Transat Québec-Saint Malo
Multihulls sail in a record time at mid-course to St Malo
497,5 miles in 24 hours • 45,6 miles lead • All is Ok for Fauconnier
jeudi 15 juillet 2004 –
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The Orma fleet are mid-course today with Sergio Tacchini leading throughout the day. After numerous changes it was Tim Progetto Italia and Sodebo that completed the podium, with Crêpes Whaou ! and Ciment St-Laurent respectively leading the 50 foot multis and monos. The 60 footers are well clear of land due east of Newfoundland, while the leading 50 foot multis have passed St Pierre and the monos round the south-western tip of Newfoundland.
The frontrunners have gradually extricated themselves from the thick fog during the day, with Karine Fauconnier achingly close to racking up a 500 mile day. The current ETA for her is the early hours of Monday morning.
Today is likely to be the fastest day of the Atlantic crossing as the 60 footers storm around the zone of high pressure (1024 hPa) wedged between 45°N and 40°W shifting slightly towards the east. The only solution is to hang west and then north of the high pressure zone between 50° and 52° North. Currently the Orma multihulls are tracking down well established south-westerlies soon to veer north-west, hoping to hook onto a depression lying north of Ireland.
- Karine Fauconnier et son équipage au large de Terre Neuve
- Photo Sergiio Tacchini / http://www.karinefauconnier.com
Now free of the ice field, the situation at the head of the fleet, looks favourable with a wind filling in from the front. All the 60 footers are sailing under gennaker and full main other than the leader Sergio Tacchini who has just put in its first reef of the race, finally free of the thick fog that has been enveloping them since St Pierre et Miquelon and experiencing cross seas and breaking waves. Michel Desjoyeaux also spoke of escaping the "kingdom of the shadows" while Figaro and Volvo specialist Sidney Gavignet on Banque Populaire had a visibility of just 2 boat lengths, revelling in the sailing, enthusing about how much he is learning on this particular machine. Franck Cammas on Groupama was also suffering his 100 mile deficit well, reaching in 20 knots of wind through the fog, obviously hoping that the frontrunners would be slowed up. Leader of the 50 ft multihulls, Crêpes Whaou ! was also still in fog but sailing upwind on a port tack having just put in a reef due to a rather nasty chop making 10/11 knots of boat speed. They are currently south-east of Saint Pierre while the monos are rounding south-west Newfoundland. With each ranking comes a very different picture mid-fleet in the 60 footers and it is clear that any little errors in gybe timing cost dearly. The game plan throughout the fleet is how best to negotiate the zone of high pressure over the North Atlantic, trying to avoid steering too far off the direct course to the Fastnet but similarly keeping out of the light anticyclonic conditions. A fine balancing act...
Antoine Mermod aboard Sergio Tacchini spoke of "just touching a little more wind with 28 knots of wind and boat speed. Brian is at the helm and we’ve just put in our first reef of the day. We’ve passed the current of the Labrador and the scenery has become rather oceanic now. There are cross seas with breaking waves. We’re trying to do the best we can and it’s really a question of making the right move at the right time. There are still lots of coups to be played."
The second Italian boat, Tim Progetto Italia declared the situation to be "impeccable. Things are working well and we’re content with our position making 22 knots. We passed some fishing boats in the fog last night which was pretty spicy !"
After gradually climbing up the rankings during the day to take third, the 1300 GMT ranking revealed that Gitana XI has tumbled back down to 5. "We’re sailing in view of Sodebo and there’s a little general fatigue. We’re trying not to take any tactical risks and just position ourselves well." In fact it was the shadowing Sodebo who had snatched back the podium spot. Crew Jacques Vincent spoke of "really being on top of the trimming and the navigation, gybing when you need to, to win a place. We’ve made two gybes already this morning. The first one was a little late and we lost ground but we made it up on the second and continue to thread our way along, scanning the horizon intensely every morning."
Michel Desjoyeaux on 4th placed Géant was much more cheerful today. "We had cross seas last night but now we’ve got more organised conditions. The boat is really seaworthy in this weather. It’s not necessary to have the sheet in your hand the whole time but we do have to be reactive as we’ve got 26 knots all the time. It’s not wet but it is cold. We’re likely to be on the same heading for a few days and will try to catch the depression to the north of Ireland."
