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  • #16
    News Flash: Imoca 60 Leader Macif Dismasts Off Brazil

    Whilst leading the IMOCA Open 60 Class of the Transat Jacques Vabre two handed race from Le Harvre to Itajaí, Brasil MACIF was dismasted around 0000hrs UTC on Wednesday (into Thursday) night whilst sailing some 140 miles from Salvador de Bahia, Brazil.

    French co-skippers Francois Gabart and Michel Desjoyeaux immediately informed Race Direction so they could warn shipping in the area in order that could avoid colliding with MACIF. Both sailors are reported to be safe and sound and have secured the boat by cutting away the rig. They are headiing towards Salvador de Bahia.

    Further information will be disseminated when it becomes available. Please refer to the website for the latest information.

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    • #17
      Bummer for Francois and Michel, so close yet so far!


      • #18
        Gabart On The Dismasting

        Vendée Globe winner Francois Gabart sounded as objective and upbeat as he possibly could this morning when he described the dismasting of MACIF which happened around midnight last night whilst sailing in relatively normal trade winds conditions, some 140 miles from Salvador de Bahia, Brasil.

        For them, leaders of the highly competitive IMOCA Open 60 class in the Transat Jacques Vabre double handed race from Le Havre to Itajai, Brasil was suddenly and summarily over.

        After being forced out of the Barcelona World Race in January 2011 when the top of their rig failed on Foncia when Gabart and Desjoyeaux were lying a close second, the empty feelings of deception and dejection are ones that the gilded duo know well, but Gabart was painting a brave face on things:

        “We look to the positives, it could have happened at any other time and that would have been worse for us and for the boat. It's been great since it happened in the Barcelona . There is no reason why it can’t follow on the same after this second dismasting.” Gabart told a live Radio Vacation with the French media assembled at the finish in Itajaí.

        Gabart confirmed that MACIF has had a new mast since he won the Vendée Globe in Fabruary, striving to save a little weight.

        The duo had around 1100 miles to race to the finish when their mast came down, having lead since November 17th. Vincent Riou and Jean Le Cam take over as leaders of the class, with 59 miles in hand over Marc Guillemot and Pascal Bidégorry on Safran who rose to second today, making up around 50 miles since yesterday.

        Gabart recalled: “ We were sailing on port tack with the full mainsail and big gennaker in 15-20kts of wind with a little sea from behind us, which was allowing us to surf a little, it was not unpleasant. An hour or two before we had been having some gusts but the wind was quite stable when the mast broke. We were under pilot, I was in the cockpit and Michel (Desjoyeaux) was resting inside. I suspect that it was the tube which broke rather than something peripheral (rigging/outrigger etc). The mast broke a dozen or so metres above the deck and that meant about 18 metres of mast in the water. The standing part was supported by the coachroof. We turned downwind.

        Fortunately we were all safe when it happened. It is certainly better not to be in the way of when the mast and sails come down. In about one hour we managed to separate the upper part of the mast from the lower section and to preserve the boom. We are both in the same state of mind, sad and disappointed. But we are two people who look forwards. And at these times it is certainly better to do that.”

        Some ideas “As soon as it starts to break within two seconds everything is down, so really I can’t speculate as to what might have happened. I know we were pushing the boat but we were in conditions which seemed pretty normal. And this is not exactly the first time I have been pushing the boat since it was launched two years ago.

        After the Vendée Globe we have set a new mast which is lighter. We wanted to save some weight without sacrificing reliability. If we still had the first mast maybe the same thing would have happened. But this second mast was always a bit more fragile in the harsh conditions of the Transat Jacques Vabre. I don’t want to second guess anything but it seems obvious.

        I don’t think our match race with PRB had any impact on how we pushed the boat. We held back at times, our goal was to sail better consistently. We did not want to overdo it, we wanted to sail cleanly and even if PRB had been a few miles ahead, or behind, then nothing would have changed.”

        Second time unlucky "I have had two dismastings in my life, both in IMOCAs between Brazil and Africa and both sailing two up with Michel. We think of the dismasting which happened two years ago in the Barcelona World Race. But the reasons are different. But there is the same feeling of sadness because all of a sudden everything just stops. At the same time we look to the positives, it could have happened at any other time and that would have been worse for us and for the boat. It's been great since it happened in the Barcelona. There is no reason why it can’t follow on the same after this second dismasting.”

        Heading to Salvador de Bahia
        We are sailing downwind towards Bahia. We would not have done too well trying to get upwind in with the storm jib ... We have some fuel but it is limited to get to Bahia. And we want to have enough fuel for when we get to port. Our work under storm jib is useful. The idea is to make the best possible course to sail. We are doing 3-4 knots under sail and under engine 6-7 knots . We might get the there tonight or tomorrow morning. The MACIF team is flying tonight to arrive tomorrow morning or later in the afternoon. In Salvador de Bahia we plan to set a better, more efficient jury rig to sail to Itajaí as the boat must leave by cargo ship in the next few weeks. "

        Multi Match
        Meantime the match race in the Multi 50 class looks set to carry on right to the finish line. FenetreA-Cardinal were resolutely holding Actual in check this afternoon 13 miles ahead with 220 miles to the finish. Actual (Le Blévec and de Pavant) were 48 miles to the north of the leaders FenetreA-Cardinal and both sailing at very similar speeds. The first boat is expected between 0200hrs and 0400hrs UTC Friday morning.

