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Thread: A New Course For TJV

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    A New Course For TJV



    For its 15th edition, the Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre is injecting fresh impetus into the race, bound for Martinique! For the first time in its history, the Transat Jacques Vabre is heading out to explore the West Indies. Indeed, it’s Fort-de-France Bay, which will host the finish of the longest and most demanding double-handed transatlantic race, in what promises to be a sensational spectacle.


    The historic starting point remains the same: the Bassin Paul Vatine in Le Havre. In 2021, the founding members of the race, namely the City of Le Havre and JDE group, will be assisted with the organisation of the event by the Normandy region. Today, above and beyond being a race, the Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre aspires to become an event. As such, it is eager to make the most of its considerable renown and turn it to good account, to inspire, to encourage and to pass on a message.


    At the forefront of these new ambitions is the desire to break new ground in terms of environmental issues. This commitment to CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) is evidenced by the fact that the Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre will launch two innovative programmes: a competition (open to start-ups and students) to showcase projects promoting a reduction in our carbon footprint, together with a conference on good environmental practice.

    Moreover, the fresh impetus championed by the new Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre team will be used to support the feminisation of offshore racing, by encouraging a project helmed by a female sailor, who would like to participate in her first transatlantic race. Finally, the Coffee Route 2021 version also intends to strengthen the links between real sailing and virtual racing, by officially integrating a fifth Virtual Regatta class.

    This year, out on the racetrack and in all the actions carried out in relation to the race, the Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre has set itself the task of enhancing performance and respecting its environment. To this end, it hopes to join together numerous skippers ready to brave the Atlantic in pairs from 7 November, the start date for the 2021 edition


    4 CLASSES ON THE WATER, 3 DIFFERENT COURSES

    The race will set sail off Sainte-Adresse, to the north-west of Le Havre. One to two hours later, the fleet is expected to reach the Etretat mark, celebrated as the perfect vantage point for spectators. Indeed, the Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre always kicks off with a show sequence before heading offshore.

    The first section of the course involves a common-core syllabus for all the different classes. This will start with the exit from the English Channel, either by hunting down a trajectory along the English coast or skirting the Cotentin peninsula, according to the weather conditions. In the English Channel and at the north-west tip of Brittany, the skippers will have to be on their guard against the abundance of shipping.

    Next up will be the negotiation of the Bay of Biscay, which can sometimes be a theatre for quite potent gales in November. Once around Cape Finisterre, the sailors will drop down the North Atlantic in a bid to hook onto the trade wind. It’s here, to the south of the Canaries, that the three courses will part ways.

    The Ocean Fiftys and Imocas will both set a course towards the Brazilian archipelago of Fernando de Noronha, in a nod to the race’s historical destination. The complete circuit equates to 5,800 miles. These boats will cross the equator twice over, which translates as two passages through the doldrums, though the second, further out to the west, should be less hazardous. The Ocean Fiftys are expected to be first into Fort-de-France after 12 to 15 days at sea. Meantime, the Imocas could take 14 to 17 days.

    The course adopted by the Class40s will be shorter in distance at 4,600 miles. They’ll have to leave the island of Sal to starboard, at Cape Verde, before powering eastwards to Martinique. They won’t have to negotiate the doldrums or the equator so the Class 40 circuit should be completed in 17 to 22 days.

    Finally, the course for the Ultims, the fastest boats on the circuit, is inevitably the longest: 7500 miles. The designated waypoint rounding is another Brazilian archipelago, off the coast of Rio de Janeiro : Trindade and Martim Vaz. Here too, the crews must double up on their passages across the equator and through the doldrums. They are estimated to finish after 16 to 17 days.


    https://www.transatjacquesvabre.org/en
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    Ultim, Ocean 50 And IMOCA Breakdown

    Ultim



    7 Ocean-Fifty multihulls and 5 giant Ultime multihulls will compete in this edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre. We asked some of the race skippers who their favourites are for a podium finish.

    Ultimate Ultime

    Five maxi-trimarans will be at the start on Sunday, and once again choosing winner is difficult.




    Yves Le Blévec, on his Actual Ultim 3, which looks like an outsider for the podium says, “All 5 boats have the potential to win, I would say that we are all equal."

    Aymeric Chappellier, co-skipper of Leyton (Ocean Fifty) suggests Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier could sneak it "It will be interesting. For the moment the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild is perhaps a little ahead of the rest, with more experience". The trimaran has been on the water since 2017 so it tried and tested. Sébastien Rogues, skipper of Primonial (Ocean Fifty) agrees: "They have been breaking away for some time".

    Among the other boats to watch are SVR-Lazartigue and Banque Populaire XI. The two maxi-trimarans, recently out of the boat yard have already shown their potential on the water. Skippered by sailors with an impressive track record, they will be formidable opponents on this double-handed transatlantic race.

