After 3 days, 15 hours, 57 minutes and 47 seconds of racing from La Rochelle, France to Cork, Ireland. Laurent who was tenth in the overall rankings, moves into the overall lead with a 9 minute and 39 second advantage over Italian competitor, Pietro D'ALÍ on Nanni Diesel (subject to protest).
It is the first time that Laurent, who is 31 and from Montpellier in Southern France, wins a leg on La Solitaire after competing in the race nine times.The conditions for the 456 mile course from La Rochelle to Ireland were tough on the skippers; strong headwind and crossed seas, wet and cold and a hull constantly pounding the waves, together with some tough decisions to be made on how to approach the ridge of high pressure blocking their path up the Celtic Sea, to mention but a few. The 5.2 knot average speed gives an indication of just how tough the conditions where 'the boat slammed into the waves with such force that I was scared it would break in two' admits Laurent upon arrival.
The race is calculated on time; the person with the least amassed total time at the end of the four legs wins the race overall. On amassed time, after two legs, Pietro D'ALI (Nanni Diesel) was leading. After three legs, Laurent PELLECUER moves into first place in the overall rankings with a 9m39s lead over Nanni Diesel (before protest).
The first five boats arrived within 26 minutes of each other: Laurent PELLECUER (Cliptol Sport), Yann ELIÈS (Groupe Generali Assurances), Kito de PAVANT (Groupe Bel) make up the top three, followed by Erwan TABARLY (Thales) fourth: 26 minutes and 20 seconds behind and Jérémie BEYOU (Delta Dore), fifth and only one second later after a thrilling duel to the finish.
Those who have lost the most on the leg from La Rochelle to Cork are: Gildas MORVAN (Cercle Vert) who won the first leg, and now moves down from second to eleventh place with a 57m57s time deficit; Thierry CHABAGNY (Lèbres-Bermudes) goes from fifth to 13 place and 1h49m52s time deficit; Eric DROUGLAZET (Crédit Maritime, 19) but lagging by 2h20m. The 2003 winner, Armel LE CLÉAC'H, who opted for a South Westerly approach to the ridge of high pressure on the approach to Crosshaven, loses 3h58m18s on the leader.
The 43 Bénéteau Figaro 2 boats will remain at the world renowned Royal Cork Yacht Club in Crosshaven, until the start of the next leg on Tuesday 23 August.
Leg 3 - Top 10 to arrive: La Rochelle to Crosshaven
1. Laurent PELLECUER (Cliptol Sport)
2. Yann ELIÈS (Groupe Generali Assurances) - 16m16s later
3. Kito de PAVANT (Groupe Bel) - 21m45s later
4. Erwan TABARLY (Thales) - 26m19s later
5. Jérémie BEYOU (Delta Dore) - 32m11s later
7. Charles CAUDRELIER (Bostik) - 34m34s later
8. Michel DESJOYEAUX (Géant) - 39m49s later
9. Pietro D'ALÍ (Nanni Diesel) - 42m52s later
10. Samantha DAVIES (Skandia) - 49m02s later
General Overall Rankings (before jury)
1. Laurent PELLECUER (Cliptol Sport) -
2. Pietro D'ALÍ (Nanni Diesel) - 9m39s behind
3. Jérémie BEYOU (Delta Dore) - 10m32s
4. Frédéric DUTHIL (Brossard) - 12m51s
5. Erwan TABARLY (Thales) -22m53s
6. Kito de PAVANT (Groupe Bel) - 24m46s
7. Charles CAUDRELIER (Bostik) - 26m34
8. Michel DESJOYEAUX (Géant) - 34m29
9. Romain ATTANASIO (MrBookmaker.com) - 51m54s
10. Yann ELIÈS (Groupe Generali Assurances) - 53m26s