        The long time Class 40 leaders GDF SUEZ (Rogues and Delahaye) are under increasing pressure in the Doldrums, feeling it as second placed Mare (Riechers-Brasseurs) have closed to 28 miles behind but the chasing pack have gained some leverage to the west, potentially getting into more solid breeze before the leaders. Now eight boats are within ninety miles of the leaders, and tenth placed Caterham Challenge were now 120 miles behind the leaders, having made up around 100 miles.

        Alex Pella, Spanish skipper of Tales Santander 2014, reported today: “ We are in the middle of the Doldrums sailing upwind in light airs, 9-10 knots of wind and rain , so we de-salted ourselves and took our showers . We work hard between the squalls which we have been in since yesterday afternoon. We are making a course a bit to the west of GDF SUEZ because we can have some different conditions, it depends on the squalls, the drop away and come back again but what we try to do is stick to the rhumb line, the ortho route, and to get out of here as soon as possible. The fleet squeezes up but the accordion effect will be seen, but when we get out it should be fast enough.”

        Click here to see a video connection of François Gabart after dismating.

        Sounds in English:

        François Gabart (MACIF):

        Michelle Zwagerman (Croix du Sud):
        "We're almost the half race! We will celebrate it with chicken tikka !"

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        Last edited by Photoboy; 11-21-2013, 11:08 AM.
        " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

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        • #19
          Cardinal Win, PRB Leading Near Finish

          Having crossed the final major weather hurdle, a stormy unsettled low pressure front as they passed the entrance to the Bay of Rio earlier, Vincent Riou and Jean Le Cam on PRB had less than 340 miles left to sail of the 5450 miles course of the Transat Jacques Vabre from Le Havre to Itajaí where the finish line for the IMOCA Open 60 class awaits them. The vastly experienced duo, a partnership galvanised in the aftermath of adversities and tribulations, had a lead of some 98 miles over second placed Maitre CoQ (Béyou and Pratt) and are expected in Itajaí just after breakfast time, local, on Sunday morning.

          If they can close out victory, it will be the first time that either have won their class over multiple Transat Jacques Vabre participations. Le Cam finished third in 2005 and fourth in 2001. Riou has never been on the podium, and might bring a series of disappointment to an end if he can win in the colours of his longtime Vendéen sponsors. His retirement from the early stages of the most recent Vendée Globe followed abandoning the last Transat Jacques Vabre. The two long time adversaries became close after Riou rescued Le Cam who had spent 16 hours inside his upturned VM Materiaux in January 2009, 200 miles west of Cape Horn. Riou’s mast tumbled down the following day. Riou won the 2004-5 Vendée Globe ahead of second placed Le Cam.

          Behind them the duel for second intensified as Jérémie Beyou – who won the last edition of this race, sailing with Jean Pierre Dick – sailing this time with Christopher Pratt took a very narrow lead, ten miles ahead of Safran (Guillemot and Bidégorry).

          In Class 40 there are now 1100 miles between GDF SUEZ (Rogues-Delahaye) and 11th Hour Racing ( Jenner -Windsor). The leaders passed the equator around 16:00hrs UTC yesterday whilst behind, in the Cape Verde islands the British-American duo shaved Sal Island at the same time. Both are sailing in the trade winds but not in the same direction, SE’ly in the southern hemisphere and NE’ly at the Cape Verdes for 11th Hour which of course had to return to Lorient to fix a rig problem. And in the peloton of Class 40 the Doldrums are still very much affecting the majority of the fleet, only really the top five or seven boats have really escaped as of last night. Behind SNCF Geodis (Amédéo-Tripon) the winds are not well established yet.

          And, really in the end, the ICTZ has been good for the leaders who have managed to open up on Mare (Riechers-Brasseur) who have lost at least 30 miles and in turn find themselves under pressure from the Spanish duo Alex Pella and Pablo Santurde on Tales Santander who are just twenty miles behind. In fact after the leaders there are five pairs racing head to head. The biggest fall has been that of Vaquita (Petter-Hanakamp) who have dropped five places and 150 miles.

          It will become ever more difficult to challenge Rogues and Delahaye as the descend into a rich get richer scenario, increasingly favourable breezes on the long close reach 400 miles to Recife and the corner of Brazil, and beyond.