    Race fans online have gone for Sodebo and Banque Populaire XI as potential winners.

    Bring it on!
    ******************************


    Ocean 50


    The Ocean Fifty category is a difficult one to call this year.

    Going again in 2021 is winner of the last edition Groupe GCA - 1001 Sourires skippered by Gilles Lamiré. This year he’s joined on board by Yvan Bourgnon and both will find the level of competition is even higher this time around.







    If you were to pick a favourite then Leyton would be a good place to start, based on some excellent results this season. Sam Goodchild, the only Briton in the fleet, and partner Aymeric Chappellier have won the Pro Sailing Tour circuit. However, the circuit events were essentially inshore regattas and ocean racing will be different".

    Quentin Vlamynck and Lalou Roucayrol finished second on the Ocean Fifty circuit on their new boat Arkema 4, so you have to fancy them for a podium place too.

    Nicolas Lunven, co-skipper of Initiatives-Cœur (Imoca) is tempted by a different team, "The duo that I really like is Erwan Le Roux and Xavier Macaire, they will be formidable on Koesio" , another new boat.

    The fan’s vote on the Transat Jacques Vabre social networks for was split between two boats, Groupe GCA - 1001 Sourires and Leyton.

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





    IMOCA

    The monohulls make up the largest fleets in this year's Transat Jacques Vabre race. Lining up on the start line will be 22 sixty-foot IMOCAs and 45 Class40 boats. We asked the skippers for their race favourites.

    IMOCA 60s - An impossible call

    It’s an exceptional number of IMOCA entries for a post-Vendée Globe year (there were only 13 in 2017), and performance is expected to be high. Many of the boats and skippers have recently returned from round-the-world trips, so the sailors will know their boats well and have them fine-tuned already. There are also some formidable partnerships on board. Winning this double-handed transatlantic race will not be easy.














    Title-holder Charlie Dalin returns to the Transat Jacques Vabre race, known as the coffee route race, aboard Apivia, accompanied by Paul Meilhat. The duo, formed at the start of 2021, impressed many by winning two pre-season races and showing off some great boat handling. They’re backed up by careful preparation and are a solid pair who complement each other well. Coupled with this successful boat Dalin and Meilhat go into the race as favourites to retain their title.

    Several crews are hot on their heels. "Apivia is ahead", concedes Sam Goodchild, skipper of Leyton (Ocean Fifty), "but LinkedOut and Charal should not be far behind".

    Indeed, Thomas Rouillard and Morgan Lagravière, are looking strong in their LinkedOut boat, whilst Charal raced by Jérémie Beyou and Christopher Pratt continues to put in some very good performances on the water.

    Ignore the newest boat in the fleet at your peril. The recently built 11th Hour Racing Team boat, Mālama (it means ‘careful’ in Hawaiian) is skippered by Charlie Enright (USA) and Pascal Bidégorry. Despite little preparation and testing time it’s being watched closely by their opponents. "It's the Imoca that impresses us the most," admits Yannick Bestaven and Jean-Marie Dauris. Their Maître Coq IV, winner of the Vendée Globe a year ago, is also one to watch in the coming weeks.

    We shouldn't write-off some of the older IMOCAs though. There’s 11th Hour Racing Team’s second boat Alaka’I, with the hugely experienced Justine Mettraux (SUI) and Simon Fisher (GBR) on board. The boat finished second for Alex Thomson in the 2016 Vendee Globe. Initiatives-Coeur skippered by Sam Davies (GBR) and Nico Lunven is always a threat to the leaders. "It would give me great pleasure to see Samantha Davies win in Imoca", whispered Mathieu Crépel, co-skipper of Everial (Class40).

    So although we have a firm favourite in Apivia there are so many well-tested boats driven by hugely experienced skippers that the race remains wide open. After all, it’s a long way to Martinique!

    The followers of the Transat Jacques Vabre Instagram account have been emphatic in naming Apivia THEIR favourite to win in an official vote that was launched a fortnight ago.
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    Class 40 : A Fleet of 45

    Class 40 title wide open

    With the largest Class 40 fleet in the history of the race picking a winner is virtually impossible. Sébastien Rogues, skipper of Primonial (Ocean Fifty class), agrees: "There are 15 boats that can make the podium, the fight will be exciting, they’ll have a blast". By that measure, one in three boats could make the podium in Fort-de-France.

    When skippers are pressed to choose a possible winner the same names tend to come up; Crédit Mutuel, the 2019 race winner, still skippered by Ian Lipinski and Julien Pulvé. Redman, the leading boat in this year’s Class 40 championship sailed by Antoine Carpentier and Pablo Santurde del Arco. Rescue Ocean Project, winner this spring of the Normandy Channel Race, with the duo Axel Tréhin and Frédéric Denis at the helm.

