What a fight ! What a pugilism ! What a showdown ! Under the envious eyes of Ian Lipinski and Julien Pulvé, unleashed at the helm of their Crédit Mutuel to get back in touch, 6 Class40s are tearing each other apart with great gusto, approaching one of the three "chicanes" of their specific course, the one prefigured by the archipelago of Madeira, a prelude to the two other chains of islands, the Canaries and Cape Verde. In the footsteps of the Vikings Alexis Loison and Nicolas Jossier, undoubtedly excited by the red and gold colors of their Plantagenet flag, Redman (Carpentier-Santurde), Edenred (Le Roch-Quiroga), Lamotte Module Création (Berry-Nebout), Banque du Léman (Gautier - Koster) and Volvo (Gerckens-Hantzperg) are hard at work, looking for the opening, harassing the almost historical leader (4 days in the lead!) of the event. In the end, suspense is overwhelming and the performances wareas enough to make the most sophisticated of the Imoca boats blush, with over 300 miles covered in 24 hours for many of these not so "small" Class40s!
From Cape Finisterre to Madeira, the fleet of 45 Class40 boats is still intact, telling stories of unique seascapes from one ranking to the next. A big fight in the lead between the latest generation boats, a positioning war in the middle of the fleet between Cape Saint Vincent and Cape Finisterre, for the duos stubbornly determined not to be left behind, and more or less controlled wanderings for a handful of boats struggling with the high pressures and which have not yet reached the latitude of La Coruña, on the western tip of Spain. Jean Galfione and Eric Péron (Serenis Consulting) are, alas, among those, who were expected to be fighting at the front. The high pressure has, for the time being, got the better of their western visions, materialized by the rapid approach of a powerful Atlantic low synonymous with salvation.
From Simon and Yannick Kervarrec (Samsic E. Leclerc), to Pierre-Louis Attwell and Maxime Benda (Vogue avec un Crohn), via Jean Pierre Balmes and Laurent Camprubi (Fullsave), Stan Thuret and Mathieu Crépel (Everial), satisfaction reigns, to have, at the price of a beautiful deployment of energy, hooked onto the Portuguese trade wind. Gliding along under large downwind sails is on the agenda for the next few days, punctuated by the ever crucial choices of when to gybe. And the rankings highlight the great performances of the day by Legallais (Pierre Casenave-Péré and Kevin Bloch), 8th this morning, ten miles ahead of British sailing legend Brian Thompson and Alister Richardson on Tquila. Nicolas D'Estais and Erwan Le Draoulec (Emile Henry-Happyvore) are shadowing them, along with the 100% female crew of La Boulangère Bio of Amélie Grassi and Marie Riou, at ease in their Transat, as evidenced by their words of the night (see below).
To each his own adventure and to each his own voyage ! Georges Guiguen and Morgann Pinson, aboard the very first Class40 and its historic N°1, are logically closing the gap, on the way to the inside of the Finisterre DST, pushing like a shepherd his flock towards more pleasant pastures...
Quotes of the day :
Milai :Anne Beauté - Masa Suzuki
"Everything is going well on board Milai. We dug into our reserves a bit when we passed Cape Finisterre, where we gybed a lot and spent the day chasing each other with our friends, the Legallais pro hardware guys, and then re-entering the Portuguese trade winds, gybing again and changing sails! But it's great, the boat is whirring, whistling and if it doesn't reach the amazing speeds of the scows, we're keeping quite good averages. The temperature is well up, the air is humid and we are already very hot when we put the spinnaker inside. We almost lost a spinnaker in the water today, the end of the sock having burst open, it started to open anyhow. It is not good to have socks a little too small! A good warning before entering the Atlantic trade winds. The Portuguese trade winds really look like the antechamber of their big Atlantic brother, more disciplined perhaps, more stable and greyer. This is the beginning of the great ski slope! And, there are already little flying fishes! "
Redman : Antoine Carpentier - Pablo Santurde
"What a day or should I say what a last 48 hours! The rhythm is high! The atmosphere on board is great, but I don't see how it could go wrong with Pablo? The boat is going fast on a rather short sea (the waves are quite close) and therefore quite regularly she sees her speed drop from 23 knots to 12 knots in a second... these scows are great but you shouldn't put their nose in the water ! To illustrate this, imagine that you are in a bus and, unluckily, you have come across a driver who is driving in fits and starts, going from 50 km to 20 km by stepping on the brake, then he starts again at full throttle, to brake again to start again and so on. Except that in this bus, you need to cook and it's a real joke! You have to brush your teeth, sleep, get dressed .... In short, all these daily gestures that seem to be insignificant become a real hassle! To close to the head of the fleet, we had to steer, steer, steer and, as there are only two of us on board, I let you do the calculation that makes a lot of hours of steering each one: 20 hours for Pablo and 4 for me, LOL... in fact, it's sweaty. So, the time of availability we sleep, we eat, we study the weather. Steering for twelve hours requires a great concentration and forces us to sleep more. »
