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Thread: A New Course For TJV

  1. #21
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    A Mass Sprint To Martinique

    The Leaders in all four classes are on a direct route to the finish. The Ocean Fifty multihulls lead the race with just 720 miles to the finish line but the doldrums await them for a second time as the Ultimes and IMOCAs close in.



    TRACKER



    Class 40 – all to race for

    If you look at the Class 40 fleet on the tracker it looks like they’ve re-started the race with most bunched south of the Cape Verde islands and heading west. They’re picking up the north-easterly trade winds and have lined up on starboard tack, bows turned towards the finish.

    Redman have a ten-mile advantage on second-placed Volvo, both boats that have consistently led over the past weeks. However, just behind them the passage through the islands has shuffled the pack with some new boats coming to the fore. Franco-Italian boat Guidi is now third with Croatian Ivica Kostelic on Craotia Full of Life moving into fourth. With only 100 miles separating the top 20 the next week of racing promises to be exciting.






    IMOCA – gybes talking

    11th Hour Racing Team Malama (USA) will shortly round the waypoint at Fernando De Noronha, side by side with Corum L’Epargne the pair are the link between the boats that can still win and those whose chance seems gone. Meanwhile the three leaders are gybing their way up the north east coast of South America led by LinkedOut, Apivia and Charal – 100 miles separates first from third.






    Ultimes – drag race to the finish

    The Ultimes continue to be full steam ahead which is just as well because the weather is hot and steamy now they’re off French Guiana, “It's mainly the heat that is bothering us but as we're going quite fast, it's pretty windy" says Tom Laperche from SVR-Lazartigue. Alongside partner François Gabart, Laperche is working hard to close the gap on leaders Maxi Edmond de Rothschild and second placed Banque Populaire XI. They are also having to keep a close eye on the Ocean Fifty, "We're looking forward to getting there, there's a chance the Ocean Fifty will get there before us but we're working hard and we'll try to get there on Tuesday night. The boat is really top notch, 820 miles in less than 24 hours, she has great potential! In the coming months SVR - Lazartigue will be even faster”







    Ocean Fifty – anything could happen

    Now into lighter winds and flatter seas – 10 to 12 knots – the change of regime after days and nights in the muscular tradewinds is a welcome one for the Ocean Fifty fleet. Sam Goodchild and Aymeric Chappellier on Leyton sit third with just 750 miles to the finish line in Martinique. The Anglo-French pair caught up more than ten miles on the leaders Primonial and there might be more compression as the fleet slows through the Doldrums again. With just 60 miles separating them from the leader, Goodchild and Chappellier poised to take any opportunity that comes their way.


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    More Woes For Mālama

    WEEK TWO IN THE TRANSAT JACQUES VABRE


    Fifteen days into the Transat Jacques Vabre and it was a cruel start to the morning for the embattled duo of Charlie Enright and Pascal Bidégorry, as they rounded the turning mark at Fernando de Noronha. Having revealed yesterday that they have damage to the trailing edge of the keel fin, which was causing severe vibrations throughout the boat, the crew are having to limit their speed as they head towards the finish in Martinique, some 2,000 nautical miles to the north west. At around 0900 UTC this morning, their rivals in the IMOCA class, Corum L’Épargne, passed them sailing three knots faster, and pushing Mālama into seventh place.





    The alloy keel is a one-design component, the same on every IMOCA, and the composite fairings fore and aft allow water to flow smoothly around the structure.

    In his message to the race organizers last night, Enright explained how they found the damage onboard the boat. “We’ve been dealing with a lot of breakages throughout the course of this race, such is the nature of a new boat on an action packed and competitive track like this one.

    “None of these ‘little incidents’ compares to what we went through yesterday. While reaching along in what I will refer to as a typical doldrums squall, we hit 28 knots of boat speed with the J2 and a full main. Shortly thereafter, the boat essentially tripped over itself and we were no longer able to achieve speed.

    “Assuming we’d caught something, we proceeded to try and ‘broach’ it off the keel. When that didn’t work, we backed down … and then backed down again. I took a look in the endoscope and saw what I thought was a line.

    “In a last ditch effort to figure out what was going on, we tacked the boat, hove-to with the keel to leeward and I went over the side to inspect.

    “It wasn’t a rope at all, it was the intake tube that lives in the aft keel fairing…and the aft keel fairing itself was gone.”