    Other teams mentioned as potential winners include Lamotte Module Création, Banque du Léman and E. Leclerc Ville-la-Grand. Ultime co-skipper Anthony Marchand sticks his neck out, "I can see a Class 40 arriving first in Martinique ... or maybe an Ocean Fifty, but for sure the first boat home will be between these two classes."

    The race’s Instagram followers have also struggled to predict a winner. In the end they chose Clara Fortin and Martin Louchard on board Randstad-Ausy.


















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    TJV 2021 Has Begun!





    This Sunday, November 7, at 1:27 p.m., the 158 competitors in the 15th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre took off, heading for Etretat, before setting out to storm the Atlantic under ideal conditions. Launched at full speed, the Ultimes took the lead, followed by the Ocean Fifty, the Imoca, then the Class40.

    The emotion was present on the pontoons of the Le Havre basins this morning. The 79 crews cast off to the applause of a large crowd, their families and their teams. The weather conditions were ideal for a start. The boats were able to touch a northwesterly wind oscillating between 15 and 20 knots on choppy seas illuminated by beautiful clearings. A successful show. The 5 Ultimes, 7 Ocean Fifty, 22 Imoca and 45 Class40 all lined up their bows towards Etretat to wrap up the first course mark before being able to set sail for the Atlantic for the start of a long course.

    After passing the first course mark, the 79 boats pulled the bar, heading West in order to exit the English Channel. The first night will be synonymous with choice for sailors. Indeed, the fleet will have to manage the strong currents of the Cotentin peninsula which constitutes an important parameter in the race, then they will encounter a ridge of high pressure which will strengthen at the point of Brittany. They will therefore have to make strategic decisions from the outset even before entering the Atlantic.









    THEY SAID
    Armel Le Cléac'h (Banque Populaire XI)

    "After we leave the pontoon, we'll really get back into the race. We know exactly what we have to do until the start. The count will start and it will be gone. The start will be a bit stressful, but we'll get back to it quickly. the race.

    We will be able to go on our first real regatta. we must have confidence in ourselves. This is not the first race start that we are taking, but we will have to stay focused and do things as we usually do. We're not going to try to do things differently on board. You have to keep the same benchmarks to focus on the trajectory.

    The number one objective remains to arrive in Martinique and then to have fun. We will take the steps one by one. "

    Paul Meilhat and Charlie Dalin (Apivia)

    "We are focused. Everything is ready so we can take advantage of the people. We know that we will have a lot of work on the weather after leaving the pontoon because the situation is not simple. These are conditions where the weather choices will be more important than the potential of the boats. It will be interesting, even if it will be very delicate. It looks more like Figaro than Imoca at the start of the race. "





    Erwan Le Roux (Koesio)

    "We are focused. It's important to enjoy the last moments with his family, partners and the team! This is the moment when the team leaves the boat to us when they have had it for weeks and weeks. weeks. Now it's our turn. It's an exchange filled with emotions. Once the mooring is finished, we will have to concentrate rather quickly on the exit and the departure because there will be a little wind and sea."

    We will take the time to make strategic decisions tomorrow. This morning the situation was already starting to clear up and we will have until tomorrow afternoon, or even Tuesday, to make the big choice. "

    Ian Lipinski (Credit Mutuel)

    "We are in a great state of mind. We are happy to be leaving. The atmosphere of these ten days in the village of Le Havre was very nice, but we are also eager to leave it.

    We will be careful on the water because there will be a lot of boats on the water for the start. Once we have passed Etretat we will breathe more! It promises to be interesting from a strategic point of view, we will have to stay focused and lucid. "




    TRACKER







    https://www.transatjacquesvabre.org/en/news
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    11th Hour Racing: 2 Boats In The Top 5

    Hop, c’est parti! 11th Hour Racing Team’s two race boats set off on Transat Jacques Vabre

    The only US team in the IMOCA Class has set off on the 15th edition of the biennial race, sending two race boats across the Atlantic Ocean in the Transat Jacques Vabre.



    Le Havre, France - November 7, 2021

    Today, November 7 at 1327 CET, 11th Hour Racing Team’s two boats crossed the start line off Le Havre, France in the 2021 edition of the double-handed Transat Jacques Vabre. With two entries in the IMOCA Class, the team’s four co-skippers will take on the 5,800 nautical mile course ​​[6,650 miles or 10,750 kilometres], from the Normandy port across the Atlantic Ocean to their final destination - the Island of Martinique in the French Caribbean.

