In perfect conditions, the podium of 3 from the Vendee Globe left Port Haliguen this morning in moderate to fresh north westerly winds to fight it out for the last time in this first of its kind Grand Prix for the Open 60s.
The situation was simple. Whoever crossed the line first between SILL and KINGFISHER would take the overall victory, as they started this final race with the same points.
It was straight into battle at the 8 minute gun in the lead up to the start. Pushing each other to secure the best position, like in an America's Cup pre-start, it was SILL that got the upper hand. All 6 boats were squeezing hard at the inside end of the start line, just metres apart, but SILL brushed through.
The course was one that took the fleet upwind along the coast, and then surfing back down in front of the crowds gathered on the harbour wall - a physical and technical set of manoeuvres which did much to change the 2nd, 3rd and 4th positions a number of times, but not enough to dislodge SILL from her first place.
Managing to take PRB at the final downwind mark, Ellen brought KINGFISHER in just behind Bernard Stamm to take third on the day, and second overall in this first MMA World Championship event. Ellen now leaves for Sardinia to rejoin Alain Gautier and FONCIA-KINGFISHER, his 60 foot trimaran, for the next multihull Grand Prix. Meanwhile Nick Moloney, Kingfisher's co-skipper, and the shore team will continue preparations for the EDS Atlantic Challenge that starts in St.Malo on July 3. KINGFISHER plans to return to Cowes just for a few days before sailing back to St.Malo on June 26th.
1. SILL (Jourdain)
2. KINGFISHER (MacArthur)
3. ARMORLUX / GROUP BOBST (Stamm)
4. PRB (Desjoyeaux)
5. LA RAGE DE VIVRE (Pochet)
6. SOLIDAIRES (Dubois)