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A Restart For The Classe 40' And Ocean 50's

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  • A Restart For The Classe 40' And Ocean 50's

    November 6, 2023

    92 sailors return to the roads of Martinique
    Eight days after their first departure from Le Havre, giving rise to superb images in the Bay of Seine, 46 crews in Class40 and Ocean Fifty returned to the paths leading to Martinique in the very turbulent Groix waters this Monday morning. The 92 sailors set off in seasonal conditions, in seas of 2.5 meters and a well-established west-southwest wind at 20 knots. But that's without taking into account the copious squalls which make things tougher in the area, with torrential rain and slaps at 35-40 knots. Off the coast of Lorient, the tradition of committed departures which make the reputation of the Coffee Route is respected to the letter. For the two fleets of trimarans and monohulls which took to the sea today at 10:30 a.m. and 10:45 a.m., the trade winds will be worth their while.

    all images Vincent Curutchet/Alea

    You had to get up early, and not forget to put on your raincoat to greet the 46 crews at the start of their second big start in this Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre. In Lorient, the intimate and warm goodbyes for the great ocean ride that awaits them had a particular family color and friendly flavor. Among those who responded to the call from the pontoon, the co-skippers of Dekuple , William Mathelin-Moreaux and Pietro Luciani, who officially announced their withdrawal due to not being able to repair their damage on the first section in time, hid with difficulty their legitimate pang in the heart. But for their comrades, for whom the game continues, it's time to go. At 8:40 a.m., the 6 Ocean Fifty and the 40 Class finally left the pontoons at Lorient La Base where they had taken shelter on Monday October 30.

    On the water, the conditions are sustained, or rather “engaged”, as the vocabulary of sailors who set out in a depression weather regime requires. At 10:30 a.m., the Ocean Fifty join the dance. And it is Viabilis Ocean (Quiroga-Treussart) who has the right to cross the Lorient starting line first. A quarter of an hour later, it is the turn of the Class40s to once again throw themselves into the deep end of the route which awaits them via Port Santo in Madeira. The wind has eased to 15 knots, but a large squall on the horizon indicates that this calm will be very short-lived. At the top IBSA (Bona-Santurde Del Arco), Cafe Joyeux (D'Estais-Debiesse), Project Rescue Ocean (Trehin-Riou) or even Edenred (Le Roch-Bourgnon), to the left of the line, on the island of Groix, are in the mix. At the clearance buoy, the Seafrigo Sogestran crew (Chateau-Pirouelle), back in the race after a commando mission to repair their badly damaged boat in the Bay of Seine, announces the color. We definitely have to reckon with him. At the mark, he leads the fleet ahead of Interinvest (Perraut-Bloch), Legallais (Delahaye-Douguet), or even La Manche #Evidence Nautique (Jossier-Loison)... In front of the bows of this compact fleet: the promise of 48 hours as invigorating as they are strategic, during which it will be necessary to both preserve the boat and not dawdle on such a good path to “degolf” and reach Cape Finisterre. Quite an art in short, easier said than done when tacking, before starting the great descent towards downwinds...

    Note that the crew of Engie DFDS Brittany Ferries (Lee-Ragueneau) had to return to the port of Lorient La Base. More information to follow…

    Erwan Le Roux (Koesio), Ocean Fifty: “The start was given last Sunday in Le Havre, it was magnificent in the breeze. Now stage two begins. We have the same state of mind as last week, with the desire to do well, trying to make a good trajectory on the somewhat technical course that awaits us over the first two days, with a lot of softness, rises, and a very unstable wind. We're going to have to navigate all of this. It's quite tricky: you'll have to be vigilant and concentrated. But we won't have to dawdle on the road either to escape a second depression which passes Cape Finisterre tomorrow evening. ?

    Ambrogio Beccaria & Nicolas Andrieu (Alla Grande Pirelli), Class40: “We are very happy to leave, even if it remains a breeze race, upwind for the first two and a half days. You shouldn't let your guard down too much. But we navigated well on the first stage. We will try to stay in the game, because there are doors that we must not miss.

    We are approaching this stage two, as we approached the race a week ago, even if we now have behind us the pitfalls of the currents and stones of Northern Brittany. But apart from that, there is still everything to do. It's up to us to fight like dogs and not give up during 15-16 days of racing. ?

    Erwan le Draoulec (Everial), Class40: “Rainy start, but happy start, because we are very happy to go there. We will spend the first 24-48 hours facing the wind, in solid conditions, but less strong, I think, than those we had in the Channel. But there are a lot of irregularities in the sky, a lot of grains. It won't be as simple as that, even if we leave on a large starboard tack, heading for Cape Finisterre. We will have some initial difficulties from the start. We should get through a front on Wednesday. It will be very active, but we will be very close to the center, and it is difficult to know what will happen and how we will have to deal with it. ?

    Thibaut Vauchel-Camus (Solidaires en Peloton), Ocean Fifty: “It’s still November in the North Atlantic, but we’re really looking forward to going there. We approach this second stage like the Medal Race, because normally it is the one that will really count. We have 24 hours to take off and remember that we are about to start the Transat Jacques Vabre, even if we leave a little later. It will be less rough than the first piece, but we will perhaps have more regatta, of which there has already been a first sample on the first leg. The lead we have is just a little bit of a guy who can do us some good if things get complicated at the finish. But it is not this small advance in view of the twelve days at sea which await us, which gives us any form of comfort. ?

    Achille Nebout & Gildas Mahe (Amarris), Class40: “Over the first 48 hours, we expect fairly strong squalls. The first night, we wait for a small depression to pass, not too violent but very uncertain, but there will be blows to be had. And above all, we will have a good front to spend the second night off Cape Finisterre, which will be tougher. Once we have overcome these two difficulties, we will be able to head south to finally catch stronger winds, and find a little warmth. We all know what we're aiming for, but we may take different routes to get there. ?

    Amelie Grassi (La Boulangere Bio), Class40: “Over the first 48 hours, we will have to be a little relaxed, while at the same time increasing the intensity, to the extent that what awaits us ahead will be crucial for the continuation of the route. It's really a new beginning which sets off directly on a wide course. We're really starting from scratch. ?

    Pierre Le Boucher (SNEF Group): “It's a bit like Le Havre, we won't have to break any boats, but it would also be good to arrive early at the outposts of the fleet at Cape Finisterre, where it should escape from the front. We will refine the weather and the strategy based on the latest weather files that we can retrieve after an hour of racing. Our goal remains to sail well; and if we can do a little better than the first stage, that will be very good! ?

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