    Charlie Enright (USA) who co-skippers the team’s newly launched 60-foot boat ‘Mālama’ alongside Pascal Bidégorry (FRA), commented on this first major offshore race for the boat. "As a team, it's a big day for us - a culmination of a whole year's work. I very much hope that Pascal and I can do the race, and the team, justice."

    Launched at the end of August this year, Mālama is the newest boat in the IMOCA fleet. Her enclosed-cockpit design and creative livery has drawn a lot of attention to this state-of-the-art ocean racer. "Although we wish we had more time in the new boat - just two weeks of sailing before the start here - we do feel adequately prepared,” explained Enright. “The forecast for the race doesn't look too heinous, which is a bonus for us, but it is very complicated. We'll get out of Le Havre with some good breeze, but it will then taper and it will be tricky conditions as we pick our way across the Bay of Biscay and down towards the Cape Verde islands. These conditions bring additional pressures, but I’m looking forward to taking this on.”


    aerial photos ©Vincent Curutchet / Alea / 11th Hour Racing




    onboard photos ©Amory Ross / 11th Hour Racing

    The team’s second entry, ‘Alaka’i’, is co-skippered by Justine Mettraux (SUI) and Simon Fisher (GBR), one of five mixed male/female crews across the 22-strong IMOCA fleet. Currently on top of the IMOCA Globe Series World Championship leaderboard with Fisher, Mettraux was confident for the upcoming race: “With many strong teams and boats in the fleet, it might be a bit over-optimistic to say we’re going for a win as the level is really high. But Simon and I work really well together and the dynamic between us and our complementary skills onboard compensate for the fact that our boat is slightly older than some others in the fleet. I am super excited and ready to go.”

    Just before he left the dock, Simon Fisher, co-skipper for Alaka'i, shared his expectations for the first few days of the race: "We are looking forward to getting underway. The forecast is pretty complicated and we have spent a lot of time in the last few days looking at the files with our meteorologist, Marcel Van Trieste. We are expecting 15-20 knots at the start with a tricky sea state, and after rounding the turning mark off Étretat and through the English Channel, the big decision will be whether we head out west or down the rhumb line across the Bay of Biscay. It will seem more straightforward when we get out there and are racing alongside the other boats.

    “I'm feeling good about what’s ahead of us, and well prepared, although it is hard to say goodbye to my family and to not see them for another few weeks. It's a good reason to race fast - to come back home quickly!" he concluded.

    Mālama’s Pascal Bidégorry, a Transat Jacques Vabre veteran, with seven editions under his belt including a win in 2015, and a fourth with Enright in the last edition, was looking forward to getting going: “Charlie and I raced the Transat Jacques Vabre together in 2019 and know each other well. Despite coming from different backgrounds and countries, we communicate well together and share the same competitiveness. Sailing the race on a brand-new boat is a big adventure, and I look forward to doing this with him. As we look ahead to the conditions, we’ll need to be patient and keep a cool head especially in these early days and nights. Anything can happen, let’s see how things will play out!”




    For the first time in the history of the race, the sailors have a new course to tackle. Once the fleet has passed through the English channel, the IMOCA fleet will then head south down the Atlantic Ocean, through the Doldrums, before rounding the island of Fernando de Noronha off the Brazilian coast. The fleet will then head north, once again through the Doldrums and turn north west towards the finish line off Martinique. Current predictions have the IMOCA 60 fleet arriving in Fort de France, Martinique around November 25, after around 17 days and nights offshore.

    11th Hour Racing Team will be publishing regular updates from the boats on their social media and website. Follow the boats via the live tracker and stay tuned for news from our sailors as they cross the Atlantic HERE .


    TRACKER


    DAY 2 – NOVEMBER 8, 2021 – 8 AM CET
    First night at sea. After a pretty chaotic race start that saw very little time to set up and get organized – as evidenced by the fact that nobody was near the starting line – both boats managed to get out of Le Havre free and near the front of the fleet. It seems half the battle on these days is just finding some space and settling in.

    It gets a little more complicated when you have to consider conditions and forecasts that favor an early lead. In a steady breeze field you can rest assured that you will have an opportunity to catch up, but with lots of variability, someone can easily find their way through the confusion and “break away,” so much so that they are a weather pattern ahead and unreachable from the start. This scenario had (has) potential. The 15-20 knots the fleet left in was down into the teens by Cherbourg and slowly died overnight. As they sailed west along the north coast of France they gradually left the pressure and entered a north/south ridge of virtually no wind. Compounding issues overnight were the complex currents, which continue to plague the fleet through this morning.

