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The Ups And Downs Of Foiling A Maxi Multi

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  • The Ups And Downs Of Foiling A Maxi Multi

    Departing last Sunday under the Norman sun, Armel Le Cléac'h and Kevin Escoffier spared no effort during these first three days of racing. Despite a slight delay on the head of the Ultimes fleet, the Maxi Banque Populaire XI duo remained in the game as the pace picked up. Armel and Kevin give fresh news from the edge and once again prove their tenacity.

    Last Sunday, at 1:27 p.m., Armel Le Cléac'h and Kevin Escoffier took the start of the 15th Transat Jacques Vabre in ideal conditions. Perched on its foils, the Maxi Banque Populaire XI looked great, at the forefront of the race. After the first few hours, the situation quickly became more complex. “ At Brittany point, then crossing Ouessant and the Bay of Biscay, navigation was complicated due to the very light wind. It took a lot of maneuvering, it was quite stressful. We turned the cranks a lot , ”says Kevin. Since yesterday, the two sailors have rediscovered the joys of foiling. ", the Maxi Banque Populaire XI was proud , at the forefront of the race. After the first few hours, the situation quickly became more complex. " Before arriving at Cape Finisterre, the boat was flying again, in 15 knots of wind and on flat seas. These are moments of pleasure that must be savored, this does not happen every day. Few of us have the chance to sail on such machines, ”emphasizes Kevin.

    "We were a little late, but nothing too bad"

    In this complex start to the race, the duo attempted strategic moves which did not all have the desired result. Armel Le Cléac'h: “ We didn't have the wind we hoped for, we got stuck for several hours without wind. We were a little behind the other four Ultimates, but nothing too bad considering the miles left to go. There are a lot of traps ahead of us. We stay in the game, we hang on so that it does not go from the front. We are thoroughly with Kevin and our router Marcel Van Triest. Marcel Van Triest. "Team Banque Populaire director Ronan Lucas knows Armel and Kevin very well:" They have proven on numerous occasions that they are very tenacious, that they never admit defeat. We can count on them not to let go, ”he assures us.
    "The men and the boat are doing well"

    At the 4 p.m. score on Wednesday 10 November, Armel Le Cléac'h and Kevin Escoffier occupied 5th place in the Ultimate, 86 miles from the leaders Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier (Maxi Edmond de Rothschild). The stakes for the days to come? “We will have to find the right wind corridors, position ourselves well in relation to all the islands that are in front of us (Madeira, the Canaries, Cape Verde), in particular by managing the important winds, ” explains Armel. “ The situation is unstable, nothing is very stalled with a weak to moderate trade wind. The situation is atypical for the start of the Transat Jacques Vabre, we have to adapt. "All the signals are on the green and the duo is showing great serenity:" The men and the boat are doing well, "confirms Armel. " , 86 miles from leaders Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier (Maxi Edmond de Rothschild). The stakes for the days to come? " Despite the complex start to the race, we managed to have a good rest. We are going to do a full check of the boat today but in principle, everything is fine on board. "
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery

  • #2
    Gitana 17 Continues To Set The Pace

    Slipping happily along to Cape Verde vibes
    The sixth day at sea kicked off early this Friday afternoon in the Transat Jacques Vabre. Firm fixtures at the top of the leader board in the Ultime category, Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier have the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild sailing at her full potential and are currently making a textbook descent of the Atlantic. Together with their weather cell, they’re linking together a series of favourable tacks southwards and will be past the Cape Verde archipelago tonight. However, their minds are already mulling over the details of what lies much further along the racetrack, namely the renowned and dreaded doldrums, which is shaping up to be quite the enigma for the sailors in the Coffee Route.

    Making the most of the here and now
    “We’ve been flying along nicely since we passed Madeira. We’re lucky enough to have some favourable trade wind and though it’s not that strong, there aren’t too many squalls along our current trajectory either,” noted Franck Cammas. Aboard the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, which was slipping along this Friday afternoon offshore of the coast of Mauritania thanks to a NE’ly breeze of around fifteen knots, the atmosphere has changed somewhat. The mercury is rising and the flying fish have put in an appearance on the deck and in the wake of the giant five-arrow trimaran, conditions which our dynamic duo are relishing, even if the weather is not yet in tune with their ambitions: “It’s been a pleasant night, the 1st night in shorts and T-shirt! Nothing’s simple in the North Atlantic. We still have some gybing on the cards if we are to make the most of the slightest variations in the breeze. Together with our routers, we’re currently considering the strategy for negotiating the doldrums, with no apparent way through so far. We’re going to have to be shrewd.” explained Charles Caudrelier.

