Transat Jacques Vabre Chess Match - What about the US?

Transat Jacques Vabre Chess Match - What about the US?

Tuesday November 12 2013 Author: Seagypsy Location: United States

DCNS - Brest

Mini's have been delayed again and will leave tomorrow due to a frontal passage at Cape Finisterre. I am sure there is much grumbling now amongst the competitors as they have been ready to go, primed and set in boat and mind, only to have the rug pulled out from under them again. Race directors will certainly have to take the time of year and starting port in mind for future versions - it is hard enough to mount a successful mini campaign and to throw these weather related complications at the long-suffering Ministas is just cruel. What causes the race directors to take on the responsibility for dispatching the fleet? Shouldnt the sailors themselves decide when to leave? Francis Chichester and Blondie Hasler must be snorting in derision about now.

In comparison, the Transat Jacques Vabre (TJV) has become an engrossing chess match especially in the IMOCA and MOD70 classes, while the Multi50's have degenerated into a two boat match race and the Class 40's are stacked up around Finisterre - except for the two leaders who have gone blazing away after finding good wind first along the Portugese coast. Follow the action  here with live tracker.

Set up the tracker to show the wind and run the IMOCA fleet as they play the angles downwind and yet try to work their way west to at least 20W.  Also note how the Class 40 leaders have been able to rocket away from the rest of the fleet as they were caught up in the light air off Cape Finisterre. Soon, however, this fleet will be bolstered by a frontal passage and should stretch out down the coast in yet another jibing duel.

This is absolutely fascinating sailing and remarkable ocean racing - the question is - why doesnt this event capture the imagination of American sailors? What is it about the American sailing scene that ignores such an amazing and beautiful sport? Both physical and cerebral with the ocean playing a character as much as any competitor - it is a question we will explore in a future post.

The latest update from Transat Jacques Vabre is below - enjoy!

PR 12/11/2013): To escape or not? | Transat Jacques Vabre 2013 : Le Havre - Itajai | Novembre 2013 | Take to the seas and act for the planet.

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