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20 November 2001, 01:13 pm
Sill Plein Fruit Wins Monohull Class
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Transat Jacques Vabre

Sill Plein Fruit, skippered by Roland Jourdain and Gael Le Cleac¹h, crossed the line at 2313hrs local time in Bahia on Monday night, or 0113hrs GMT, Tuesday 20th November.

The red boat takes sweet victory in the Open 60 Monohull class, after spending 16 days, 13 hours, 23 mins & 41 seconds on course. An flawless race for this Lombard-designed Open 60, after finishing 2nd in the EDS Atlantic Challenge, despite a dismasting, and 3rd in the Vendée Globe. Roland Jourdain becomes the first skipper to have won the Transat Jacques Vabre in both monohulls and multihulls, as he co-skippered Paul Vatine on Région Haute Normandie to victory in 1995.

And what an exceptional race it was for Sill Plein Fruit, skippers Roland Jourdain and Gael Le Cleac¹h took the lead off the African coast from Ecover a few days before entering the Doldrums and just never gave anyone else the opportunity to touch them after that. Their official course is 4340m and on this mileage their average speed was 10.92 knots. Calculations show that they actually covered 4620 miles at an average speed of 11.62 knots.

Finally the swords are down ­ 5 hours and 17 minutes after Sill Plein Fruit, Ecover (Golding/Hutchinson) swept into second place, Casto-Darty-But (Moloney/Turner) finishing 3rd an hour and a half later. So the curtain has come down at last on the closest battle waged at sea in the monohull fleet between two proven rivals for over 4 days and across two oceans in this Transat Jacques Vabre, often just half a mile separating them. In the reaching to upwind conditions it was Casto-Darty-But¹s advantage, but the final miles would be downwind in the SE Trades, and that was always going to be Ecover¹s joker to pull out just 24hrs before the line, her hull optimised for this point of sail.

Ecover nosed ahead of Casto-Darty-But yesterday morning, just 24 hrs before the line, excelling in boat speed in the steady downwind conditions along the Brazilian shores. Golding & Hutchinson crossed the line in Bahia at 0630hrs 55s GMT half a dozen miles ahead of comrades Moloney & Turner on Casto-Darty-But, who crossed in third place at 0800hrs 52s GMT.

After coming 3rd in the last Transat Jacques Vabre with Ed Danby as co-skipper, Golding has moved one place up the podium this time round.

Multihull Rankings (Time reference + difference from leader)

1-Groupama (Franck Cammas-Stève Ravusssin) 14d 09hrs 03m 25s
2-Foncia (Alain Gautier-Ellen MacArthur) 14d 12hrs 35m 10s + 3hrs 31m 45s
3-Fujifilm (Loïck Peyron-Loïc Le Mignon) 14d 22hrs 11m 35s + 13hrs 08m 10s
4-Bonduelle (Jean Le Cam-Jacques Caraës) 15d 09hrs 31m 40s + 1d 00hrs 28m
5-Belgacom (Jean-Luc Nélias-Michel Desjoyeaux) 15d 15hrs 28m 05s + 1d 06hr
24m 40s

Multihull Positions at 0845hrs GMT ­ DTF (nm)

Postn Boat Latitude Longitude Speed Hdg DTF DFL
6 Banque Populaire 12 23.36' S 37 27.92' W 16.4 292 76.7
7 Fila 14 25.80' S 32 13.60' W 18.9 233 373.9 297.3
8 Nautica 9 58.40' S 23 47.44' W 9.3 261 888.7 812.1
9 Pindar Systems 7 43.08' S 17 57.08' W 4.5 109 1682.3 1605.7

Open 60 Monohull Rankings & Positions at 0845hrs GMT ­ DTF (nm)

1st SILL PLEIN FRUIT (Jourdain/Le Cleac¹h) 20/11/01 at 0113hrs GMT
Time of reference: 16d 13hrs 23m 41s
2nd ECOVER (Golding/Hutchinson) 20/11/01 at 0630hrs GMT
Time of reference: 16d 18hrs 40m 55s
3rd CASTO-DARTY-BUT (Moloney/Turner) 20/11/01 at 0800hrs GMT
Time of reference: 16d 20hrs 10m 52s

Postn Boat Latitude Longitude Speed Hdg DTF DFL
4 Sme Negoceane 12 59.24' S 38 03.80' W 9.6 242 30.2
5 Voilà.fr 12 43.32' S 37 39.08' W 11.1 221 57.8 27.6
6 Fila 13 08.96' S 37 30.96' W 8.5 272 62.7 32.4
7 Temenos 12 17.48' S 37 21.88' W 10.5 229 84.7 54.5

Open 50 Monohull Positions at 0845hrs GMT ­ DTF (nm)

1 One Dream : One Mission
7 42.56' S 33 40.92' W 11.7 213 433.1
2 Saving (06:30) 6 18.51' S 33 28.58' W 11.4 186 485.1 52.0
Mary Ambler/News Editor
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