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    Alla Grande - Pirelli (#181)
    Alla Grande - Pirelli (#181)
    A. Beccaria
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    IBSA (#186)
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    A. Bona
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    Project Rescue Ocean (#162)
    Project Rescue Ocean (#162)
    A. Trehin
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TJVNLH, D+22 : Cascade of arrivals in Fort de France


The least we can say is that the Transat Jacques Vabre organization teams in Fort de France will not be idle for the next 48 hours. The Class40 fleet is arriving in the wake of Redman, who is in a position to take the laurels of a triumph that has been contested on the water, but is absolutely indisputable in its form.

Right behind Antoine Carpentier - Pablo Santurde, all the protagonists of this thrilling race right up to the end, are going to tie up with the pontoons  hour by hour, as the gaps between each Class40 are so small. Thus, the third step of the podium is the object of a terrible mano a mano between the Normans of Seafrigo-Sogestran, Cédric Chateau and Jérémie Mion, and the Belgian-French of Volvo, Jonas Gerckens and Benoit Hantzperg. Redman, approaching the Diamond Rock, has seen its meager lead melt away overnight from Banque du Léman, which is now a dozen miles behind and the fastest in the fleet this morning. Slightly downwind of their opponents, Valentin Gautier and Simon Koster can this morning luff up and accelerate with a better wind angle. There is no room for mistakes, or to have the slightest mechanical problem for the leader Redman, who has been in the lead almost since Madeira. With more than 4,500 miles of intense racing in their legs, the duos will only be able to relax and enjoy themselves once they are moored in Fort de France, this afternoon for sure.


Finally! the trade winds, so uncooperative since the beginning of the Atlantic crossing and the passage to Cape Verde, seem to show a little compassion for the tandems subjected to the harshness of its instability and its whims, on a sea infested with sargassum. By shifting a little to the North, it helps the Class40 to reach towards Martinique. The leading protagonists, chasing behind Redman, are giving it their all and pushing their machines to the maximum, for a tremendous last stand at more than 15 knots on the road. The places of honor are all at stake within a handful of miles and the duos have no margin of error to preserve what has been conquered during 22 days at the price of a beautiful self-sacrifice.

Fort de France is expecting today no less than 15 boats, all of which will have been at the top of the race at one time or another. All the favorites are there and it is difficult to identify a crew more deserving than the other. However, we like to see the girls from La Boulangère Bio, Amélie Grassi and Marie Riou, flashed up at 17.40 knots this morning, and so comfortable at the front. What can we say about the performance of the British sailors on Tquila, a boat launched in 2014, and that Brian Thompson and Alister Richardson led to the edge of a so envied Top 10. Only Ian Lipinski and Julien Pulvé (Crédit Mutuel) were not at the party they were promised, due to a UFO that damaged their keel, forcing them to sail with the handbrake.

The Class 40 Transat Jacques Vabre has come to a thundering conclusion. It crowns its favorites and marks the triumph of the new boats which, despite a less windy race configuration than hoped for, have demonstrated their great versatility. The class only had two withdrawals out of 45 boats entered. The Class has offered all the ingredients that make up its strength, competition at the highest level, human adventures, individual achievements, and the magic of the journey too often forgotten in sailing competitions, and that the protagonists in Class40 never fail to include in the narrative of their nautical jousts.

Pablo Santurde del Arco, Redman's "precious one

"My precious! This is how Antoine Carpentier calls his incredible co-skipper with humor and affection, the man to whom all the successes come (Victories in Quebec-Saint Malo, Normandy Channel Race, RORC 600, Mondial 40 etc...). The native of Santander is indeed the ideal crew member, good in all the compartments of the game and endowed with an all-round, affable personality, which makes him the ideal rope companion for long-distance expeditions. Arrived in the French ocean racing scene with another talented and endearing Spaniard, Alex Pella, Pablo has had many successes, rarely finishing higher than the podiums. He is familiar with the Transat Jacques Vabre, second with Pella in 2013, and third in 2017 with Phil Sharp. The consecration and the first step await him today in Fort de France...

Quotes of the day :

Anne Beaugé - Milai

"All is well on board Milai. On the edge! This day and this night are leaning! The wind is well 'on the left', after having made flapper the spis, we took out the gennak of its bag. Leclerc de Magré Pere et Fils, is going full speed ahead, and we are trying to make our way, as best we can. We are quite excited at the idea of finding land, 302 miles exactly, as I write... "

Max Cauwe - Avanade

"The computer is clear, we are less than 48 hours from the finish of this Transat Jacques Vabre! It's getting harder and harder to keep up with the boats around us: the wind angle is becoming more and more favorable to them. We've gone back into "no pilot" mode, but this time for performance. We steer, we adjust, we steer, we sleep! Here it is at 13/14 knots with the rudders and the keel whistling with happiness 

It's a race so we want to arrive as quickly as possible and therefore in a sense that it ends as quickly as possible. .... It's a strange way of thinking: we worked for a year to be at the start of this mythical race and as soon as the gun goes off, we have only one desire, to cross the finish line! All this to say that I take a lot of pleasure on this jJcques Vabre ! Whether it is for the competition or the pleasure of the eyes I am like a kid ! And if I want to arrive so fast, it's also to have the opportunity to leave! " 

Antoine Carpentier - Redman

Here it is soon the end! Today I took 10 years, we sail between the clouds. The first one this morning gave us good hope, we sailed for 30 minutes at 17 knots and, as we came out of the clouds, the wind shifted a lot, which allowed us to go and look for the axis of the Swiss, which was becoming more and more threatening... The other clouds were less nice, we just spent 20 minutes with 8 knots of wind to fight to get out of the grip of a big cloud. Since this morning, we have the eyes riveted in the mirrors, normally the wind had to come back from behind, so our advance had to decrease from hour to hour. It is a kind of war of nerves. We will have given everything without counting with Pablo! I've never had so much helm on a transatlantic race! I have never eaten so little on a transatlantic race, Pablo either! Hoping that we will finish this Transat Jacques Vabre in the most beautiful way. We're keeping our fingers crossed. " 

Free dom - Thomas Bulcke

"If the last few days have been rather monotonous: hot weather, sargasso, flying fish, surfing and gybing; this night has been super intense. 2-3 hours of sleep each. It reminded us of the beginning of this race, very committed and out of our comfort zone, on the edge. Around 1:30 am Thibaut wakes me up shouting "Tom, there are 27 knots" I go out on the sly, we have high mainsail and big spinnaker. I immediately take a reef and we decide to go under medium spinnaker because the sea is very rough and it is dark. The moon is rising around 03h UT now."

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