Nickel! If the passage to the Sal Island mark in Cape Verde has seen some compression of the fleet, with a regrouping of the pack, it has also allowed the tenors of the class, favorites of the observers for the Martinique podium, to get back to the front. Thanks to crossings or large circumnavigations of the archipelago, the leaders, to paraphrase Alain Souchon, have been monopolizing the best places.
Behind Redman (Carpentier - Santurde), impressive in its composure and mastery, we have seen over the last 24 hours the dynamic return of Crédit Mutuel (Lipinski - Pulvé) and the duo Axel Tréhin - Frédéric Denis (Project Ocean Rescue), who have come to reoccupy the places of honor alongside the historical leaders of the race, Lamotte Module Création (Berry - Nebout), Volvo (Gerckens - Hantzperg), but also the Vikings of La Manche#EvidenceNautique (Jossier - Loison) and Edenred (Le Roch-Quiroga), less well paid for their southern option than expected. Ready to join the fight, the Le Havre-based Chateau-Mion (Seafrigo - Sogestran), the amazing young fellows of Legallais (Casenave-Péré - Bloch) and the Boulangère Bio girls, Amélie Grassi and Marie Riou, who are getting more and more confident with each passing mile.
With 1,400 miles to go to the finish, the Class40 train is still making headway at relative speed, forced to tack downwind in this trade wind, which is stubbornly oriented right in line with the boats' progress. In the tropical heat, the crews, vigilant about their water and food supplies, are not sparing themselves and are multiplying the heavy gybing and sail changing maneuvers. An endurance race has started and the best crews will have to fight at this pace for about 6 days, for a possible arrival early next week.
Note: Only Georges Guiguen and Morgann Pinson (Terre Exotique) are this morning on their way to the Sal Island mark, 170 miles ahead, which they could clear tomorrow morning. The 42 other boats have all set a course to the west, towards the REocher du Diamant, the last mark before the finish in Fort de France.
If some people are worried about a long Class40 race, slowed down by unfavorable weather factors this year, we also underline the extraordinary good mood that animates the fleet. From the leaders to the rear guard, the daily messages, written, spoken or filmed, testify to a communicative and shared joy of sailing, in a spirit of solidarity which reminds us of the Mini Class, from where many of the protagonists of the Class come from. Indeed, many of the competitors, within a fleet as dense as the Class40, race at short distances from each other, and do not hesitate to call out to each other, within VHF range, to challenge each other or simply to joke. Thus Anna Beaugé (Milai) tells us that she sang a duet with... Ivica Kostelic (Croatia Full of Life). The competitors in the 40-foot monohull class are living their transatlantic race with great intensity and a remarkably positive state of mind, whether it is a contest for the most beautiful moustache or an approximate culinary challenge for others.
A word from Kito (HBF - Reforest'Action)
"What class of ocean racing, apart from perhaps the mini650 class, can show such a beautiful face? 45 boats at the start of the Transat Jacques Vabre, but above all, after 2 weeks of racing, a very dense battle for the top 20, and this is no small detail, a plethora of international racers, a Spaniard in the lead, followed by Belgians, Swiss, a Croatian, an Italian, an all-female crew, and a Franco-Japanese tandem, which is having a magnificent race.
In spite of the power of the new scows, all very fast in certain conditions, we can also see that the "old" boats, well managed, manage to do well. The magnificent trajectories of LaManche#EvidenceNautique, and Lamotte Module Création, but also Ivica Kostelic or the Japanese boat mentioned above, and I forget...
It is clear that this is the circuit where the top 10 is the most complicated to reach and I am well placed to affirm it..."
Quotes of the day:
Amélie Grassi - La Boulangère Bio
"On board La Boulangère Bio, we are not going too fast to enjoy the pleasure of being at sea for longer and we are heading south to avoid seeing the miles go by too quickly. Joking aside, the shortage of chocolates is threatening so Marie and I are sticking with the leading group and trying to gain a few miles when it is possible. The fluctuations of the wind and the sea are demanding, we have to be concentrated to make the boat move forward and find the right trajectory on this vast oceanic game board.As for the rhythm, we rest as much as possible at night. But don't worry, when one sleeps... the other one watches! And to stay awake at 100% of our capacities in the middle of the night, our little secret is chocolate (a big thank you to Kevin's parents from 145 for the chocolate offered at the start, if we can't stay ahead of him with it, I don't understand)."
Antoine Carpentier - Redman
"This is the Redman rocket! We are fighting to keep the lead we have, the chasers are not giving up, it puts us under pressure! They are right to do so, there are still a little less than 1500 miles to go with jibes, so there is still a lot to play for. Especially since our weather files don't seem to be completely accurate! Normally the southerners should have more wind and apparently it's the northerners who have more, difficult to make strategic choices in these conditions, it's been three days that the routings tell us to go south and with each new file, it makes us do a little more north west before diving into the south ... In short, it's not easy to manage this end of the race... For the moment, we remain in a situation of control, all the fleet is going to the same place so it's quite simple and less stressful ... but as soon as the fleet will split into two, the choice will be more complicated. Today we had three meals, it was a big party on board :) What is strange is that we are as hungry as the other days! That said, lunch was a dish of Chinese noodles, like a portion for a small child."
Anne Beaugé - Milai
"During the day, especially in the morning when we are not in the shade of the sails, we cook at the helm. I wrapped my legs in moistened paper towels and Masa helms the feet in a bucket filled with sea water. We met Croatia Full of life again today, we sang on the VHF, reviewed the songs about the sun... Otherwise, 'is a blow to the west, a blow to the south, and like all the mode, we look for the least bad moment to 'do the south'. But it's really because it's necessary, because of course, everybody thinks only about the west! The first 50 has arrived, bravo! Let's hurry up too."
Calliste Antoine -Croatia full of life
"Wind 12-15 knots from NE, sea not great, waves too tight to surf. We managed to go back down and to catch up with the fleet in the south, now we have to gain places. The tack of the spinnaker broke again: the textile shackle was cut on the ring of friction, brief spinnaker in bulk for 5 mn, the time to repair. We have in sight Milai and Tquila which are the other "old" boats of the first fleet with us. There are still scows behind us (Crosscall, Serenis, Leclerc). They have very good speeds and it will be hard to contain them until the finish. Tomorrow is Ivica's birthday! We have a can of pears in syrup for the occasion."
Julia Virat - Morgane Ursault-Poupon- UP SAILING Unis pour la planète
"The big symbolic moment is over: we went around Cape Verde this morning. It's very motivating because now we know what we have to do: 2,200 nautical miles (4,000 kilometers) due west, and basta: tipunch and fresh fruit. We are now in the famous and long awaited trade winds! This means that the wind is going to carry us by the back and that the temperatures are definitely warmer. To be exact, we are farting hot on the deck in the sun.
We took out the sun cream, and it is necessary to begin to anticipate the meals: to let cool the freeze-dried before tasting! We hoisted the big pink spinnaker, and it is necessary to remain concentrated at the helm, because it tends to be a little embarked with its 200 square meters of canvas. We are always glued to the helm alternately and the rhythm does not change. Concentration, concentration. It's demanding and formative."