Franck-Yves Escoffier and his crew onboard Crêpes Whaou ! 3 took line honours in the Vendée - St-Petersbourg by just 75 seconds, or in other words around 400 metres.
It is even less time than it takes to change tack on these boats.
When you are beaten, ending up so close to the winner, you obviously think back at a particular moment in the race, when you could have gained those extra 400 metres that changed everything for you at the finish. But when you win by such a margin, you cannot help feeling that it was ever so close…
Crêpes Whaou! 2 with Loïc Fequet (skipper) and his crewmen, Victorien Erussard and Mathieu Souben crossed the finishing line to take third place on the water for this first leg in St Petersburg at 0008hrs UTC on Tuesday 25 May, after 8 days 12 hours 08 minutes and 00 seconds of racing.
Franck-Yves Escoffier (Crêpes Whaou ! 3)
"I was lucky to be sailing with a very talented crew. We had a little problem on the first night: seven hours into the race, we broke our mainsail clew. We had to sail for the first night with a reef in the main. Then, we carried out some repairs, but the edge of our sail didn't really look right. Seventy-five seconds after 1900 miles is minuscule, nothing at all. When we remember that there was not a single day when we weren't sailing in sight of each other, it gives you an idea of the pace we had to keep up. Now we need to get some rest and get out of here"
Hervé Cléris (CLM)
"We're struggling in a calm under a cloud. The wind has just gone from seven to zero knots. This was not at all forecast, but it should freshen again. We passed through the straits between Copenhagen and Sweden, which was a magical moment. You have to think of a Sunday with all the yachts out, a huge amount of shipping with ferries, cargo vessels, lanes that have to be kept to if you don't want to end up on the sand banks and our trimaran zooming along in the middle of all this at twenty knots, which was incredible. As soon as you pass the Europe Bridge, you tell yourself, that you're in the Baltic. We were thinking about this with Christophe (Dietsch), and it's quite similar in many ways to the mouth of the Saint Lawrence. In these cold seas, where the difference in temperature means you don't necessarily have the same winds down on the floats, as you have at the top of the mast."
"Hunting "Flopsy" has come to an early end. Anne made her getaway underneath the coast and is too far away for us to have a go at. But we are strong believers and we'll be back. On the other hand we're really impressed by the way Lalou has come back. We were more than 120 miles ahead of him and now they're overtaking us. At the moment, the conditions are very odd: we're in a thunderstorm, and the wind is rotating in every direction. It's going from zero to fifteen knots and back again with sudden changes. We really need to be ready to manoeuvre at all times
Rankings on Tuesday 25 May
1 Crêpes Whaou ! 3 (FY Escoffier) finished at 05h 31mn 49s UTC on 24th May
2 Actual (Y Le Blévec) finished at 05h 33mn 04s UTC on 24th May
3 Crêpes Whaou ! 2 (L Féquet) finished at 0008hrs UTC on Tuesday 25 May
For more info, visit www.vendee-saintpetersbourg.org