The match was expected to be particularly intense during the great race of the third 40' Malouine LAMOTTE and it lived up to its promise, as shown by the tiny gaps at the finish this Friday morning: less than five minutes between the three leaders and barely half an hour between the first six at the end of 200 miles of racing. 200 miles of hard-fought racing from start to finish, during which speed was the order of the day, even if there were a few small moves to be made. In this game, as expected, the skippers of the most recent boats were able to take advantage of the power of their machines. In any case, all of them sailed flat out in relatively steady and above all unstable conditions that gave them no respite. The trifecta? Corentin Douguet (Quéguiner - Innoveo) - Yoann Richomme (Paprec Arkea) - Ian Lipinski (Crédit Mutuel).
Even before the start of this great 200 mile race of the 40' Malouine LAMOTTE, we knew that the intensity of the regatta would impose a high level of commitment from the sailors. "We expected a sprint and it was a sprint. We obviously didn't sleep at all because on the proposed course, with the conditions we had, everything went very quickly: the manoeuvres, the sail changes... As soon as we finished one thing, we were immediately in the next. We had to work hard and never give up", commented Corentin Douguet on his arrival, shortly after 0800 hours on Friday, after twenty hours of racing during which he played elbows with Ian Lipinski for a long time before making the difference on the reaching leg between the Triagoz plateau and the Minquiers. "Despite some small technical problems which are still bothering me a little, the boat is still going fast and I have managed to put in some good tacks. I was forced to fight all the time on everything to try to gain meter by meter. Ian sailed very well. He made some good trajectories. On the reach, Yoann's and my boats go a little bit faster than Ian's or Axel's, which also helped us a lot. Let's just say that it gave us a few jokers", explained the skipper of Lift V2 in the colours of Quéguiner - Innoveo, who took the lead as soon as he exited the passes of Saint-Malo, before making a small difference to the pack on the long upwind leg to the first way-point, just like the skipper of Crédit Mutuel, and then making the most of the reaching to win by 2 minutes and 14 seconds and then 4 minutes 48 seconds respectively over the runners up. "It was a bit stressful to have them on my back all the time. I'm happy because I've obviously found some control downwind, which wasn't my best pace up until now. All of this obviously bodes well for the Route du Rhum," added Corentin, who scored his second victory on the circuit this season after the one in April during the 1000 Milles des Sables, and his fourth podium in four races.
"A very nice race to prepare for the Rhum".
"It was really super intense. The conditions were very unstable and the tacks were quite short. So we were constantly adjusting and as it was windy, the manoeuvres were hard. The sea wasn't very clean and the waves were very annoying, especially downwind. It took a lot of work. I made a lot of mistakes but as I have a boat that goes really fast, I managed to make up for it", commented the skipper of Paprec Arkea, who in fact managed to steal second place from Ian Lipinski in the last fifteen miles, with the wind on the beam. "To finish with three boats in three minutes is quite exceptional! Class40 racing is getting tighter and tighter and that's really great. This off-shore race was clearly a good preparation for the Rhum. I was able to see a lot of things and I have a lot of details to improve on today that I would never have seen if I had stayed on my own," said the reigning winner of the Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe. Ian Lipinski had the same feeling, despite a touch of disappointment. "What's positive is that I was in the lead at one point and that I was able to do well on a course where we had a lot of reaching, a point of sail where I'm in a bit more difficulty compared to Corentin and Yoann because their boats go a bit faster. Each machine has its little pluses. This time, the advantage was for them. I fought all the way to the end. When I had to tack, I was rather inspired, which allowed me to stay in the game. My objective in the race was to get back into the swing of things after the August break. This 24-hour race has put me back into the racing mindset. It gives me the fangs. The contract has been fulfilled", commented the two-time winner of the Mini Transat, who has scored his third podium finish this year and has also confirmed his status as a favourite for the famous transatlantic race to come. What's next on the programme? After a well-deserved break, the 31 sailors in the running will meet again tomorrow from 10am for coastal races with a crew off the coast of the Corsair city as part of the LODI GROUP Trophy. "We're going to change modes with fast manoeuvres and a bit of crew synchronisation. We're going to have a lot of fun", promises Yoann Richomme.
Axel Tréhin (Project Rescue Ocean), 4th: "It was intense. There were a lot of good boats with good skippers, all with legitimate ambitions. To get through, we had to fight, that's for sure. We had to go fast. If you're stuck in the stadium, even if you're on the right tack, it's complicated. There were a few things to do on the upwind leg to get to the first waypoint. That's what allowed me to come back after a bad start. What I saw was really encouraging for the future. I've discovered some new ways of working with the boat. Technically, we've got it right. There were no problems, we're ready. It's the first Class40 race where I've had so little involvement in the boat. I don't think I've spent more than an hour inside the boat, that's how intense the race was!
Luke Berry (Lamotte - Module Création), 5th: "It's been pretty intense. There were a lot of sail changes, and not the kind of changes where you take your time, with what we call peelings and which we normally do with a crew. It was gennaker - big spinnaker, big spinnaker - gennaker without stopping, with a lot of chop and very variable wind. One moment there were 8 knots and the next 18. It wasn't easy to manage. We were always adjusting or at the helm. In the end, there was only one tactical option, which I missed. I was overtaken by a few people at that point. Afterwards, on the reaching leg, it was nice to slalom between the wind turbines. On the short downwind finish, I managed to catch Antoine (Carpentier) - more because he had a problem - to finish 5th. We knew at the start that it was going to be a close call between the top five and that proved to be the case. It was a constant battle, especially as we were never in a situation where we were coming from behind. The finish in Saint-Malo was a bit hot. We all had a few close calls. In the end, it was basically a 24-hour speed test. I could see that I still had a bit of work to do but it's good timing, the coach (Tanguy Leglatin) is coming to sail with me tomorrow in the crewed races!
Antoine Carpentier (Redman), 6th: "It was well fought. Ian and Corentin sailed a bit ahead of the others but behind them, it was a good battle. During the climb upwind to the first virtual point, the wind was very unstable, both in strength and direction. It required a lot of attention to make the boat work well. We couldn't put the pilot on and then go to bed. After that, it was downwind under spinnaker where the wind picked up quite a bit in the end. The wind was 4-5 knots more than what was predicted by the files, but we sailed as planned, with the big spinnaker, whereas we would have been better off with the A3 I think. The same goes for the reaching: we were supposed to have 18 knots and we had 25. I made the wrong sail choices and the others were better. Otherwise, it was quite hard work. The reaching was played out on the gates, easing the sail in the gusts and then reefing it in the light airs. We didn't have much time to sleep either. During the last tack, I would say that the mass was a little bit said because the first three were a bit far ahead. I finished in the battle with Luke and Axel but I had a little problem with the spinnaker. That's how it is. Tomorrow we'll switch to crew mode. That should be fun too."
General Ranking : La 40 Malouine LAMOTTE - Class40
Source : SNBSM