    "We’re trusting our two onshore weather routers. Brains are whirring with regards to what comes next, but for now we’re sailing a great course. Let’s hope that continues…” admitted the sailor of the decade: “Roll on the southern hemisphere! We’ve still got a way to go yet for that, another two days at least.”

    You’ve got it. It’s never plain sailing aboard large trimarans and the route south is not on a straight line course alas. Furthermore, the active Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone lying ahead of their bows seems to have extended its grip. It promises to be a thrilling weekend.

    Images from the ocean, day 5 – Flying in the trades
    The North Atlantic in this Transat Jacques Vabre is certainly no picnic, even for the leader of the Ultime category, the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild. Though Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier have managed to steal a bit of a march on their pursuers, with a 67-mile lead over SVR – Lazartigue at 16:00 UTC and nearly 100 miles ahead of Banque Populaire XI, it’s only after much effort and countless gybes. Slipping along downwind towards Cape Verde, the sailors in Gitana Team are making the most of a light but stable trade wind. You can just sense that they’re very much into the swing of their race pace now!


    Positions on Friday 12 November at 17:00 UTC
    Maxi Edmond de Rothschild (F. Cammas / C. Caudrelier)
    SVR - Lazartigue (F. Gabart / T. Laperche) + 72.6 miles
    Banque Populaire XI (A. Le Cléac’h / K. Escoffier) + 103 miles
    Actual (Y. Le Blevec / A. Marchand) + 112,6 miles
    Sodebo (T. Coville / T.Rouxel) + 554.6 miles
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery


    • #3
      A Good Day On Banque Populaire


      Last night, Armel Le Cléac'h and Kevin Escoffier crossed the latitude of the Canaries, in 3rd position in the Ultimate category. The Maxi Banque Populaire XI duo remain in the game as the dreaded doldrums approach. Ronan Lucas, Team Director, takes stock and explains the challenges of the weekend.

      “Yesterday it was an intense day for Armel and Kevin, with the bypass of the Madeira archipelago. We had to think carefully about the strategy to pass these islands without suffering too much from the winds, ”explains Ronan Lucas. “ With Marcel Van Triest, their , they were clever and returned to the match with SVR-Lazartigue (François Gabart / Tom Laperche) and Actual Ultim 3 (Yves Le Blevec / Anthony Marchand). They then crossed the Canaries overnight. It's quite incredible because even passing 200 km from these islands, they felt the ."

      "Morale is good, the desire is there"

      At the 11am score this Friday 12 November, Armel Le Cléac'h and Kevin Escoffier occupied 3rd place, 117 miles from the leaders Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier ( Maxi Edmond de Rothschild ). “ On these very fast multihulls, nothing is ever done. The gaps can be closed very quickly, ”emphasizes Ronan Lucas. " Armel and Kevin are in their race, focused. Morale is good, the desire is there. As expected, their agreement is excellent. They manage to rest and there are no technical problems to be deplored. They are happy to see that the boat is working well. We remain cautious. We must not get carried away. They will continue to do everything they can to complete this Transat Jacques Vabre, trying to annoy Charles and Franck. We were very sad to learn of Sodebo's shock with a UFO, but the boat has left, which is good news. It would be great to see the Ultimate Five arrive in Martinique."