    Apivia is well out in front, a position they have become accustomed to holding, but they too are currently drifting backwards at less than one knot. Charlie and Pascal showed good speed early to stay in touch with the leaders, but may have overstood the Cherbourg layline a bit to allow some of the boats to the south back in the game. Since rounding, they again showed paced to climb into podium position before running into the windless wall. Sifi and Juju also got off to a solid start and were well and truly in the thick of it around Cherbourg, rounding 8th. They have managed to eek their way through the field in the tricky conditions this morning and are just two miles east of Charlie and Pascal. It is not a stretch to say Apivia is confidently first and Mālama and Alaka’i are fighting for second and third.


    The breeze slowwwwwwly starts to fill from the west, but the line of pressure almost perfectly dissects the channel and it doesn’t look to be any more than 10-15 knots. So the next question for the fleet is how far north you go to get it. There is a good chance the farther north you go the more committed you are to the north and west, whereas somebody who can make a more southerly route work could be off towards Portugal with many less miles to sail. Either way, the course is … as they say in France … super complicate. Once the wind gradually fills later today and into tomorrow, they have some major decisions to make approaching Ousseant, but this mornings’ AROME weather model (a favorite of the French community) makes the southern route seem much less appealing. One thing that seems certain is the NW ridge will remain a feature through the week.
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    "The Mast Imploded" - Bureau Vallée out of race on difficult day for the fleet



    A dismasting, spring tides and light winds have made the first 36 hours of the Transat Jacques Vabre very tricky for the fleet of 79 boats.

    The mast 'imploded'!

    Louis Burton and co-skipper Davy Beaudart reached the port of St Malo tonight with their damaged boat Bureau Vallée. They are the first boat forced to abandon this 15th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre race following a dramatic dismasting just 10 hours from the start.

    https://youtu.be/8H9KgIupUOg

    The pair spent a difficult night securing and recovering sails, cables and mast parts in tricky tidal conditions. Burton explains what happened, "We had just passed the Raz Blanchard, we were arriving north of the island of Guernsey. What was surprising was that despite the spring tides, the sea wasn’t too bad. There were 15 knots of wind. We heard a big noise half an hour before we dismasted. We wondered if we had hit something. We checked everything including the stacks but nothing had moved. We were under full mainsail with a headsail. Our speed was 18-19 knots when it broke. I was in the cockpit trimming, Davy was sailing. The first sound was like an explosion, the mast didn't fall down, it imploded. Then there was a cracking sound and we heard a crash on the deck. Then we realised that the mast had fallen down.”





    Martinique via Cherbourg

    There were problems also for Equipe Voile Parkinson in the Class 40 fleet. An issue with the bowsprit forced the French pair of Florian Gueguen and Raphael Auffret to stop in Cherbourg for repairs. Tonight, they have almost caught up and are just 20 nautical miles from the rear of the fleet.

    All four classes tight

    After a lively start on Saturday afternoon, conditions in the English channel have since proved very tricky, with light winds and strong spring tides. However, the Ultimes have now started the run south across the Bay of Biscay with little to separate them. Banque Populaire is nudging ahead but Sodebo and Actual are side by side and only a whisker’s length behind.

    The Ocean Fifty multihulls are right on the stern of the Ultimes with Koesio and Primonial seemingly inseparable, for now.

    Charlie Dalin and Paul Meilhat on Apivia, winner of the last edition, are already well ahead of the other IMOCAs. The French pair entered the Bay of Biscay in the early evening almost 40 miles ahead of second placed Fortinet-Best Western sailed by Romain Attanasio and Sébastien Marsset.

    Meanwhile still battling currents and light winds in the English channel are the Class 40. Winner in 2019, Ian Lipinski on Crédit Mutuel is chasing down the leader Project Rescue Ocean which only has a 4 mile lead.





    RANKINGS NOVEMBER 08 at 08:00pm

    TRACKER



    CLASS40

    1. Project Rescue Ocean - Distance to destination 4352,67

    2. Crédit Mutuel - Distance to destination 4356,21

    3. La Manche #EvidenceNautique - Distance to destination 4356,28



    OCEAN FIFTY

    1. Koesio - Distance to destination 5410,71

    2. Primonial - Distance to destination 5413,4

    3. Arkema 4 - Distance to destination 5416,97



    IMOCA

    1. Apivia - Distance to destination 5451,68

    2. Fortinet - Best Western - Distance to destination 5487,17

    3. 11th Hour Racing Team - Malama - Distance to destination 5492,12



    ULTIMS

    1. Banque Populaire XI - Distance to destination 7556,92

    2. Sodebo Ultim 3 - Distance to destination 7565,35

    3. Actual Ultim 3 - Distance to destination 7566,01
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    A Night Of Patience And Nerves




    It's like Russian roulette for the Transat Jacques Vabre fleet as all the competitors are stuck in a ridge of high pressure from Madeira to Dunkirk. As most head south across the Bay of Biscay the race is on to be the first crew to find an easterly and accelerate away first. Here's a roundup of the night's action from each of the fleets.

