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18 November 2003, 09:31 am
News article - Style G 7607
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Transat Jacques Vabre
Salvador de Bahia

The Anglo-French team of Alex THOMSON and Roland JOURDAIN crossed the finish line on Sill in Salvador da Bahia at 1209hrs GMT, to clinch second in the Open 60 Monohull.
It was at 0518hrs GMT that the brand new Farr 60 Virbac, skippered by Jean-Pierre DICK and Nicolas ABIVEN, ghosted across the finish line in the darkness of the Brazilian night to take a convincing victory in their first ever major oceanic yacht race.

Out of 13 boats still racing, and 17 starters in the international Transat Jacques Vabre Open 60 Monohull class, it was Virbac who came in 72 miles ahead of their nearest rival Sill (Jourdain/Thomson) and covered the 4340m theoretical route in 16 days, 15 hours, 18 minutes and 5 seconds at an average theoretical speed of 10.87 knots. Chapeau!

At the 0500GMT update Sill was just 2 miles ahead of Ecover, and they are navigating in sight of each other doesn't get more nail-biting than this just 74m from the line.

At 0745GMT dawn rose in Salvador where it is 0445hrs, and Sill and Ecover are racing in sight of each other with roughly 40m to go. Sill have eeked out their lead to 2.6m as they changed to their big spinnaker after the 0500GMT positions...the last few miles is upwind so it really is all to play for out there...

0900GMT update: No more than 1.8m in it as over the last two hours Ecover gains, clocking 11.5 knots VMG to Sill's 9.9 knots VMG and they have 32 miles to go - ETA still between 1130 - 1200 GMT Banque Covefi (S. & Ravussin) crossed the finish line at 0404hrs GMT exactly, after 12 days 19hrs 4mins racing the 4,340m route at an average theoretical speed of 14.13 knots. They close the gate for the 13 finishers in the multihull fleet.

Sill finished just in front of British duo Mike GOLDING and Brian THOMPSON on Ecover who crossed the line a mere 19 minutes afterwards, after 4 days of match-racing neck and neck right down to the line.

Sandwiched between two brand new Open 60 yachts, the 1999 Lombard design, recently acquired by 29 year old skipper Alex Thomson for the Vendée Globe 2004, covered the theoretical distance of 4,340m in 16 days 22 hrs 9 mins 11 s at an average boat speed of 10.69 knots.

Full positions are available on the event website at the address below.
Mary Ambler (As Amended By ISAF News Editor)
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