    Mālama is now under a limited sail plan which will reduce the speed of the boat to around 70% to reduce the onboard vibrations. It will be a tough uphill battle for Bidégorry and Enright, mentally and physically; they will need to dig deep as they nurse Mālama safely, but slowly, to the finish.

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

    DAY 16 – NOVEMBER 22, 2021 – 15:30 CET
    Update by Amory Ross

    There is not a whole lot that has changed in the last 24 hours. By now Charlie and Pascal can probably hear the footsteps of the closest boats in the rearview, but they have done a good job working with what they have to make up some fast miles towards Martinique. Overnight, Mālama was sailing equal speeds to the competition but a fraction lower for a better overall VMG, or velocity-towards-Martinique. It’s clear they haven’t lost the fight, gybing a handful of times to stay flush with the coastal exclusion zone rather than lazily stray too far north.

    In the context of racing a compromised boat, these conditions are perfect for minimizing high loads but being able to push a little harder. They are however at the mercy of the wind gods for the foreseeable future, and these 10-15 knot downwind conditions – which are ‘easy’ on the boat – will soon give way to a reach in the coming days. Reaching is a more loaded point of sail, which puts more stress on things like the rig, foils, and keel, so their ability to push like they currently are will be diminished and they may again see the surrounding boats begin to accelerate.

    They are doing their part to control what they can control! The rest will just have to play out for them.
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    The Primonial Urge To Finish


    TRACKER

    22 November 2021
    Last sunrise aboard Ocean Fifty Primonial! This last night was strategic since our sailors were able to seize an opportunity to scavenge several tens of miles on their pursuer Koesio. Now with a comfortable lead, the two skippers are heading for Martinique and heading towards the Rocher du Diamant.

    The crossing of the finish line is gradually becoming clearer and the Primonial rocket is expected at Fort de France in the middle of the evening around 10 p.m





    Sébastien: "It was our last sunrise at sea on this Transat Jacques Vabre this morning. It's our last day of racing! We're going to spend Barbados mid afternoon. It's going to be careful navigation, there's going to b traffic, sargasses... We will have to take good care of the boat. We will enjoy these last hours at sea before we meet again! "


    Matthieu: "Couette wakes up this morning on board Primonial. It's been ten days now that we've been fighting head on, with ups and downs, especially the Black Pot that gave us the thread to rewind. We managed to stay on top, not looking back, it's not an easy exercise. Last night we had the opportunity to do a little bit of a mushroom... Heading out this morning a little early. Next, we don't know her but we're going to live it together! "







    The first boats are expected to arrive in Martinique overnight. The three fastest classes are slipping slowly through an area of light winds whilst the Class 40s are loving the trade winds.




    Ultimes – where did that come from?

    As the Ultimes were heading to Martinique on a single tack and dreaming of the finish line, they became mired in a patch light wind that seemed to come from nowhere.

    Aboard the leading boat Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, they're taking it easy, "There isn't much breeze 5-6 knots, which doesn't correspond to the weather files and it's been going on for a long time. We have to be patient, there's not much we can do" stated Franck Cammas this morning during the radio session. These huge boats need over 15 knots to fly, anything below that and they drag significantly in the water struggling to get up any sort of proper speed.

    The finish line in Martinique still feels a long way off but Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier are expected to cross it between 23.00 and 03.00 tonight. "We've been really looking forward to arriving for a few days now. But this lack of wind has calmed us down a bit. We want to go faster and enjoy the Martinique atmosphere.”



    Class 40 – a party atmosphere

    The majority of the Class 40 fleet are now enjoying the trade winds and heading straight for the finish. The fleet is tightly grouped which means the crews have been catching up on the VHF. Pierre Casenave-Péré, on board Legallais writes, "It was good to get news from our friends on other boats. Everything is going well for them too, apparently, even if they have too much salt and not enough sugar to eat. It's a bit the opposite with us.”

    Redman continues to lead the fleet, shadowed closely by Volvo. 35 miles behind the leader is the winner of the last edition of the race, Ian Lipinski on Credit Mutuel. Croatia Full of Life has slipped to 13th place – read our feature with her skipper Ivica Kostelic here.



    IMOCA – it’s the gybes talking

    The gap is widening between the three leading boats and their pursuers. In their sights are the end of the gybing and the start of the fast, straight stretch home - if conditions allow.