      "The rest of the program promises to be complicated"

      This Friday, the Maxi Banque Populaire XI is sailing in a fairly light trade wind, in the order of 12 to 15 knots. “ The next few days are going to be complicated, ” warns Ronan Lucas. “ There are quite a few crooked areas to go through. The next key moment will be the crossing of the Cape Verde Islands. Some routings pass right through the middle of the archipelago. But it is above all the sequence of events that occupies the sailors and their . “ At the moment, the is monstrous in scale and we will have to position ourselves in the best possible way to negotiate it, ”notes Ronan Lucas. “ This very disturbed area risks reshuffling the cards by its complexity. Armel and Kevin are expected to tackle the doldrums from Sunday. "
      " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery


      • #4
        Slightly Off The Pace, But Back In The Race

        More than 24 hours after leaving Madeira, Sodebo Ultim 3 is heading in the trade winds towards Cape Verde. On board, the atmosphere is good, as Thomas Coville told this Saturday at the organization's vacation.

        The skipper of Sodebo Ultim 3, after reviewing “the little trauma” he has suffered from the shock that damaged the starboard foil of the trimaran and resulted in some bruising for Thomas Rouxel, explained how the intervention of the technical team dispatched in Madeira had been decisive: “A few hours after our arrival in Madeira, five of them joined us and for two hours, they moved heaven and earth, finally succeeding in doing what we had not succeeded at sea. It is in these moments that we take into account that ocean racing is a team sport. "

        Set out again in the early morning, Sodebo Ultim 3 has covered a little over 400 miles in 24 hours, not at 100% of its potential, because it is sailing on port tack (wind coming from the left), a speed at which the trimaran Ultim does not. cannot use his damaged starboard foil. This does not prevent the two Thomas from doing everything possible to get the most out of the boat. “We set off again and a few hours later we were at 30 knots in the trade winds. We are obviously super frustrated, but at the same time super happy. Frustrated because we are competitors, but we told ourselves that we were still too lucky to do this transatlantic race, we also have a team behind us and so many people who support us, we are pushed by something that is beyond us ”, explained Thomas Coville.

        And if the head of the Ultim fleet is 500 miles in front of the bows of Sodebo Ultim 3, there is no question of giving up: "We are following from a distance the fight in which we would have liked to be, but it would be indecent to complain in the face of people who are more sorry than us. We cling to a hope, we are optimistic, it is human nature. "


        This morning at 6 a.m., after an express intervention by the technical team of Team Sodebo, Thomas Coville and Thomas Rouxel left Madeira to resume the Transat Jacques Vabre in race mode towards Martinique.

        After its foil damage that occurred during the night from Wednesday to Thursday, Sodebo Ultim 3 headed for Funchal in Madeira, a meeting point with its technical team, arriving on site at 12:30 am on the night of Thursday to Friday. In a few hours, the five members of Team Sodebo managed to carry out an express repair which allowed Thomas Coville and Thomas Rouxel to resume sea at 6 a.m. this Friday morning. Even if they do not leave at 100% of the capacity of Sodebo Ultim 3, whose starboard foil remains damaged, the two skippers are back in the race, with a strong motivation and thinking that anything is possible while he 6,500 miles remain to be covered as far as Fort-de-France.

        Thomas Rouxel's explanations when setting out to sea again:

        “During the night of Wednesday and Thursday, we were sailing in a very unstable wind on the port tack, Thomas was in the bunk, I was returning to the helm, we then violently collided with an UFO, it was so violent that I found myself thrown towards the front of the boat, I tapped everywhere, a winch handle, the computer screen ... I thought we had hit a boat and we were going get out of there with the broken bow, we went around Sodebo Ultim 3, we saw that the starboard foil was damaged. We then embarked on a mission to try to continue sailing, we did not know if it was just to reach a port and repair or to continue the race.

        We tinkered with a dozen hours, we couldn't do what we wanted, suddenly, we met in Madeira with the technical team which landed at 12:30 am. They got on board as soon as they got there, and within two hours they got the boat back to us. We are in the process of leaving the bay of Funchal to return to the waypoint where we put the race on standby and set off again to attack Martinique. I feel a bit like a boxer the day after a fight, I have a few bruises, but it's not very serious, it will dilute over time and it does not prevent me from sailing again, I am very happy to leave.

        Even if the competitive stakes will be less, we will have a lot of fun at sea and we will continue to make progress on the boat. And you never know what can happen on the race, so all the time to get to Martinique! " They got on board as soon as they got there, and within two hours they got the boat back to us. We are in the process of leaving the bay of Funchal to return to the waypoint where we put the race on standby and set off again to attack Martinique.
        " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

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