          They said:

          Vincent Riou, PRB
          “The conditions at the front were quite interesting. As well as the winds we had the unruly seas to deal with. Now we are going between 17 and 22kts and we will have to keep pushing a bit but we are happy with the way we are managing things, they will come back at us because they will have more regular conditions, but with our lead I think we can afford to go a bit steady.”

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          ************************************************** **

          Itajai, Brasil Friday 0540hrs UTC Detail Erwan Le Roux and Yann Elies crossed the finish line of the Transat Jacques Vabre double handed race from Le Havre to Itajaí, Brasil at 03h 40min 15s local time, (05h 40m 15s UTC / GMT) early this Friday morning to win the Multi50 class.

          FenêtréA-Cardinal’s elapsed time since leaving Le Havre on Thursday 7th November is 14d 17h 40min 15s. Their average speed on the theoretical course of 5,450 miles is 15.3kts. They actually sailed 5872 miles on the water at an average speed of 16.6kts.

          The French duo finished at pace, covering the final miles into the finish line off the city in southern Brasil at around 20kts to close out a well earned victory. Le Roux and Elies have lead their fleet since 12th November – except for one day on 16th November when their rivals seized the lead for a matter of hours.

          In a thrilling final head to head match race down the Brasilian coast they kept their only real challengers in check. Second placed Actual, sailed by Yves Le Blevec and Kito de Pavant, were within 16 miles of the class winners yesterday morning (Thursday). Actual were around making 12-13 kts at 80 miles from the finish line as the winners crossed.

          Le Roux and Elies were jubilant as they touched the dock in Itajaí’s race village for the Transat Jacques Vabre. They arrived with their Multi50 completely intact, recalling how unsettled they were when rivals Arkema Region Aquitaine capsized 12 days ago and how they battled hard to stay ahead of nearest rivals Actual in a head to head dogfight down the Brazilian coast to Itajaí. Even last night Yves Le Blévec and Kito de Pavant were only 15 miles, less than one hour behind, and, they revealed this morning saw one of their two hairiest moments, coming close to capsizing.

          For Le Roux, victory with the 2009 launched Multi 50 which was the former Crepes Wahou!, on the longest course yet for the Transat Jacques Vabre more than makes up for narrowly missing out on the overall win in this summer’s Route des Princes fully crewed race around Europe.

          It is the second time Le Roux has won the class, the first time as skipper. Winning today follows up on his victory as co-skipper with Franck Yves Escoffier when they won this race on Crepes Wahou! In 2009 into Costa Rica. ‘Winning as skipper is all the sweeter’ was Le Roux’s conclusion this morning.

          And for Elies, winning on his first major double handed multihull ocean race caps a remarkable season after making history this summer becoming the first sailor ever to win back to back solo Solitaire du Figaro races, adding an incredible comeback overall victory to his win of last year. Elies’ appetite for multihull racing is clearly whetted.

          They said:

          Erwan Le Roux:
          "It is worth all the effort to get here. We had to really push to contain Actual’s challenge. We had a lot of fun together and this is the just the peak of a beautiful race when everything really comes together. This second victory (Ed Le Roux won in 2009 as co-skipper) is all the sweeter because I am the skipper of the project, so obviously it has a special flavour."

          Yann Elies:
          "Winning can be learned, you learn to cultivate it. This year I have improved. And I am really happy to share this win with him. I told him this morning after the 0330hrs ranking that no matter what happens I have had a great time. We always made the right choices. It was so intense crossing the Atlantic on a multihull. It is is something I had never done before. On a daily basis the commitment is similar to the Figaro, but this is 15 days. Because the boat is so demanding I loved having to attack all the time. As a duo there is always some comfort with the other person there, solo on a mulithull must be different."

          Erwan Le Roux
          "Sharing it together is is great. I learned a lot with Yann , I understand why he won two Solitaire du Figaro, you can see why . Having sailed with someone like that you come away improved, better . It was a great adventure , a great story , and it's great that it ends like this. But we are not alone in this project we have a great team behind us."


          Yann Elies:
          "Physically it is hard, we are tired. Coming to the finish in these final hours we never stopped pushing, always trimming and making little adjustment. And when you finish, even though you dont want to admit it, you feel it, you are physcially drained. We had two very difficult hard days, especially when the solent opened when the furler failed, and when we had problem with the mainsail track carriages, and the electronics failed and then, the cherry on top, a fishing net."

          "And of course for the win to be great there has to be a great second place and Yves and Kito have always been there, they have sailed a great race, keeping us under pressure to the end. Until this morning (yesterday ed) when they tried something one last time, which they knew might not work, but they tried. They also have put so much into this race, you can see from the rankings that they were always attacking us."

          The pressure from Actual

          Erwan Le Roux:
          "The race could have been lost in the Doldrums but really it was about the whole of the race, in the management of the Bay of Biscay but also we were very shocked at Arkema’s capsize.