    Groupe Apicil passed Fernando de Noronha this morning, followed by seven other IMOCAs, including two foilers, who should reach the finish in the next 24 hours. Charlie Enright on 11th Hour Racing Team – MĀLAMA (USA) describes passing the waypoint, "Fernando looks like Jurassic Park. Absolutely beautiful. Any semblance of civilisation is a welcome sight when we haven't seen land for a while." One solitary boat, Nexans-Art & Fenêtres, has chosen to head further north of the South American coast, a move intended to reduce the number of gybes.



    Ocean Fifty – the leading trio pull away

    The seven Ocean Fifty boats have divided into three groups. Primonial, Koesio and Leyton form the leading trio and all are within 60 miles of each other. They have been battling for places for four consecutive days now.

    With a little over 24 hours to race to the Martinique finish line, Sam Goodchild (GBR) and Aymeric Chappellier aboard Leyton have been pushing hard to escape the and get into the tradewinds for the final sprint to the finish line. Their duel with Koesio, who’s second, continues. They have a little over 350 miles to the finish line and Goodchild can’t wait, “We’re looking forward to getting back on to land and getting a shower, other than that we’re in good shape.”



    Leaderboards at 08.00 CET
    Ultime
    1. Maxi Edmond de Rothschild
    2. Banque Populaire XI
    3. SVR - Lazartigue

    Ocean Fifty
    1. Primonial
    2. Koesio
    3. Leyton

    Imoca
    1. LinkedOut
    2. Apivia
    3. Charal



    Class40
    1. Redman
    2. Volvo
    3. Crédit Mutuel
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    A Near Flawless Run For Cammas & Caudrelier

    A brilliant victory for the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild in Fort-de-France


    Tuesday 23 November 2021 - They waited for the sun to shine over Martinique before lining the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild up with Diamond Rock and taking full advantage of their crushing victory in the Transat Jacques Vabre. At 10 hours 16 minutes et 16 seconds locale (14 hours 16 minutes et 16 seconds UTC), Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier crossed the finish line set between the Trois Ilets and Fort-de-France marina. Sailing a masterful race, the skippers of Gitana Team win the star category in the Coffee Route, utterly dominating play in the Ultime fleet to leave their competitors trailing some 100 miles in the wake of the five-arrow flying maxi-trimaran.






    A fine demonstration

    Leading the way out of Le Havre, on 7 November 2021, the skippers of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild headed the fleet throughout the 16 days 1 hour and 49 minutes of racing, with the exception of the passage across the Bay of Biscay where they relinquished control of the race for a matter of hours. Fully assuming its role as favourite and able to demonstrate the extraordinary potential of the only Verdier design in the fleet, a pioneer of her generation, the Cammas - Caudrelier duo have treated Gitana Team to a second victory in the Transat Jacques Vabre to complement that of 2013. The two sailors now boast seven trophies in all in this event; four for Franck (2001, 2003, 2007 and 2021) and three for Charles (2009, 2013 and 2021).

    Since their arrival within the Gitana Team in 2019, the pairing has jointly won every prize going. In this way, this Transat Jacques Vabre confirms the pertinence of Ariane and Benjamin de Rothschild’s decision to unite these two stellar sailors at the helm of a unique duel skipper model.



    ariel images © Yann Riou / polaRYSE / GITANA S.A




    The perfect course

    In this 15th edition of the Coffee Route, the giants of the Ultime category sailed a course tailored specifically to their needs, namely 7,500 miles, two passages across the equator and a brief sprint along the South Atlantic to the Trindade and Martim Vaz archipelago and back at 20°30 south. The Maxi Edmond de Rothschild actually covered 9262,13 miles at an average speed of 24,1 knots.
    Though Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier posted an impressive performance out on water, back on shore they were able to rely on a top-flight routing cell. In Lorient, Erwan Israël and Stan Honey, together with Chris Bedford on the other side of the Atlantic, traced the ideal route for them. The Franco-American duo worked fantastically well for the whole of the race, the two skippers in perfect harmony with their routers and generous in their praise of the options proposed throughout.