Gitana XI has had a good day in 5th, as has Foncia and Groupama. At the lunch time session its skipper Franck Cammas had other things on his mind. "If it works up front (rounding the high pressure zone) then there won’t be a lot we can do. Our game of the moment is to attack Banque Populaire." A game that he has won, for the time being at least, up to 7th position ahead of the now 8th placed Banque Populaire at the 1300 GMT ranking, to the detriment of Sopra Group currently in 9th.
An uncharacteristically disheartened Stève Ravussin on Banque Covefi is right back in 10th after taking a seemingly wild option directly north much earlier on than the rest of the fleet. "We had a bad passage yesterday. We decided to head north in search of air so we can link up the wagons again." Gitana X and Médiatis-Région Aquitaine can perhaps only hope for a hold-up outfront on the express Atlantic highway with their 276.5 and 569.1 mile deficit respectively...
In the 50’ Multis, Crêpes Whaou ! has a 70 mile lead now, followed by Mike Birch on Bonjour Québec, Jean Stalaven and GIFI, 150 miles from the leader. Ciment St-Laurent has a 20 mile lead in the hotly contended monohull fleet, followed by Marina Fort Louis Ile de Martin, Branec III.
Written by Kate Jennings
Voir en ligne : www.quebecsaintmalo.com
CLASSEMENT DU 15/07/04 13:00:00 GMT
• MULTI 60 Open ORMA - Date retenue pour calcul classement estimé : 15/07/04 13:00 GMT
49 37.72’ N
41 46 92’ W
2 Tim Progetto Italia Giovanni Soldini 49 22.68’ N 41 20 04’ W 1534 23.90 82
3 Sodebo Thomas Coville 49 13.40’ N 41 45.44’ W 1553 23.30 83
4 Géant Michel Desjoyeaux 49 24.88’ N 41 56.72’ W 1554 26,70 81
5 Gitana XI Frederic Lepeutrec 49 33.76’ N 42 03.80’ W 1558 24,00 88
6 Foncia Alain Gauthier 48 34.44’ N 41 56.24’ W 1576 19,10 103
7 Groupama Franck Cammas 49 02.64’ N 42 49.28’ W 1596 24,00 85
8 Banque Populaire Lalou Roucayrol 49 06.92’ N 43 02.32’ W 1603 22,60 90
9 Sopra Group Philippe Monnet 49 16.20’ N 43 20.68’ W 1613 18,10 58
10 Banque Covefi Stève Ravussin 49 53.28’ N 46 47.92’ W 1672 22,10 72
11 Gitana X Marc Guillemot 47 54.28’ N 46 31.96’ W 1765 12,20 28
12 Médiatis-Région Aquitaine Yves Parlier 46 35.04’ N 53 20.16’ W 2057 9,80 49
• MULTI 50 - Date retenue pour calcul classement estimé : 15/07/04 13:00 GMT
Crêpes Whaou !
46 40.72’ N
55 30.84’ W
2 Bonjour Québec Mike Birch 46 49.10’ N 57 06.92’ W 2197 7,30 58
3 Jean Stalaven Pascal Quintin 46 58.84’ N 57 25.52’ W 2211 7,00 142
4 GIFI Dominique Demachy 47 19.20’ N 58 59.20’ W 2279 5,10 107
• MONOCOQUES - Date retenue pour calcul classement estimé : 15/07/04 13:00 GMT
1 Ciment St-Laurent Georges Leblanc 47 21.28’ N 59 29.72’ W 2300 7,20 160
2 Marina Fort Louis Ile de Saint Martin Luc Coquelin 47 54.48’ N 59 42.60’ W 2320 6,00 190
3 Branec III Roger Langevin 48 10.24’ N 59 38.28’ W 2324 3,30 104
Dans la même rubrique
Québec - St Malo : Fauconnier and Soldini first to round Cap Race
Québec - St Malo : Desjoyeaux leads the 60’ multihull fleet when arriving in Atlantic
Route du Rhum : Michel Desjoyeaux wins the 60’ multihulls divison
Route du Rhum : Twenty multihulls in Saint Malo for the Rum RaceSergio Tacchini will be sail by Karine Fauconnier. The only woman to be able to succed to Florence Arthaud, winner in 1990. Photo : James Robinson Taylor / Sergio Tacchini