          Yann Elies:
          "This victory was established before the start because even though we did not really know where to set the cursor, to set our level, we knew how we wanted to drive the boat to get there. And we get here with nothing broken. In the end Actual made us push extra hard. We had some techncial issues."

          Speed and life on board

          Erwan Le Roux:
          "14 days and 17 hours went quickly. We did a lot on the rhumb line, on the direct course downwind and reaching with open sails, it was fast and uncomfortable. But there were such moments of pure speed, skipping effortlessy from wave to wave like a flying fish, just extraordinary sensations."

          Yann Elies:
          "It is hard to live ebing constantly soaking wet and salty. The Transat Jacques Vabre is intense and stressful. Trying to stay fast and on the right route requires a lot of energy and commitment. Twice we got too close to the edge, once off the Cape Verde and once this morning. But pure happiness is going at 30kts without even thinking. I loved this boat, it would be more manageable alone than a 60 footer. I want to continue with multihulls."

          Capsize of Arkema

          Erwan Le Roux:
          "It was a real blow to our morale. Over that day we had been pushing hard to get past them. We had our bow pointing at their transom. And we talked and filmed. I could see their lights at night, and then suddenly nothing. But it’s a multihull and yes you can turn them over. Those are the risks you have to accept.”
          " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

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          • #20
            Vincent Riou and Jean Le Cam Take IMOCA Line Honors

            Itajai, Brasil, Sunday. Breaking the finish line on an overcast, humid morning in Southern Brasil, French duo Vincent Riou and Jean Le Cam won the IMOCA Open 60 class at 10h 41min 47 sec local time (12h 41m 47s UTC/GMT) completing the 5450 miles course to Itajaí from Le Havre.

            all images © Thierry Martinez

            The elapsed time for their race is 17d 0h 41mn 47sec‏, sailing at an average speed of 13.21 kts for the theoretical course. In fact they sailed 5771 miles on the water, at a real average speed of 14.12 kts.

            When they finished, the second placed IMOCA Open 60 was around 50 miles behind in second.

            It is the first major transoceanic race triumph for Riou since he won the Vendée Globe solo round the world race in 2005 and the biggest recent win for veteran Le Cam.

            Appropriately as winner of the class in this 20th anniversary edition Riou was one of the competitors in the very first edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre in 1993 racing a multihull.

            The duo win their class despite an express pit stop in Madeira to replace a rudder fitting. “Rudders are broken now because of the pressure we put them under, whether ours or that of MACIF” commented Le Cam prior to finishing, referring to near rivals MACIF (Francois Gabart and Michel Desjoyeaux) who also made an early pit stop, in Portugal, to complete a similar repair.

            The duel for second place was being played out as PRB finished, only a few miles separating second placed Safran (Marc Guillemot and Pascal Bidégorry) and Maitre CoQ (Jéremie Beyou and Christopher Pratt).

            The Story in detail, Brothers in Arms win together.
            Both individually and separately over their 25 years or so of ocean racing Vincent Riou and Jean Le Cam have suffered their fair share of misfortunes and hard times.

            But today in Itajaí, Brasil as they basked in the satisfaction of winning Transat Jacques Vabre’s IMOCA Open 60 class from a fleet of 10, all boats which started the last Vendée Globe solo round the world race, they finally shared the magical moments together, not only triumphing in the prestigious monohull class, but knowing that they put together a great race over the longest ever course in the 20 year history of the two handed ‘coffee route’ route from Le Havre.

            Their firm friendship was cemented after Riou rescued Le Cam from his upturned monhull of Cape Horn during the 2008-9 Vendée Globe. But close as they became, they confirmed today that episode was not a reason in itself to team up their talents. Indeed, Riou, winner of the 2004-5 Vendée Globe ahead of second placed Le Cam, said he now looked forwards to racing against his winning co-skipper again soon.

            “The friendship with Jean developed from the rescue in 2009 and gradually we grew closer together, but that’s not the reason behind this. We could have sailed together without that. Now I’d like to see him back out there as a rival.” Smiled Riou.

            Ironically today is almost exactly one year to the day that Riou had to abandon his last Vendée Globe after striking an unmarked steel buoy approaching the Brasilian coast.

            Both had to abandon their last Transat Jacques Vabre. While the typically effusive, charismatic Le Cam – his humour as dry as the salt encrusted hard on his face after 17 days at sea – summarised his first ever win in the Transat Jacques Vabre,

            “ This was my seventh race, so one (win) in seven. My last one was with Yves (Le Blévec) on the Multi 50 Actual and we finished in Cherbourg. Let’s say it is more enjoyable to arrive in Brasil”

            And it is doubly apposite too that Riou also finally wins this anniversary edition, as one of the 13 starters in the first ever race in 1993.

            The IMOCA Race
            PRB took the lead initially off Britanny’s Chenal de Four, setting a furious pace as the leaders headed into a challenging passage across the Bay of Biscay. In fact all of the top five latest generation IMOCA Open 60’s – MACIF, PRB, Safran, Maitre CoQ and Cheminées Poujoulat – all lead the class at some time.