    Franck Cammas, Charles Caudrelier and all the Gitana team dedicate this victory to Baron Benjamin de Rothschild, who passed away early this year and present it to his wife Ariane de Rothschild and their four daughters. Heir to the Gitana lineage and founder of the Gitana Team 20 years ago, Benjamin de Rothschild was a visionary owner without whom none of this would have been possible




    © J.Champolion / polaRYSE / GITANA S.A



    The numbers that add up to victory

    Start on 7 November at 12:27 UTC
    Finish on 23 November at 14hrs, 16min and 16sec UTC
    Course time: 16 days, 1hour, 49 minutes, 16 second
    Number of miles covered: 7500
    Average speed along the route: 20,41 knots
    Passages of the equator: 3 (1 on the outward leg, 2 on the return leg after passing São Pedro)
    Maximum lead recorded over the competition: 443.7 miles over Banque Populaire XI during the climb between Trindade and São Pedro.
    24-hour record: 803 miles covered at an average speed of 33.5 knots.
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    Podium Complete For Ocean 50's

    Primonial has taken line honours and the Ocean Fifty multihull title in the 2021 Transat Jacques Vabre race. French pair Sébastien Rogues and Matthieu Souben crossed the line in Martinique ahead of Koesio in second. Britain’s Sam Goodchild was third aboard Leyton.


    Photo by Jean-Louis Carli / Alea



    Primonial took 15 days 13 hours 27 minutes and 14 seconds to cover the 5,800 theoretical miles from Le Havre to Martinique in the West Indies, averaging a speed of 15.4 knots. They actually covered 6,536.56 real miles at 17.50 knots.

    Sébastien Rogues and Matthieu Souben crossed the finish line in the dark of night, under a full moon and drenched by light rain to claim the Ocean Fifty title - the first of 150 boats still racing to cross the line near Martinique’s legendary Diamond rock.

    Talking amidst the celebrations on board, Matthieu Souben told us, “We’re very emotional right now. We didn't expect it to be easy, we said before the start that there were no favourites. It’s a really great race but it has been hard because it has been long, longer than expected. It has required a lot of commitment, the chess game on the water started early. We gave it our all and are totally exhausted now.”



    Photo by Jean-Louis Carli / Alea




    Koesio second

    2 hours 27 minutes and 58 seconds later Koesio crossed the line in second place. Co-skippers Erwan Le Roux and Xavier Macaire took 15 days 15 hours 55 minutes and 12 seconds to cover the race distance.

    Le Roux said, “To have a good regatta, you need good competitors and I think with the whole class it has been very close. There were no big gaps and the racing was intense. This second place suits us perfectly.”





    Photo by Jean-Marie Liot / Alea

    Leyton third

    The only non-French sailor in the Ocean Fifty class took third place, 3 hours 48 minutes and 29 seconds behind the winner. Britain’s Sam Goodchild and co-skipper Aymeric Chappellier on their boat Leyton took 15 days 17 hours 15 minutes and 43 seconds to cover the course.

    Straight after crossing the line Goodchild told us, “It was our first transatlantic race on this type of boat. These are extraordinary boats that can go very fast, so you have to be careful. We learned a lot about the boat and ourselves.”


    https://www.transatjacquesvabre.org/...odium-complete
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    Ultime Podium Set, IMOCA's Next In Line




    The Ultime podium is complete. Late last night SVR-Lazartigue took second place ahead of Banque Populaire XI. The leading IMOCAs are due in Martinique on Thursday as the Class 40 make good progress across the Atlantic.

    François Gabart and Tom Laperche crossed the finish line to take second place in the Ultime class aboard SVR-Lazartigue. The French pair were 7 hour 56 minutes and 55 seconds behind the winner Maxi Edmond de Rothschild.

    Gabart and Laperche set out on this double-handed transatlantic race with a brand new boat, their main objective was simply to get to the other side safely, so their second-place finish in 16 days 9 hours 46 minutes and 11 seconds is a huge achievement.




    SVR-Lazartigue, which was built at Gabart’s own manufacturing facility, covered the 7,900 theoretical miles from Le Havre at an average speed of 20.09 knots, but she actually covered 9,333.08 miles at 23.70 knots.

    Speaking on the finish line Gabart said, “It feels like a victory. A few months ago, we didn't even know we would be racing. This morning was crazy, I was crying at the helm, it was so beautiful. There is a great winner up front, but behind us we fought hard. I'm very happy with the boat, it has a huge potential for progress. This may be the last race that Maxi Edmond de Rothschild wins, I hope! They're a step above us today, but it's reasonable to think that we can go after them in the next few races."












