At 06:12:06 GMT Karen LEIBOVICI crossed the finish line of The Transat on her Open 60 Atlantic - Charentes Maritimes. Less than two hours later at 07:35:36 GMT Norbert SEDLACEK on Austria One also completed the 2,800 mile race in Boston.
Before the start of The Transat 2004, Karen LEIBOVICI explained: "To be at the start of this mythical race on board the boat I love, is real happiness."
Finishing The Transat in such style after a successful, perfectly timed, pre-finish strategic coup can only compound her jubilation. Two nights ago, while racing off the southern tip of Nova Scotia, Leibovici disengaged having paced Norbert SEDLACEK and steel-hulled Austria One on a parallel course for four days through The Grand Banks and SW along the edge of the American continental shelf; holding on to the Austrian, never allowing the leading Open 60 to slip more than 30 miles ahead.
As Austria One continued west, Atlantica - Charentes Maritimes crossed his wake during the overnight position poll blackout and tacked south. The first position poll the following morning revealed that Leibovici had broken away and was now clear of any covering manoeuvres that Sedlacek may make in an attempt to block Leibovici's track to the finish line.
After a final night at sea of light airs and low boat speeds, Leibovici crept passed Sedlacek to take ninth place in the 60ft monohull class. Both skippers are now qualified for their next sailing objectives…The 2004-2005 Vendée Globe, solo round the world race.
There are, however, two 60ft monohulls and to 50ft yachts still racing: Objectif 3 (Charles HEDRICH) is 49 miles from the finish, with Quiksilver Edition (Anne LIARDET) 154 miles behind. Jacques BOUCHACOURT on Open 50 monohull, Okami, is just hours away from completing his third Transat, while a frustrated Roger LANGEVIN (Branec III) is still 388 miles from the finish racing in "a tunnel without an exit door." Further south, Etienne HOCHEDÉ and multihull, PIR2, head west with a VMG of 3 knots and 199 miles to the finish.