    Ultime: time for a laugh

    For the past thirty hours the five giants of the seas have been struggling to make headway in very light conditions that have tested the sailor's patience. The end should come in a few hours with an easterly wind that will help them escape towards the Spanish coast. In the meantime, some are choosing to enjoy the time rather than suffer the wait.

    For Thomas Coville it’s all about attitude "If you live in the moment, there are many beautiful things to see. When there's no wind like this, you either go crazy or you try to have a sense of humour." We caught up with the skipper of Sodebo Ultim 3 early this morning. "It seems that the wind has disappeared from the planet. We're trying to catch the slightest breeze. We spend hours and hours scanning the water. The slightest breeze is so precious that we do everything to get it. When the boat is making 5-6 knots, it's a thrill for everyone"



    Ocean Fifty: hunting in the Bay of Biscay

    The ridge of high pressure was a chance for the Ocean Fifty fleet to catch the Ultimes – David has caught Goliath. Koesio continues to hold a slight advantage at the head of the fleet, just 15 miles ahead of Leyton co-skippered by Sam Goodchild.

    The British sailor told us, “The fleet is quite spread now – 150 miles east to west – which means it can go either way fairly quickly. But what makes us feel good is we are going at five knots which is more than we have done for a while. We are finally getting some sleep again. The light winds may not be good for racing and sailing but they are good for sleep.”

    The Ocean Fiftys still have about 200 miles to sail to Cape Finisterre on the northwest corner of Spain where they hope to find fresher breeze.



    Imoca: Leader reeled in

    Just forty miles behind the multihulls, the first Imoca boats are facing the same lack of wind. Apivia continues to lead but mile after mile the gap is closing. While Charlie Dalin and Paul Meilhat held a comfortable 35 mile lead last night, very light winds have allowed the American crew, 11th Hour Racing Team - Mālama, to catch up. This morning, only 4 miles separate the two 60 footers. The light conditions mean a lot more manoeuvres, as Charlie Enright said this morning, "Anyone can catch up with anyone".

    Fortunately, they should be out of the ridge by tomorrow morning. In the meantime, everyone is trying to find the best possible options and take advantage of the breeze and currents.



    Class40: Close contact sport

    The 40-footers continue to battle it out as close to the Breton coast as possible. With so little wind, they're having to play the currents along the coast to make headway. No boat is breaking away from the fleet at the moment and the rankings are constantly changing. The crews are immersed in the weather data to find the best way of escape. La Manche #EvidenceNautique tried a northerly option last night, Nicolas Jossier, explains their decision, "We wondered about the passage of Ushant where the data told us there was more wind, more current, but it wasn’t as significant as we expected. So we had to go back on that decision and turn around." This proved costly with the pair losing ground on their rivals. "We didn't get much sleep with all the manoeuvres and contact with the other boats. We're going to wait until we get out of the tip of Brittany where we'll be able to get into a different rhythm. A new part of the race is about to begin!”



    Damage report

    The Class40 Randstad-AUSY, skippered by Clara Fortin and Martin Louchart returned to sea at 5am this morning after a brief stop in Roscoff to repair their onboard telecommunication system.



    CLASSEMENT 09 NOVEMBRE - 09h



    CLASS40

    1. La Manche #EvidenceNautique - Distance arrivée 4308,3

    2. Volvo - Distance arrivée 4308,51

    3. Project Rescue Ocean - Distance arrivée 4308,94





    OCEAN FIFTY

    1. Koesio - Distance arrivée 5358,43

    2. Leyton - Distance arrivée 5370,79

    3. Arkema 4 - Distance arrivée 5378,58





    IMOCA

    1. Charal - Distance arrivée 5419,12

    2. 11th Hour Racing Team - Malama - Distance arrivée 5419,7

    3. LinkedOut - Distance arrivée 5421,36






    ULTIMES

    1. Maxi Edmond de Rothschild - Distance arrivée 7511,31

    2. SVR - Lazartigue - Distance arrivée 7512,71

    3. Sodebo Ultim 3 - Distance arrivée 7519,42
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    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Ultimes Exit The Grasp Of The Bay of Biscay



    Thomas Coville and Thomas Rouxel and their competitors are experiencing a very special start to the Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre, with a stationary warm front in the Bay of Biscay synonymous with very low speeds.