    About 55 minutes later came the third placed Ultime, Banque Populaire XI. On board were French ocean racing veterans Armel Le Cléac'h and Kevin Escoffier. The blue and white maxi-trimaran, launched only seven months ago, managed to keep up with the pace set by her rivals throughout the course and finished less than 9 hours behind the winner.

    The pair completed the course in 16 days 10 hours 39 minutes and 20 seconds. They actually covered 9,225.53 miles at an average of 23.38 knots.

    Armel Le Cléac'h said, “We were a little frustrated to have been overtaken by François and Tom for second place. But in the end it was a very positive race. We are very happy with the boat. Our friends on Maxi Edmond de Rothschild were untouchable. We still have a lot to learn about this boat and how to improve it.”


    TRACKER



    Meanwhile the IMOCA fleet is spread across the north-east coast of South America. LinkedOut has won her duel with Apivia and now has a 150 mile advantage and is just 350 miles from the finish.

    Defending title holder Charlie Dalin and Paul Meilhat on Apivia will be anxiously looking back over their stern where Charal is sitting only 55 miles behind in third. The battle for that second spot on the podium is far from over.

    It’s neck and neck for fourth. There’s little to separate Britain’s Sam Davies on Initiatives Coeur from Arkea-Paprec sailed by Sébastien Simon and Yann Elies. USA’s 11th Hour Racing Malama is 7th, part of a large bunch of boats sprinting to the finish that includes Italy's Giancarlo Pedote on Prysmian Group.






    Only 75 miles separate the leading ten boats in the Class 40 fleet. Redman holds her lead 23 miles ahead of defending title holder Ian Lipinski on Credit Mutuel.

    Back in 11th are Britons Brian Thompson and Alistair Richardson who’ve struggled with the boat’s electronics throughout the race. This includes their autopilot, forcing them to steer manually most of the time. As a result they report being exhausted but in good spirits, “We are super pleased with how we are going, especially as our boat is an old design and doesn't have the new scow bow, which most of the leading boats have. We've had to ration food and water because we only had enough for 20 days and it's looking like it will take 22 or 23 days. It's very hot below deck and so we're unable to spend any length of time down there. We're pushing hard and hoping to make up some more places before the finish. We're both in good spirits and enjoying the challenge.”






    All seven Ocean Fifty multihulls have now finished the Transat Jacques Vabre. And we have a winner in the esports version of the race.

    Whilst Primonial may have won the trans-Atlantic race, the Diamond Rock Trophy went to Solidaires en peloton-Arsep co-skippered by Thibaut Vauchel-Camus and Frédéric Duthil.

    The trophy is awarded to the fastest boat on the final stretch of the race. As the race-boats approach Martinique they must pass the famous landmark of Diamond Rock that also marks the start of the timed sprint to the finish line. Solidaires en peloton-Arsep completed the sprint in 43 minutes and 32 seconds. They finished the actual transat race in 4th place.

    Results of Diamond Rock Trophy in Ocean Fifty:

    1. Solidaires en peloton - Arsep (Thibaut Vauchel-Camus - Frédéric Duthil): 43'32

    2. Les P'tits Doudous (Armel Tripon - Benoit Marie) : 54'22

    3. Arkema 4 (Quentin Vlamynck - Lalou Roucayrol) : 1h03'46



    eSailing race winner

    After 17 days we have the first class winner in the Virtual Regatta Transat Jacques Vabre race.

    Thanks to a great comeback from the Doldrums PassTaga-BSP crossed the line as the winner in the Ultime class. Gameuro 974-EZ and rija2 were second and third respectively. The majority of the 300,000 esailing skippers are still at sea and will continue to flock across the finish line over the next few days.

    Winner, PassTaga-BSP has followed an incredible rise to fame; 2nd in the Rolex Fastnet Race, winner of a leg of the Solitaire du Figaro, and now a Transat Jacques Vabre race victory. All this in just one year since taking up the game. What’s the secret to success? “A lot of investment, in terms of time and hours of sleep sacrificed and then the almost constant desire to optimise every element that can be optimised. A pinch of success, and that's it!”
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    LinkedOut Takes 1st, Apiva Takes 2nd In IMOCA Class




    LinkedOut has taken victory in the IMOCA class, crossing the line in Martinique after 18 days 1 hour 21 minutes and 10 seconds of racing.