            Francois Gabart and Michel Desjoyeaux, the Vendée Globe winning duo, were most regular leaders until their rudder failed and on the afternoon of Sunday November 10th when they were the first IMOCA Open 60 team to need to pitstop, making a rapid rudder replacement in Peniche, Portugal.

            PRB took control again then until they were forced to replicate MACIF’s technical halt, making a very similar rudder repair in the Cape Verde islands. It took them 45 minutes but it was enough to let MACIF – who also took the same passage through the islands – escape away to build a lead of 23 miles when PRB left Mindelo. And the match race was very soon back on.

            As they went through the Doldrums almost together, there was very little in it, emerging with just one to one and a half miles between them, speed racing in the SE’ly trade winds like an afternoon training session out of Port La Foret where they all train. MACIF do move progressively away.

            But on 21st November the news suddenly emerges that leaders MACIF have dismasted. The PRB team take the lead again, disappointed at the loss of their nearest rivals, who – they asserted – had been sailing a ‘perfect’ race.

            Although MACIF is forced out, the pressure stays on PRB until the final days, but as Riou and Le Cam pass through the final front their win is more or less assured.

            Late flash info: Marc Guillemot and Pascal Bidégorry aboard Safran crossed the finish line of the Transat Jacques Vabre line in second place at 14h 43m 23s local time in Itajaí , Brazil (16:43.23 UTC). Their elapsed time for the course is 17d 04h 43min 23sec. Their average speed on the theoretical course 5,450 miles from Le Havre was 13.08kts. They sailed 5748miles on the water at an average speed of 13.93 kts

            They said:

            Jean Le Cam, co-skipper of PRB
            “It was a bit of a race for hard headed nuts, you just never had time to stop and think, it was incessant keep your head down, and wet from beginning to end.”

            Vincent Riou, skipper of PRB
            "We have never taken the foul weather gear off, it was fast, it was tough, it was physical all the time. We were always pushing with very few rest periods. It was more like life on a multihull. My first Transat Jacques Vabre was 20 years ago and over the years Jean and I have had a lot of setbacks over the years so we are really pleased to win this time.”

            Jean Le Cam
            "This was my seventh race, so one (win) in seven. My last one was with Yves (Le Blévec) on the Multi 50 Actual and we finished in Cherbourg. Let’s say it is more enjoyable to arrive in Brasil”

            Vincent Riou:
            When we broke the rudder and looked at the charts, we could see there was an opportunity if we stopped in Madeira. We had three days to get to there, which was just enough time to transport another rudder out there. It was a bit tight with the flight schedules. Fortunately the damage was limited to the rudder blade, so all we had to do was slip it into place and set off again. We’re a bit tired, but managed our sleep well. At no time did we slip into the red. I feel we did a good job, because apart from the luck we had, such as when the rudder was changed so quickly, I think we sailed well from start to finish. We didn’t make many mistakes. The boat had a certain potential, which was quite good, but not always the best. I must admit I did make one big mistake at the start in the Bay of Biscay, but apart from that we had a fine race and manoeuvres went smoothly.

            We were always there at the helm when we had to go on the attack and we always found good courses and angles. I don’t have any regrets about our work and that is why I feel so pleased today. Jean Le Cam You never know what’s going to happen. The final part of the race was fairly quick. Yesterday I spotted a huge turtle 20 metres away from the boat. If it had gone into the rudder, it would have been over. We’ve also got a keel ram that’s out of alignment… A ring holding the ram in place split open causing it to move sideways… Vincent Riou There’s one thing about sailing that’s very special. When I started out I was about 14 or 15 years old and used to get magazines with all the champions in them. 10-15 years later, there I was out there sailing with them and then later still against them. The lifespan of a sailor is such unlike other sports, you can find yourself out there with your idols. And then, maybe even beat them. Jean Le Cam We weren’t very often sailing at less than 15 knots. We pushed the boats hard from start to finish. We never had time to relax with the wind from astern. It was all out reaching all the time. When rudders fail like that, you have to wonder why. Two rudders didn’t make it to Itajaí, while they managed to go all the way around the world. ends

            You can download the video of the IMOCA PRB here.

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            • #21
              Podium Spots Complete For IMOCA Class

              In the end Marc Guillemot and Pascal Bidégorry (Safran ) managed to hold on to second place at 31min 44 sec ahead of Jéremie Beyou and Christopher Pratt (Master CoQ).

              Second place was hotly contested virtually to the finish line but Safran maintain a solid record in this classic two handed race across the Atlanticm making their third podium place over four editions. Guillemot finished second in 2007 when he and Charles Caudrelier lost out by just 58 minutes into Salvador de Bahia to Michel Desjoyeaux and Manu Le Borgne on Foncia and then won into Costa Rica the following year Caudrelier.