    Where are the cold fronts that generally welcome the Transat Jacques Vabre fleet in November? They are currently absent subscribers with a rare weather situation at this time of the year, which has literally stuck the fleet since it left the Channel during the night from Sunday to Monday. Last year on their Jules Verne Trophy attempt, Thomas Coville, Thomas Rouxel and their Sodebo Ultim 3 teammates reached Cape Finisterre after 3 p.m., this Tuesday morning, after 40 hours of racing, they are still in full swing. middle of the Bay of Biscay, posting, like their competitors, speeds oscillating between 1 and 5-7 knots…

    In his message to land sent during the night, Thomas Rouxel was able to describe this very unusual situation: “Thomas is in the bunk (sleeping) , I am trying for my part to move the boat forward with the 1.3 knot of wind that I have for the moment, it is a Bay of Biscay very different from what we should know at that time. It's quite complicated for the nerves. In fact, it is cyclical: there are times when we are really fed up and others when we are done with it. Anyway, we're all pretty much in the same situation, that's the mood. "

    The entire fleet is housed in the same boat, the five Ultim committed on the 15 th edition of the remaining very close Coffee Route from each other. “We are on sight with Actual, continues Thomas Rouxel , as soon as we win 0.1-0.2 thousand, we are happy, as soon as we lose, we are less. There is a bit of a gap with Banque Populaire in the west, with SVR Lazartigue and Gitana in the east, it was done according to the conditions, we will see at the end what happens. "

    The big advantage of this particular weather is that if the nerves are put to the test, especially for those who are on the watch in the cockpit looking for the slightest breath of wind to exploit, this very "soft" introduction do not put too much strain on organizations. “The mood phases are quite cyclical depending on the gusts, but on average, things are going very well on board, we ate well and we sleep well because the boat is not making too much noise,” confirms Thomas Rouxel. The Bay of Biscay exit gate is also not very far away, with an east-northeast wind which should gradually return to finally allow Sodebo Ultim 3 to lengthen its stride.

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



    Images from the ocean – day 2 – back in the breeze after the ridge of high pressure in Biscay

    After setting sail at high speed from Le Havre at midday on Sunday at the head of the fleet, the skippers of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild have had to be patient in their passage across the Bay of Biscay. The reason for this was a ridge of high pressure, barring the way for the Ultimes as they tried to make for Cape Finisterre and their entry ticket to head south into the Atlantic. This morning though, Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier, accompanied by the duo on SVR-Lazartigue, were the first to latch onto the fresh breeze and regain speeds worthy of their carbon giants. With it came a sense of deliverance, which the skipper made no secret of in his first images from on-board


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




    The Popular Bank Maxi XI has returned to a nice speed with an average of 31nds on the last hour of navigation!

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




    "Gorgeous sunrise for this day 3 of the Transat Jacques Vabre, a few miles away from my wind, I see the Sodebo silhouette detaching on the horizon." This morning, this is the only competitor we have on board Actual, until yesterday we had more but the night trajectories separated us. It must be said that we haven't been unemployed with Anthony since the start, after a tonic exit we fought against the current around Ouessant. Choices were tough, it's always worrying to do a cheeky race with our big engines that require a lot of energy with each maneuver. It's even more tense when the wind is weak and unpredictable and the current is strong and ready to carry us on the dangers. The wind has been weak and unstable since this passing. The advantage is that it makes the boat more comfortable but it's not at all rest anyway. We've done a lot of sail changes trying to maintain good speed with these very changing conditions. This morning, the complications related to the famous dorsal crossing in Gascogne Gulf are behind us, we have a stable day of conditions or Anthony and I, let's be able to prepare for next night's bit: the co turning the northwest tip of Spain, the weather predicts a nice wind acceleration at Cap Finisterre level. The next night promises to be more active for us. In these conditions, the experience of Anthony Marchand - (Navigateur) and its ten solo Figaro is a considerable one. There is a lot of information coming at the same time that can influence the right decision. Figaro school is definitely the best to prepare yourself for this kind of situation. "
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    Gitana Reports From The Cape!



    Cape Finisterre finally in their line of sight!


    Tuesday, november 9th, 2021 - After setting sail at high speed from Le Havre at midday on Sunday at the head of the fleet, the skippers of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild have had to be patient in their passage across the Bay of Biscay. The reason for this was a ridge of high pressure, barring the way forward for the Ultimes as they tried to make for Cape Finisterre and their entry ticket for the downward escalator into the Atlantic. In this barometric stagnation over the past 36 hours and more, each of the duos has had to try to get their steeds moving forward amidst the gusts and make the most of every last puff of air to make southing. In this game of patience and humility, solely ocean racing holds the keys, a fact that thrilled the founder and owner of Gitana Team, Benjamin de Rothschild. Aboard the five-arrow maxi-trimaran, Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier took the gamble of favouring the eastern side of the racecourse, just like the duo on SVR-Lazartigue. It’s a strategy that’s paid off and it means they can now tackle the Iberian coast in a favourable position. At the north-west tip of Spain, more boisterous conditions - 26 / 28 knots – await the leaders in the Transat Jacques Vabre. In this way, the coming hours are likely to see a lot of action on deck with a few manoeuvres on the programme.




