 actuator problem; the small forward sail on which he was relying to cross the two big low areas.

    - Monday night. François realised that he no longer had his foil on the starboard float. There is virtually no collateral damage, since the foil did not touch either the hull or the starboard rudder when it fell. The only concern was that the casing was not blocked.

    - Tuesday morning. François hears a crack. As he was sailing along the Spanish coast, he lost his port rudder, which was cut off below the rudder head.

    "Consequently," said Thomas Normand, in charge of the MACIF trimaran's technical team, "there can be no last inkling of a doubt regarding François' commitment in each race, and not the slightest hint of him letting go. The difficulty pushes, stimulates and drives him to make an even greater effort. He is never on his knees. He has always trusted his weather unit and his technical team. His obsession is to continue to make headway."

    - Tuesday. After the first low had passed, François also had to cope with mainsail batten problems, which broke in the strength of the swell and the wind. He had to repair the 3rd batten and he removed the 4th.

    "François never gives in," says Thomas Normand. "The loss of the foil did not cause sufficient damage to force him to retire. Naturally, these hitches have had an impact on the MACIF trimaran's performance, but she is still fighting for a win, and the sail round Guadeloupe is all set to be a legendary finish!"

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