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23 August 2005, 03:12 pm
Change of Course For Leg Four
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La Solitaire Afflelou Le Figaro 2005
Crosshaven, Ireland

The fleet of 43 Bénéteau Figaro 2 boats, currently berthed at the Royal Cork Yacht Club in Crosshaven, set off tomorrow, Tuesday 23 August, on the fouth and final leg of this year's edition of La Solitaire Afflelou Le Figaro race. The single handed sailors will leave Crosshaven at 10:00 local time for Port Bourgenay on the French Vendée coastal region, where they are expected as early as Thursday.
A notice to all skippers, concerning the last leg of the race from Crosshaven in Ireland to Port Bourgenay in France, was issued this afternoon: The rounding of both waypoints N°2 and N°3 on the official race course has been removed. Basically the fleet will no longer round the Fastnet Rock. This change to the race course will reduce the total course length from 496 miles to 425 miles.

The Race Committee is currently preparing the different scenarios which will be presented at this evening's Skippers Briefing. This same notice warns of a possible gate being set up off the East coast of Ile d'Yeu, however a decision remains to be made.

The weather modules show a big low building in the Atlantic, with warnings of rough seas and gusts forecast of up to 50 knots expected at the Fastnet Lighthouse on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. The Race Committee deems that a direct course to Port Bourgenay would be the best option for the competitors and race support boats.

The third leg prize giving was hosted this morning at the world's oldest yacht club, in the presence of Mr Peter CROWLEY, the Royal Cork Yacht Club Admiral, Mrs Françoise LETELLIER, the French Vice Consul for Ireland, and Mr Gérald BERGE, the Managing Director for the Figaro Group. All 43 skippers were present to receive their prizes; the first three finishers were awarded the Afflelou prize: First for Laurent PELLECUER (Cliptol Sport), second for Yann ELIÈS (Groupe Generali Assurances) and third for Kito DE PAVANT (Groupe Bel). The Bénéteau Rookie Prize for the best performance from a sailor new to the race goes to Pietro D'Alí (Nanni Diesel). The Grand Prix Aigle was awarded to Jérémie BEYOU (Delta Dore), and Michel DESJOYEAUX (Géant) was awarded both the Challenge AGF and the Radio France prizes.

The Hublot Record is a prize awarded by the Swiss watchmaker to the skipper covering the most miles in 24 hours on each leg. Between La Rochelle and Crosshaven Oliver KRAUSS covered 153,32 nautical miles at an average 6,4 knots. Bernard STAMM, winner of the last Fastnet Race, honoured the skipper with a chronographer Hublot watch.

The international jury has stated that 14 boats with broken seals arrived in Crosshaven. The same 2 minute and 30 second penalty has been given to all competitors concerned. The new rankings after the jury's decision for the third leg and for the overall rankings are available on the website. There are a few changes, most notably in the overall rankings: Jérémie BEYOU (Delta Dore) moves up to second place, 10m32s behind Laurent PELLECUER (Cliptol Sport), as Italian skipper Pietro D'ALI (Nanni Diesel) is amongst those penalised and therefore moves down to third overall at 12m09s behind the leader.

The 14 skippers who have been penalised are: Yann ELIÈS (Groupe Generali Assurances), Michel DESJOYEAUX (Géant), Pietro D'ALÍ (Nanni Diesel), Yannick BESTAVEN (Aquarelle.com), Nicolas BÉRENGER (KONE Ascenseurs), Eric DROUGLAZET (Crédit Maritime), Liz WARDLEY (Sojasun), Gérald VÉNIARD (Scutum), Etienne SVILARICH (Sogeti), Oliver KRAUSS (Espoir Crédit Agricole), Franck LEGAL (Lenze), Sébastien AUDIGANE (D'Aucy Cultive la vie), Jean-Christophe CASO (Groupe STEC/Charente Maritime), Sébastien Thétiot (Déclic Morbihan), Thierry FOURNIER-FOCH (Cortal Consorts).

Sabina Mollart-Rogerson
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