    Live from the ocean, day 2

    After a second night in a row slugging it out on the racetrack with the wind still pretty much a no-show, Charles Caudrelier sent us his morning postcard: “Life’s good aboard. We’re slowly getting our bearings. We’re not overly tired because we’re managing to sleep in these conditions. We’re beginning to eat well too and get into the swing of things offshore.”
    He also made the most of these few words addressed to Gitana Team’s shore crews to discuss the rather atypical start to this transatlantic race: “Yesterday we scared ourselves a bit in the very light airs, as our rivals a little further west were still making headway… We battled it out all night and all day with SVR - Lazartigue. In the early hours, we were in front, so that’s not bad! Added to that, we were the first to latch onto the breeze as forecast, so we weren’t in too bad a position. We’re making good headway now, the sea is flat and the wind has stabilised to 10 knots. Our problem now is SVR. She’s very quick in the light airs, but it’s nice to be together, racing side by side like this! We’re approaching Cape Finisterre where we’re going to have a boisterous passage before hooking back up with some lighter breeze for a large part of the Atlantic descent…”







    “Southbound at 20 knots! Boy does that feel good…”

    After more than 36 hours contending with light airs, this morning Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier, accompanied by the duo on SVR-Lazartigue, were the first to latch onto the fresh breeze and regain speeds worthy of their carbon giants. With it came a sense of deliverance, which the skipper made no secret of in his first images from on-board.


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    DAY 3 – NOVEMBER 9, 2021 – 2200 CET – SKIPPERS LOG
    Charlie Enright onboard Alaka’i
    Frustrating conditions. This ridge is toying with most of us…a couple boats seem to have poked through.

    Seen a lot of Charal today, at one point we were both doing 8 knots at Finesterre, a quarter mile apart. Both upwind on different tacks.

    Saw LinkedOut for a couple minutes…they got a couple gusts, sailed their boat well through the transitions, then they were over the horizon.

    We feel fast, and like we’re making good decisions.

    After 2 good scheds [position updates] we’re currently…slatting [sails flapping back and forth due to know wind]. Story of the day!

    Adios for now.





    DAY 3 – NOVEMBER 9, 2021 – 1530 CET
    Update from Amory Ross
    It’s ironic that the notoriously windy Bay of Biscay, blustery home to the team for the year and source of many a productive training sessions, is proving so fickle and complicated!

    Finally free and clear of the tidal headache at Ushant, Apivia led the way south into an equally as messy Bay of Biscay wind-field. In the end, crossing the ridge and opting for more consistent southwesterly winds to the west proved too big a risk. The wind would be coming from the wrong direction and you’d essentially be in your own lane until the Azores. So the fleet has instead opted for a bit of a minefield to the south that gets significantly better by mid-day Wednesday. Easterly winds build near Finisterre and should give the leaders a nice downwind push around the corner and out of French waters. From there they will hug the Portugese coast and begin the procession southwest around the Azores high towards the Equator.


    DAY 3 – NOVEMBER 9, 2021 – 0200 CET – SKIPPERS LOG
    Simon Fisher onboard Alaka’i
    Today has been a long day, as the sun rose this morning we were battling against the current whilst trying to thread our way efficiently through the rocks. As the sun set again this evening we found ourselves still doing the same as we slowly pick our way around the French coast in light winds. It seems like the coastline is determined to maintain its grasp on our boat as each of our attempts to work our way offshore seem to be thwarted by dying breeze.

    This evening was particularly painful having managed to pull ourselves ahead of Charal and LinkedOut we found ourselves sucked down the channel du four. It is one thing to make a decision to go in a direction and it not work out. It is something all together more frustrating to know where you want to go, but find yourself unable to get there as the wind and current refuses to play ball. To add insult to injury, we had to watch our opposition disappear through the very gap we were aiming for. This was the story as we struggled to get around the corner at Ushant. It remains to be seen if we will pay the price for our southerly detour or if it turns out to be a happy accident that puts us in good shape as we fight our way towards the next ridge of high pressure in the Bay of Biscay. With the current slowly turning against us once more, and the Chaussee de Sein setting itself as our next obstacle, we will have to wait and see.

    I look forward to finally breaking free of the coast in the hope that it brings me the opportunity of a little more rest. We can be happy however that we are continuing to make progress and our boat is all in good shape.

    Cheers,
    Simon
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