Vicitan : Didier Le Vourch - Olivier Delrieu
"Everything is going well on board. We hit a beam this afternoon under spinnaker at about 8/10 knots. It hit the hull and broke in two on the starboard rudder. The rudder is fine. We didn't inspect the hull but everything looks OK. We spent an hour changing the dyneema of the rudder return which had broken cleanly under the impact before setting off again. In 24 years of professional sailing, Didier had never seen that! Probably more fear than harm, but a lot of fear all the same. We are sailing along Spain and its cargo ships and our morale is good. »
Sec Hayai - Frans Budel-Ysbrand Endt
« Another day spent looking for the wind, which is why we were a bit frustrated. Often we thought we had found it, but it disappeared again. And so the search continued. Last night was not different, except that this time we were accompanied by many dolphins. We are currently skirting the Spanish coast, gybing to accompany the wind rotation and we continue to look for where the most pressure is. Frans and I are getting better and better into the rhythm and we are settling into our daily routine. »
Vogue avec un Crohn : Pierre-Louis Attwell - Maxime Bensa
"Last night we worked pretty well! Good surfs under spinnaker, all lit by the Atlantic moon which seems to open the way for us. Even if we have a little bit of pain in the shoulder from steering non stop, we are happy. We saw our first flying fish on the deck! It's a good sign, we are in the right direction! »
La Boulangère Bio : Amélie Grassi -Marie Riou
« Great shape on board the Boulangère Bio. The sea is well formed these last few hours, it's not bad. For us, it's the pool on board... same for the others I guess. The slides are really nice, we take advantage of the surfs while thinking of the continuation which looks like still quite twisted, it is going to be long this race! Fortunately we love being at sea so it's not a problem to spend time there (provided that we spend a little less time than the others of course...) "
UP SAILING United for the planet : Morgane Ursault-Poupon - Julia Virat
"Today on board UP SAILING, we set the spinnaker. Last night was more rock'n roll, upwind in 20 knots of wind, reefed and slackened; we even almost put the staysail on but as we knew that it was going to ease off and ease off (in this context it means that the wind turns from upwind to downwind), we didn't get upset. The boat was well managed, for our greatest happiness, we finally found sporty conditions, we had missed it! Now the upwind is over, we are downwind for a long time. All day long, the 200 square meters of pink sail illuminated the sky, which had taken on beautiful gray hues. The rudders are whistling, the silver sea is undulating with a long and steady westerly swell, and we are gliding south. These conditions are really cool. Of course you could say that it is too soft (which is not wrong), but for me at the moment, given the conditions of the previous days, I find that these 10/15 knots of wind downwind is still class. It is important to remember that such conditions are extremely rare in sailing. Because beyond the fantasies, it's often difficult to sail. Between phases with too much or too little wind, technical problems, mutinies (not to mention the price it costs!!!). In short, a lot can happen on the water, sailing is not easy every day. But here I can tell you that we are in Paradise! And that's why we love it, because the moments of grace are priceless, yes you will have understood: I love being at sea, it's my Universe .
No, no, don't worry, I don't forget that we are in a race and that's not why we are just sitting around. With Julia we are thinking hard, brains are heating up and muscles too. »
Message from Ivica Kostelic (Croatia Full life)
"The main spinnaker just broke in 25 knots (46 km/h) of wind. We have a second spare main spinnaker as we were expecting this one to break. For the moment we are staying under spinnaker, until the wind drops (tomorrow). We will try to repair this torn spinnaker as much as possible (Calliste is getting used to it). We only regret that it broke in the first part of the race."
Project rescue Ocean back in the race
After an express stop of 4 hours in Cascais to repair its damaged rudder, the Class40 Project Rescue Ocean started racing again yesterday at 16:38!