              Safran stayed closer inshore on the approach to Cabo Frio and gained some advantage there, extending clear of Maitre CoQ by more than 30 miles, but off Rio the two were again match racing with Maitre CoQ four and then seven miles clear. Only last night on the approach to Itajaí did Safran get back through their rivals again.

              Meantime in Class 40 GDF SUEZ continue to close on the latitude of Recife with a lead of 104 miles on Mare, whilst the Spanish pair Alex Pella and Pablo Santurde have dropped slightly back from Mare. The British pair Mike Gascoyne and Brian Thompson have confirmed they are planning to make a pitstop on Tuesday into Recife to repair the mainsail of Caterham Challenge.

              photos © Thierry Martinez


              They said:
              Marc Guillemot, skipper of Safran : " It was tough all the way, I have rarely been in such an intense race. With Pascal we were on the attack the whole way and he never let up. It was a race for nutcases. The course was long and you could not slow for one second such was the pressure. We are tired because we did not get much sleep. It is better to get here like this than three days later. We are really happy with second place.

              Pascal Bidégorry , co- skipper of Safran : " I thought it would be a bit tamer than the multihulls, but we just never stopped. We were always on it, pushing. You take so much water over the decks. IMOCA’s are submarines, but awesome reaching. Safran is really strong.”

              Guillemot: “ It is funny because PRB is the little brother of Safran, both were built from the same mould. They are great boats. But Vincent and Jean played it well. At Cabo Frio we might have been a bit greedy wanting to get past them, but it was a nice tussle with Maitre CoQ from the very beginning and several times we were racing in sight of each other. It was tight until the end.

              Pascal Bidégorry : "I thought we'd be less comfortable in windy conditions where you have to really press the boat. But we went well and found ways to get back at Maitre CoQ "

              Marc Guillemot: "We really only learn about each other in such a race . When fatigue accumulates, supporting one another gets a bit unclear because nerves get a bit raw. Imagine any couple at all who don’t sleep for a week and it can be a bit tetchy. Sometimes there was a bit of raised tones but that is just normal.”

              Jéremie Beyou: “ We seem to lack a little in speed, me the confidence to push the boat and so we were maybe a little step back. But we found ourselves in the fight with Vincent and PRB and with Marco on Safran, and so if you compare this result with where I was a year ago, then I am certainly happy with the result.
              " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

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              • #22
                Back In The Hunt: Caterham Challenge's Quick Main Repair

                Morning all,

                Back out and with it the chase ahead of the pack. Boat moving well taken goal It Has A Few miles us to get away from the shore and into the stronger winds That the rest of the fleet are in, hence no gains have yet altho we-have

                Caught up in the boat Directly forehead by about 20 miles already. We are now on the right track and moving along well with A3, staysail and full main. Its nice not to worry about the-have to sail every moment. Now time to concentrate and start clawing back the miles and Some positions, our target is to get back to 11th by the finish.

                cheers mike

                Update from Mike and Brian last night, Having left Recife at 6:30 p.m. local time with a fixed sail and a bag of great experiences. We are back out and racing with great year repair in the hand thanks to Dave and the sail loft in Recife Who Did year great job, and thanks to John aussi Brinkers of North sails Have you got together the repair materials at zero notice on Sunday, fantastic team effort!

                Also special thanks to Graziela Have you got everything organised with the yacht club Cabanga, who were fantastically helpful, especially the marvelous Sueli. Have you sorted out all the customs and immigration issues. The yacht club aussi refused any payment so deserve special praise. We arrived early and removed the hanks and battens. The rib from the yacht club arrived 7.45 and the sailmaker was there at 8 and as promised, took to his the sail loft. Dave headed straight to the loft from the airport while Sueli took me to the relevant officials and Brian worked on the boat. Dave returned to the boat around 5 finished with the mainsail and the boat left around 6.15 and We were on the water for 6.30 out the harbor. We-have slipped to 16th 11th goal is just 100 miles ahead so time to get the hammer down. Nice to look up at a good looking mainsail without your heart in your mouth so lets get racing Thanks to all from the boat.



                At the head of the Class 40 fleet GDF SUEZ is coming under gradual but sustained pressure from the Spanish duo on Tales Santander. Alex Pella and Pablo Santurde have a popular following at home in Spain both on the north coast, around Santander where ex 470 racer Santurde is from, where the boat is based and where the Botin design office is, and also of course in Catalonia, around Barcelona where Alex Pella lives.

                Whilst this is Santurde’s first Transatlantic exploit, as well as being a circumnavigator on the last Barcelona World Race with Pepe Ribes, Pella was an extremely talented Mini 650 racer finishing third overall in the 2003 race and then second in 2005 when he won the second leg into Salvador de Bahia. And they have a fan base at Longitud Cero in Burriana where the boat, the second Tales, was built.

