Sea, Sail & Surf

From offshore to inshore: all the news abouts sea sports from 2000

Québec St Malo

Karine Fauconnier is continuing to stretch away across the Irish Sea

Groupama and Géant only just past the Fastnet, merely 2.3 miles separating the latter duo

Sunday 18 July 2004Redaction SSS [Source RP]

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The top trio are clear of the Fastnet now tackling the waters of the Irish Sea. Géant passed very close to Mizzen Head on the south-western tip of Ireland in anticipation of the Fastnet, with Groupama just below. Sodebo’s much more southerly position came as a bit of a surprise at the 1300 GMT ranking, around 8 miles upwind of the infamous rock, perhaps in search of thermals offshore, but rest assured that it has now passed the mark at the time of writing, 1530 GMT.

Brian Thompson au passage du Fastnet sur Sergiio Tacchini

On the approach to the Scillies leader Karine Fauconnier talked of “things getting quite heated around the weather files, trying to find the key to the next part of the programme. There aren’t any worries for going down to the south-western tip of England, but we’re working on the channel crossing. The navigation is going to take some working on but we have to take the current into account, the coastal effects and the thermal breezes, so we’ve got our work cut out, putting our neurons together! For now we’re inside the record Record #sailingrecord time despite the light winds which await us. We can feel the finish getting close now so there is always a little excitement and stress.”

96.5 miles behind the leader, Franck Profitt said that “the wind is beginning to ease, but it will be lighter at the end of the day. We’ve been with Géant and Sodebo for over 24 hours 24 hours 24 hours best distance covered records . It’s just Tim Progetto Italia who is missing but it shouldn’t be much longer before he gets back with us. There’s a real regatta at the moment!”

Same scene aboard Géant with Figaro sailor and 60’ specialist Vincent Riou in attack mode. “Groupama passed us in a squall just recently. We are ahead off the Irish coast, the sun is shining and it’s magnificent. We’re in full regatta mode. Everyone is on deck. We have 10 knots of south-westerly, neck and neck with Groupama. It looks set to continue like this as far as Saint Malo too.”

Loïck Peyron on Sodebo was equally as hopeful 106.6 miles off the pace. “It’s a nerve-racking regatta. We’re battling in fairly light, even very light wind. I think Karine (Fauconnier) has got some favourable conditions and is likely to have less difficult conditions than those behind, like us! What is interesting is that there are always possibilities to play catch up in light winds.”

Holding onto the chasers Soldini is still very much in contention and Foncia has now repaired its starboard rudder closing in slightly on the leader with some fairly good averages, nonetheless nearly 200 miles away. Behind them are Banque Populaire and Sopra Group and Marc Guillemot (Gitana X) had set its sights more on passing Philippe Monnet’s boat.

“We broke our second rudder attachment (that enables the rudder to be moved backwards and forwards), and it was Erwan Leroux, our onboard Mr Fixit that stuck it back together.” said Guillemot. “During this time though we managed to get a lead on Banque Covefi. We have what wind we need to worry Sopra Group in the next 24 hours 24 hours 24 hours best distance covered records though. 18 knots of wind is just what the boat likes to work really well and that’s what we’ve got right now.”

At the rear of the Orma fleet, Yves Parlier was in better spirits today and has decreased it deficit today thanks to the best 24hour average of the fleet, 461.6 miles. He is located 656.1 miles from the leader.

Franck Yves Escoffier (Crêpes Whaou!) has a 144 mile lead over a buoyant Mike Birch, finally able to be contacted today. “Well it would be really nice to be eating Crêpes Whaou! (French brand of pancake and sponsor of Franck Yves Escoffier’s boat) just now but they’ve had a great race. We were impressed how well we did downwind too to start with. We were keeping up with them then, vying with Jean Stalaven for second place the whole length of the Saint Laurent river. We were so happy to be going fast we didn’t really think about the nav. Ultimately we haven’t been looking at the weather enough and were suddenly 100 miles behind. I think this compares with the previous five Transat Quebec Saint Malo I’ve done but I have to say that I can’t remember them all! One for sure is that the boat is ok and it’s the best crew you could wish for - we’re having a ball.” 

In the monohulls Marina Fort Louis Ile de Saint Martin continues to streak ahead of the fleet.

Author: Kate Jennings

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CLASSEMENT DU 18/07/04 13:00:00 GMT

MULTI 60 Open ORMA - Date retenue pour calcul classement estimé : 18/07/04 13:00 GMT

- 1 Sergio Tacchini Karine Fauconnier 50 30.40’ N 7 23.36’ W 236,4 13,00 119
- 2 Groupama Franck Cammas 51 22.32’ N 9 33.24’ W 332,9 11,50 111
- 3 Géant Michel Desjoyeaux 51 23.56’ N 9 36.40’ W 335,2 11,40 114
- 4 Sodebo Thomas Coville 51 17.80’ N 9 45.04’ W 343 11,30 102
- 5 Tim Progetto Italia Giovanni Soldini 51 27.44’ N 9 58.56’ W 349,6 11,30 118
- 6 Foncia Alain Gauthier 52 25.72’ N 11 41.60’ W 432,9 18,60 123
- 7 Banque Populaire Lalou Roucayrol 52 41.00’ N 13 37.72’ W 484,8 17,80 112
- 8 Sopra Group Philippe Monnet 53 08.24’ N 16 47.84’ W 619,1 19,10 130
- 9 Gitana X Marc Guillemot 52 06.32’ N 21 08.84’ W 765,6 16,90 93
- 10 Banque Covefi Stève Ravussin 52 18.88’ N 21 27.04’ W 777,2 19,90 98
- 11 Médiatis Région Aquitaine Yves Parlier 50 34.08’ N 24 19.60’ W 892,5 20,50 78
- ABD Gitana XI Frederic Lepeutrec

MULTI 50 - Date retenue pour calcul classement estimé : 18/07/04 13:00 GMT

- 1 Crêpes Whaou! Franck-Yves Escoffier 48 51.80’ N 34 09.00’ W 1261,5 14,80 124
- 2 Bonjour Québec Mike Birch 48 09.08’ N 37 37.24’ W 1405,6 9,20 50
- 3 Jean Stalaven Pascal Quintin 48 39.17’ N 39 54.48’ W 1484,5 11,10 40
- 4 GIFI Dominique Demachy 47 33.00’ N 45 21.76’ W 1714.3 9,20 65

MONOCOQUES - Date retenue pour calcul classement estimé : 18/07/04 13:00 GMT

- 1 Marina Fort Louis de Saint Martin Luc Coquelin 46 39.08’ N 48 36.44’ W 1857,3 11,00 97
- 2 Branec III Roger Langevin 46 16.88’ N 49 20.40’ W 1893,6 8,90 85
- 3 Ciment St-Laurent Georges Leblanc 47 14.68’ N 50 18.00’ W 1904,7 9,00 80

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