The 28 Class40 are all dealing with the doldrums whims. Crèpes Whaou ! crossed the line at 11h29'39" french time after 15d22h27' at sea.
Since yesterday Safran and Cheminées Poujoulat had moved her route towards the Brazilian coasts to reduce their deficit of miles on Foncia. That worked pretty well as at 12:00 (french time) Marc GUILLEMOT was polled only 9 miles behind Foncia's stern after 17 days at sea.
On a regatta mode, Michel DESJOYAUX, seeking to keep the control, positioned his boat between his pursuers and the arrival line. He lost miles in the process but also reduced the chance of Safran to ovetake him and crossed the line first. Cheminées Poujoulat took 3rd place on the podium at 18h17'25" (french time) after 17d 4h and 17" at sea.
Mike GOLDING (GBR) and Bruno DUBOIS (BEL) crossed the finish line at 02:09:33hrs local time (05:09:33hrs GMT) this morning in the new ECOVER 3, taking a hard earned fifth place. ECOVER 3 finished 13 hours 32 minutes and 28 seconds behind race winners Michel DESJOYEAUX and Manu LE BORGNE (FRA) on the new Foncia, and one hour 35 minutes and 42 seconds ahead of sixth placed Groupe Bel (Kito de PAVANT and Sebastien COL, FRA).
Brit'air closed on Groupe Bel and is polled only 30 miles away at 4 p.m. while Generali and Gitana Eighty are sailing within14 miles of the other.
Roxy, now 500 miles away from Bahia, is forecasted to finish within 2 days. For the time being the girls are sailing upwind in wet and shaky conditions while Maisonneuve is sailing back on them.
The whole class40 has now entered the doldrums, which seem to play differently depending on where the skippers entered them. Some have gales and rain like Telecom Italia which, at the front and center of the fleet, watched her lead over ATAO Audio system melt to 12 tiny miles overnight (after leading by 70 miles before the doldrums). But the boats are now showing speeds of up to 8 knots, which seem to indicate they are experiencing steady winds. Out of the doldrums yet ? Or just a bit of respite. Tomorrow will tell.. along with the outcome of the the light track east and west the skippers made before entering this critical zone.
MULTIHULLS Class 50
Crèpes Whaou! Crossed the line at 7h29'39" local time (11h29'39" French time) after 15d22h27' at sea and a theoretical average speed of 11,35 knots. Laiterie de St Malo, which should logically rank second in the Transat Jacques Vabre Class 50, was polled at more than 500 miles from the finish when Crèpes Whaou crossed it. Croisières Anne CASENEUVE is sailing 900 miles from Bahia, DZ Energie.com is 1,800 miles from the end.
Michel DESJOYEAUX - Foncia
"The victory was locked up in the doldrums when Ecover 3 lost her lead. Before that she just blew everyone away. Michel Desjoyaux compared Mike Golding to a fighter pilot.
When you are two sailors onboard you do not hesitate to gybe and gybe again to follow the wind shifts that's how we went back on Cheminées Poujoulat. When you are solo it is definitely a different matter.
No major problems onboard but a broken batten and the engine that refused to start after the finish line ! "
When they crossed the line Manu LE BORGNE turned to Michel DESJOYAUX and asked: "Is that finished, Have we won?" and Michel answered, "Yes we did."
Transat Jacques Vabre - www.jacques-vabre.com