                Santurde is 26, from Santander, and raced on Tales 1 with Pella and the owner of the boat, designer Marcelino’s brother Gonzalez. Of his choice of co-skipper, Pella said before the start: "Pablo is a very good sailor. He knows how to and has a good feeling for sailing fast. And he was involved in the building of the boat and so he knows very well the onboard systems"‏‎

                Transatlantic rookie Santurde said in Le Havre: "I have heard many things about the different parts of the race and I have followed other races like this but this is my first time, so I am excited and a bit nervous about what we will find out there".

                Tales have been the quickest in the fleet this morning and have reduced their deficit to 86 miles behind GDF SUEZ, now the meat in a Mach 40 sandwich. The second Mach 40, Jorg Riechers and Pierre Brasseur’s Mare are 14 miles behind.

                The leaders Sebastien Rogues and Fabien Delahaye have slowed slightly but have 923 miles to go getting into lighter and shiftier winds so this compression is inevitable. Should be in Saturday night.

                But in saying that the 4th placed Watt and Sea are about 212 miles behind the leaders and they are now 21 miles ahead of 5th

                Brian Thompson and Mike Gascoyne are stopped into Recife with Caterham Challenge as of this morning. They reckoned on being 8 or ten hours but need to be quick as there was a real posse of boats behind them, but what will be will be….certainly motivated.

                In the IMOCA Open 60 fleet Bureau Valley (Burton- Le Brec) are still just ahead of VNAM but only by about 30 miles while around 80 miles further offshore the Polish duo on Energa remain a threat to both. And it remains an interesting reflection that the four top IMOCA Open 60s finished on the same day and the second phase, fifth to eighth are also predicted to finish on the same day, despite being a variety of different, older generation boats.

                Bureau Valley and VNAM are in contact within thirty miles of each other. But even if Louis Burton and Guillaume Le Brec are well positioned to win in Itajai, they need to maintain a gap of more than two hours on Bertrand de Broc- Arnaud Boissières if they are to hold on to fifth place in the final rankings. Taking into account the two hours of redress the International Jury awarded VNAM for rerouting towards the capsized Multi 50 Arkema - Region Aquitaine then this duel is on a knife edge.

                The Bay of Rio de Janeiro is in the throes of transition, the stormy fronts finally deported eastwardto leave Itajai back in summer sunshine and gentle breeze. During Tuesday afternoon there was just over fifteen knots, but tonight and tomorrow promises to be more complicated with a low pressure bubble forming off Sao Paolo.

                Latest routings give an ETA for the two Multi- 50s Rennes -Saint Malo Agglomeration in this evening and Vers un monde sans SIDA (Nigon Villeneuve) and that keeps them ahead of the IMOCAs.

                Bureau Vallée and VNAM will fight until around midday tomorrow ahead of the Polish IMOCA Energa (Gutkowski - Marczewski ) who are expected about four hours later. The then around sunrise Thursday Team Plastique (Di Benedetto-Monaco) and Initiatives Coeur (Lamotte- Damiens) who were separated by nine miles this afternoon.

                Sounds in English:
                Christof Petter (Vaquita)

                Maciej Marczewski (Energa)

                Michelle Zwagerman (Croix du Sud)
                " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

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                • #23
                  Class 40 Leaders Near Finish

                  From a truly international podium line up, the balance is still with the French duo Sébastien Rogues and Fabien Delahaye, a pair which combines the solid experience and tenacity of Rogues – who had four successful years in the Mini 650 – with the obvious talent of Delahaye one of the rising stars of French solo and shorthanded ocean racing.

                  He follows very much in the wake of this year’s youngest ever Vendée Globe winner Francois Gabart, emerging through the Macif Skipper talent search programme. He was the 2011 French offshore champion, fourth in the Solitaire du Figaro last year. And Gabart’s first sailing appointment after winning the solo round the world race, was back in Port La Foret to sail with Delahaye.

                  GDF SUEZ started in Le Havre on November 7th as the favourites with the outstanding track record in the class this season with five wins including the Les Sables Azores Les Sables race. They have lived up to their top billing, leading since the re-start in Roscoff. Into the final 90 miles to the finish line, Rogues and Delahaye were leading the Spanish pair, Alex Pella and Pablo Santurde by 48 miles.

                  Santurde is more than just a super fast ex dinghy racer to support Pella, who has one circumnavigation and already did the 2009 Transat Jacques Vabre in the IMOCA Open 60 class with Pepe Ribes, finishing 5th on W Hotels. Ironically their average speed on this race is likely to be faster than the IMOCA race to Costa Rica. Santurde knows the recently launched design having worked on the build.

                  Pella and Santurde on the Botin design Tales Santander 2014 have their hands full, racing hard to also stave off the attack from the Franco-German crew, Jorg Riechers and Pierre Brasseur. Racing a sistership to GDF SUEZ, this pair share the same level of experience as their title adversaries.

