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The Migration North Continues


  • The Migration North Continues

    Until tomorrow evening, the head of the fleet will continue its progress to the North. It is only after the anticyclone has bypassed that they will begin to move towards the East and have to deal with depressions. In the meantime, everyone is increasing their intensity and resisting conditions that are not always pleasant. State of play as Jean Le Cam arrived in Martinique this afternoon.

    Everyone has their own rush, everyone has their own way. On this side of the globe, on this first Saturday in December, you can find it in the parking lots of supermarkets and stores, with Christmas fast approaching. On the other side of the Atlantic, nearly 1,000 miles east of the Florida coast, it's a completely different rush that monopolizes 31 reckless solo sailors. Off to the North! Enough to almost forget that these women and men had never competed in a solo race this season. The automatisms therefore quickly returned and the intensity of these first days of racing is striking.



    However, the forces present are unchanged since the day before. Jeremie Beyou (Charal) always impresses and leads the debates with almost 30 miles ahead of his pursuers. Nine other skippers make up the next peloton with Sebastien Simon (Groupe Dubreuil) in the lead. Their average speeds are around 19 knots and the slightest variation is scrutinized by the competitors.

    The previous night and the passage of the front were not easy. “It hit very hard, I had the impression that the whole boat was going to explode ,” admits Sam Davies (Heart Initiatives).

    “The night was not easy with sea conditions and winds that were not very stable,” says Sam Goodchild (For The Planet). We had 23-24 knots of wind and it's falling again... I'm constantly trying to adjust the boat and the sails to keep the speed and not lose miles. We stay busy! ?

    This intensity must be maintained until tomorrow evening. The skippers continue to head north to get around the anticyclone and finally head east, heading home!

    Then it gets tough. “Depressions form on the course at the start of the week,” underlines Christian Dumard, the race meteorologist. The further north the skippers go, the stronger the wind will be and the rougher the seas will be. It will be up to them to choose to position themselves more or less north in relation to these depressions.” You will have to be a “good sailor”.


    Nearly 270 miles separate the leader Jeremie Beyou (Charal) and Fabrice Amedeo (Nexans-Art & Fenetres) at the back of the peloton while the brave Tanguy Le Turquais emerges 260 miles further south. The skipper of Lazare has already achieved a feat in itself: he only made a 10-hour stopover yesterday, "unheard of between two races", says Hubert Lemonnier , the race director. Another skipper also stopped in Martinique today: Jean Le Cam (Everything begins in Finistere – Armor Lux) . “It benefited from the trade winds in the last miles,” explains Hubert . Jean will set up his logistics base in Marin and he could leave within 2 to 3 days.”

    Within the fleet, this long journey to the North is not a long, quiet river. And it’s Romain Attanasio (Fortinet – Best Western) who talks about it best: “we’re reaching, it’s super rough, it hits” . He suffers from “a sore arm” and “thinks he has a fever” , which prompted the race doctor to put him on antibiotics. “It's a bit annoying, I feel very tired but I'll be fine! " For her part, Clarisse Cremer ( L'Occitane en Provence) had "the reefing line (the adjustment which allows the main sail to be reduced) which exploded" yesterday then a malfunction of a ballast which caused a path of 'water. “The boat hasn't finished holding little surprises for me! "


    Faced with difficulties and to hold on, there is nothing better than appreciating the many assets of the ocean. Francois Guiffant ( Sharing ) is enthusiastic about “ a few gannets passing over his head ”. Antoine Cornic ( Human Immobilier ) simply savors, despite the dengue fever which makes life difficult for him: “ life is tilted and I kiss the sea for you ”.

    There is the same idea of ​​intense happiness in Conrad Colman ( Mail Boxes ETC. ). This Saturday, December 2, he is celebrating his 40th birthday and nature gave him the most beautiful gift: “ a truly magnificent sunset, with storms ,” he confides. And the New Zealander assures, almost poetically: “ the sun has set on my youth ”.

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