    Co-skippers Thomas Ruyant and Morgan Lagravière claimed their first race victory aboard this latest generation foiler thanks to a superbly sailed race that saw them lead for an extraordinary 72% of the race.

    Although the course was set at a theoretical distance of 5,800 miles the french pair actually covered 6,691.30 miles and averaged 15.44 knots.



    Thomas Ruyant speaking after crossing the line said, "I had a lot of fun on the water with Morgan. It's a great sporting experience, these are rare moments. This victory has been in the making for several months, for several years, thanks to the great team working on this project. A lot of things were done before the start. We were lucky enough to have a boat that was ultra-ready, in which we had confidence, on which we could pull, which we did not spare."



    Morgan Lagravière added, "It's a good moment, winning a race is always a pleasure. These are moments of happiness, you have to be able to enjoy them, to savour them. It is not only the sporting result, it is also the values and the human dimension."


    The IMOCA podium will soon be complete as the battles in the chasing fleet intensify. The damaged Ultime, Sodebo 3 is expected to end her heroic race tonight. The Class 40 leaders continue to be bunched together as the sailors struggle with the soaring heat.



    IMOCA – still plenty of action

    Charlie Dalin has added a second place finish to his victory in the previous edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre. Along with partner Paul Meilhat, Dalin crossed the finish line aboard their boat Apivia 20 hours 12 minutes and 21 seconds behind the winner, LinkedOut. The pair covered 6,642.18 miles at an average speed of 14.64 knots.

    Speaking on the finish line Dalin said, “We set out to try and do a double, but we were missing perhaps two or three ingredients, a touch of success, a touch of speed in certain conditions.”

    Apivia led the fleet in the early stages of the race but from Day 5 the lead changed many times between the leading three boats. “We are very happy with this second place. In the end, the final stretches made it impossible to come back. It was a very intense three-boat race”, conceded Dalin.



    The third placed IMOCA, Charal sailed by Jérémie Beyou and Christopher Pratt is expected to finish later tonight.

    The titanic tussle for fourth and fifth is continuing about 350 miles from the finish. Britain’s Sam Davies and partner Nico Lunven on Initiatives Coeur are just 40 miles behind Arkea Paprec sailed by Sébastien Simon and Yann Elies. The two boats were virtually side by side this morning but Arkea Paprec has been the faster boat over recent hours, not surprising as Davies’ boat is almost ten years older.



    Ultime – almost all home

    Actual Ultim 3 crossed the finish line overnight, the fourth of five Ultimes to have finished so far.

    Yves Le Blévec and Anthony Marchand finished 2 days 8 hours 29 minutes and 59 seconds behind the winners Maxi Edmond de Rothschild. They travelled a true distance 9,332 miles at an average speed of just over 21 knots.

    Meanwhile the final Ultime competing, Sodebo Ultim 3 is approaching Martinique on port tack – it’s favoured tack due to a damaged starboard foil. The huge multihull hit an object north of Madeira and despite stopping for repairs co-skippers Thomas Coville and Thomas Rouxel have had to nurse the boat across the Atlantic. She’s expected later tonight.





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

    IMOCA.org Interview

    Ending the year on a high with a determining performance from Charlie Dalin and Paul Meilhat. Finesse and feeling played out heavily in their race, allowing the APIVIA pair to cloture a celebratory second place in Martinique.

    The skippers’ eyes twinkled as they were warmly welcomed to Fort-de-France. Here are a few chosen extracts from the press conference this morning.

    Charlie, did you really say that you weren't setting out to be second?

    Charlie Dalin (CD):"It's true that the objective was to go for the double, but we know how transatlantic races work and we set off with a lot of modesty.

    To win a race, you need all the ingredients to be leading: a reliable and fast boat, an inspired strategy, good weather...

    Fortunately, ocean racing does not have a recipe that works every time! The boats have different performances and aerodynamics depending on the conditions.

    We are happy to finish in this position, after a close fight with LinkedOut and Charal. The race was intense."

    Which of the two boats did you fear the most?

    CD: "LinkedOut is a boat quite similar to APIVIA, with differences in hull and structure but both boats are Verdier designs.

