It was at 13:50:49(GMT) today that the 60 foot trimaran Sergio Tacchini crossed the finish line of the Sixth Transat Québec Saint Malo under warm cloudy blue skies and greeted by some sixty or so spectator boats.
In so doing, Karine FAUCONNIER, Jean Baptiste LEVAILLANT, Damian FOXALL, Brian THOMPSON, Antoine MERMOD and Ronan LE GOFF engrave their names in the record books of the Transat Québec Saint Malo, approximately 36 minutes outside the record time held by Loïck PEYRON of 07 days 20 hours and 24 minutes.
Their race time for covering the 2950 miles is 7 days 21 hours 0 minutes and 54 seconds at an average theoretical speed over the course of 15.36 knots.
This victory is a great first on numerous levels. It's Karine FAUCONNIER'S first victory in a crewed transat on this boat, and it's the first time a female skipper has won this race. For one of her crew, Jean Baptiste LEVAILLANT, this was his sixth race and his third win in the Québec Saint Malo, almost beating his own reference time!
"We've won! We did really well to win as the other sailors have a fantastic track record, Franck Cammas, Thomas Coville, Michelle Desjoyeaux...The others were really coming back hard on us. We were playing the slightest gust of wind. Last night was nightmarish and conditions in the calm there at the end were just like a Figaro. In fact I've got a headache from all the tension. I'm really proud of my crew and the preparation. We were really lucky not to break anything - and it's a really good boat. The race was all downwind for us with some good moderate winds. It wasn't too wet and the seas weren't big. It's a great course and such a contrast from The Transat - after finishing this one I really want to sail again which wasn't the case after The Transat. This was pure pleasure. It was rapid, intense and very very beautiful!"
Karine FAUCONNIER commented after crossing the finish line earlier today.
Leaving Quebec on 11 July at 1650 GMT, they passed all the course marks in pole position and took on all the large course phases in the lead: the entrance into the Gulf of Saint Laurent, the entrance into the Atlantic, the entrance into the Irish Sea and then the Channel.
They have lead the 60' multihull fleet pretty much since the 0500 GMT ranking on 12 July and only lost their lead position on a few rare moments. Their northerly option in the last third of the Atlantic crossing proved decisive for the end of the race.
Right up to the finish in Saint Malo, they continued to be threatened by a group of four very high performance trimarans, comprising Groupama, Géant, Sodebo and Tim Progetto Italia but all there hard work at the nav station and on the helm has come good. At the time of the finish Géant was just 16.6 miles behind, Groupama, 16.8, Sodebo 20.5 and Tim Progetto Italia 32.2 miles from the leader. The battle for second place is on...whilst at the back of the fleet Yves Parlier's Médiatis -Région Aquitainehas recorded the best distance in 24 hours of 526.6 miles, now just 416 miles behind Karine Fauconnier.
Further details are available on the event website at the address below.