                  Hamburg born Riechers is building an impressive early Vendée Globe campaign, having followed a perfect trajectory through the Mini class, wining the circuit outright in 2010 and taking sixth in Class 40 in the last Route du Rhum. In Pierre Brasseur he has an impeccable, polyvalent co-skipper whose experience spans 3 Mini Transats, the Figaro, Tour de France a Voile and the Multi 50 multihull.

                  While the IMOCA Open 60s, MOD70s and Multi 50s are all berthed in Itajaí now, awaiting Saturday’s postlogue exhibition race, all eyes are fixed on the Class 40s with the winner expected to finish tonight. But with the very light winds expected to continue into the night, and more wind sucking clouds to roll in through the hours of darkness, there are no guarantees that the team which has lead the race throughout, and is looking to add to their 2013 honours, will be the one which breaks the finish line first. The pace has been impressive for the 40 footers, covering the 5450 miles from Le Havre in less than 23 days, and so averaging more than 10.5kts.

                  They said:

                  Jörg Riechers (GER) skipper MARE:
                  "We are very close to the Spanish. The conditions are very unstable, anything can still happen and we will do everything to take second place. First place will be harder to get to now. GDF Suez looks set to win the Transat Jacques Vabre unless they have a technical problem”

                  "It has been a great Transat. Good feelings , lots of wind and lots of downwind sailing. We are happy to finish in the top three. I cant wait to celebrate with a caipirinha, maybe two ! "

                  Pierre Brasseur:
                  "With the conditions off Itajai, it will be difficult to catch the Spanish but we will try to the end! We must work this long straight that leads us to the finish with crosswind of 15 knots. Over the whole race, there was no big strategic moves to make. There were the Doldrums which were good for GDF Suez but this race has mostly been about boats speed. And a lot of the time the leader is just unstoppable".

                  Fabien Delahaye, co skipper GDF SUEZ:
                  "The final promises to be difficult. The files are showing we should have 15kts of wind reaching with the gennaker but we are under big spinnaker in 5kts of wind. It is difficult to understand what is happening. And we just try to find the right sail combinations. We are close to 100% just now because the big kite is repaired. We are getting there but there can be plenty of pitfalls along the final miles.”

                  See latest postions for the fleets:
                  " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

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                  • #24
                    Gdf suez win class 40

                    Having had a unchallenged lead since the race re-started from Roscoff in the very early hours of the morning of Sunday 10th November, French duo Sébastien Rogues and Fabien Delahaye sailed GDF SUEZ across the finish line off Itajaí, Brasil this Friday evening at 2056hrs local time (2256hrs UTC) to win the Class 40 fleet of the Transat Jacques Vabre from 26 starters.

                    The Class 40 winners’ elapsed time for the theoretical course of 5450 miles is 20 days 21 hours 41 minutes and 25 seconds. On the theoretical course they sailed at an average of 10.76kts. In reality they sailed 5578 miles at a real average of 11.12kts.

                    Sailing the Sam Manuard designed Mach 40 design, the duo have been comfortable leaders for almost the entire race, only recently coming under pressure when they lead into light, unsettled winds at Cabo Frio at the entrance to the Bay of Rio.

                    Early in the race they made a carefully calculated technical pit stop into Muxia on the north west corner of Spain to scale their mast and replace two vital wind vanes. Their stop cost them less than 50 minutes and they still lead the fleet by 19.8 miles when they emerged.

                    Benefiting from sailing first into the robust, fast sailing of the Portuguese trade winds they were able to extend ahead of the German Franco duo on Mach 40 sistership Mare, Jorg Riechers and Pierre Brasseur. On 22nd November they lead into the notorious Doldrums with a lead of 77 miles on Mare. Their astute choice of route allowed them to increase that margin by 30 miles. Only later did they reveal that they had actually blown up two key spinnakers in quick succession which ultimately cost them some of their lead in the lighter conditions further down the race course. Indeed at Cabo Frio their lead was halved and the second placed Spanish duo Alex Pella and Pablo Santurde on Tales Santander closed to within 34 miles on the Bay of Rio.

                    When GDF SUEZ crossed the line for victory the second placed Class 40 was around 50 miles behind. It is the first big ocean race win for both sailors.

                    Rogues said that the two keys to their win were being able to break first through the high pressure ridge off Cape Finisterre which allowed them to get into the Portuguese trade winds first, and their passage through the Doldrums, identifying a narrow corridor using a series of Quickscat images

                    Sébastien Rogue, skipper GDF SUEZ. “Without the big spinnaker it was difficult us and on the Brazilian coast we did not have the good sails, we saw the other catching up fast. When we launched the big spinnaker and it held then only then did we know we could be alright. We repaired it during the upwind after the Doldrums and only put it up recently. On the Brasil coast we did not need it. But on every ranking we could see the other were catching us. Three days ago we thought we would finish third, off Rio we put up the big spinnaker and saw that it worked, and only then with Fabien did we say, OK maybe we can win this race.”

                    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

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