    The sail configurations are different, and it is a fast boat.

    With APIVIA, we discovered performances that we didn't know about downwind VMG, a point of sail where we were usually faster than her. In reaching, we are faster than LinkedOut, there was very little reaching compared to "normal" Jacques Vabre conditions. LinkedOut's foils are more suited to these points of sail. They have found the keys to go very fast in these conditions. All their moves went through, they sailed very well."

    Paul Meilhat (PM): "With Charal it was the opposite, when we were in contact, we had that little bit more speed. It's a boat that's typed for downwind sailing.

    CD: "Charal is a good boat and an accomplished boat. I was surprised that it was not mentioned in the podium predictions before the start.

    You took the lead very quickly. You were in the lead at every major stage of the race, but there was always competition coming from behind. How did you feel about that?

    CD: "We would have liked to keep this place! It was a bit frustrating.

    After the gybe to Madeira, we managed to catch a front, and then everyone got caught up with different wind strengths and directions. We got caught up.

    After that, the three boats got together to the south of the Canaries and then it was up to the front along the forbidden zone

    You always want to be up front in conditions that allow you to make the break, but it doesn't always work!"

    We've talked about great weather conditions, but light airs are part of the race too! Don't we tend to forget that?

    CD: "It's part of racing but it's rare! I've always wanted multi-purpose boats. But these were exceptional conditions. We reefed at the start, then reefed at Cape Finisterre for four hours. And then the mainsail spent its life up, just until the finish!

    Between the Canary Islands and Cape Verde, we have seen three different strategies. How did you make your strategic decision?"

    The southerly wind that arrived was quite unprecedented. The forecasts were different from what the files showed, and it seemed dangerous to go so far east.

    We managed to make up for it at Cape Verde with a good idea from Paul to go and exploit a zone of wind acceleration that didn't appear on the files.

    We have a few transatlantic races under our belt with Paul, but this was the first time we left the Canaries! As Nicolas Lunven used to say, "We're crossing the Atlantic via the tourist route!"

    What do you think of this double passage of the Doldrums?

    PM: "At the beginning we thought it was good ... The passage through the forbidden zone to go along Brazil was quite long, with a lot of gybes. It was a bit of a shame.

    CD: "Not much happened in terms of strategy, apart from gybing for 2000 miles..."

    PM: "The combination of this zone and the fact that we were sailing for more than a week in this intertropical zone was hard. We didn't necessarily realise that with this race close to the Equator, we would be staying in a very hot, unstable zone with squalls.

    It's interesting but the start of the race was difficult…"


    What is your overall impression of the year 2021?

    CD:"It was a pretty good year! The project was launched in 2019 and started with a victory in the Transat Jacques Vabre.

    We didn't go lower than second on the podium and didn't experience any retirements.

    I have a great team around me and I have been very well accompanied by Paul with whom we have sailed a lot."

    Tell us about each other!

    PM: "We've been working together for over six months. What I've learned from Charlie is that his will to win all the time turns into a self-sacrifice to leave nothing to chance. He is very thorough. Even when everything is going well, he goes looking for something to go faster! It's very tiring to sail with Charlie, but you don't take sunbeds to rest (laughs).

    CD: "With Paul, it's always very positive and it's always fine, he's never unsettled when we miss an option, unlike me."



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

    The winner of the last edition of the race in the Class 40 has sustained keel damage, whilst bad weather off Martinique may delay the finish for the leading IMOCAs.

    Class 40

    Late last night Ian Lipinski’s Crédit Mutuel hit an object that damaged her keel. The winner of the 2019 race and co-skipper Julien Pulvé were unhurt and will continue to Martinique but at reduced speed. This will be a particularly bitter blow for the pair as they were in second place when the accident happened and their brand-new boat had been a favourite from the start.




    Meanwhile the leading bunch have just over 1,000 miles to go to the finish line in Martinique. Redman is still leading the fleet but only by 30 miles. Despite enjoying the trade winds, the skippers are finding the conditions more capricious than the weather forecast suggest.

    IMOCA race building to a climax

    The finish line is just a few hours away for leaders Thomas Ruyant and Morgan Lagravière on LinkedOut. They’re expected mid-afternoon CET but are currently dodging the squalls off Martinique so could be delayed.

    The battle for second and third continues unabated between Apivia and Charal. Charlie Dalin and Paul Meilhat have just 40 miles advantage over Charal. With 300 miles still to go, co-skippers Jérémie Beyou and Christopher Pratt have been much faster than Apivia in the last 24 hours so the finish will be nailbiting.


    Further back, 11th Hour Racing Malama(USA) is doing well to hold 10th place considering the damage they sustained almost a week ago. The boat suffered damage to the non-structural fairing of its keel fin. The alloy keel is a one-design component, the same on every IMOCA, and the composite fairings fore and aft allow water to flow smoothly around the structure. This fairing damage is causing a vibration when sailing at high speed and so to manage it, they are sailing around 70% of full speed.





    TRACKER

    Leaderboard at 11:00 CET

    Imoca

    1. LinkedOut

    2. Apivia

    3. Charal



    Class40

    1. Redman

    2. Volvo

    3. Seafrigo - Sogestran
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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  8. #28
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    Podium Complete For Class 40




    The Class 40 victory has gone to Redman, co-skippered by Frenchman Antoine Carpentier and Pablo Santurde Del Arco of Spain. Second place went to Banque Du Léman, third to Seafrigo-Sogestran.

    The pair, who started the race as one of the favourites, crossed the finish line of the Transat Jacques Vabre on Monday morning. They completed the course from Le Havre in northern France to Martinique in 21 days 22 hours 33 minutes and 30 seconds, covering the 4,600 mile theoretical course at an average speed of 8.7 knots. Their actual distance covered was 5,502.96 miles and averaged 10.45 knots.

    The whole fleet struggled in the light airs that marked the race, especially in the early days. The leaders were bunched together with little to separate them but the Redman pair pulled off a great move at the Canary islands that gave them a small lead, which turned out to be enough.




    “We didn't want to take too many risks early on, which cost us on that first night off Cherbourg. But we worked hard to get back into the game. Once we sneaked ahead it was a matter of controlling the race” said Antoine Carpentier.

    Antoine and Pablo maintained and grew their advantage - the result of many hours spent at the helm keeping up with the pace imposed by the Class40s just behind them. Not an easy task given the problems they were having, “We had to steer 80% of the time. On the one hand for performance when the sea was choppy, but also because we didn't have much energy on board and the autopilot is very energy consuming" admits Carpentier.

    Pablo Santurde Del Arco said, “It was difficult, but that's what we came for. Antoine and I have known each other for a long time, but we have always been competitors on the water. We didn't have much food, it was hard on the nerves. We had to start rationing two days before Cape Verde.”

    1 hour 4 minutes and 8 seconds after Redman crossed the line, Banque du Léman took second place.




    Valentin Gautier and Simon Koster of Switzerland covered 5,477.45 miles averaging 10.38 knots.

    The pair returned to the Transat Jacques Vabre with the aim of doing better than their fourth placed finish in 2019. Two years ago, their boat was newly launched and short on testing, this time around Banque du Léman, with its scow-bow proved herself against tough opposition.

    Co-skipper Valentin Gautier admitted their second place almost didn’t happen, “We had a scare last night when a spinnaker halyard broke. Spinnaker in the water with the guys upwind going 15-16 knots, we had to react quickly. We managed to bring everything back and after 15 minutes we had a spinnaker in the air again, it was efficient!"

    Simon Koster admits it was a race to the finish, “It was tense right to the last minute. We spent all night fighting it out. It was a great race! The fleet was very close together. We were surprised, we expected to finish the race with 5-6 boats, but we were 30 boats lined up”.



    Co-skippers Cédric Château and Jérémie Mion completed the course in 5,399.04 miles at 10.22 knots.

    Just a few months ago, Mion was at the Tokyo Olympic Games in the 470. He teamed up with Château, who’s director of the Normandy Sailing Sports Centre in Le Havre, to take on the very different challenge of ocean racing.

    Château paid tribute after the race, “Jérémie is someone who doesn't give up, he's a bad loser but a very good winner. We are super proud of our Transat."

    Like many in the fleet the pair had to overcome technical issues and the run to the finish line was particularly stressful, “We lost some ground on our Swiss friends when we tore the big spinnaker. To gain places, we had to steer quite a lot to make the boat go forward, we had some small energy problems on board” explained Château.
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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