Line honours for Groupama
The green and white trimaran came into view as dawn rose, heralded by champagne-coloured clouds and a smooth sea - the nearest to a red carpet for her French crew in this the sixth running of the Transat Jacques Vabre. This is the second consecutive win for the van Peteghem-Prevost designed trimaran which covered the 4,340 mile course in 10 days, 23hrs, 10min and 41s at an average speed of 16.49 knots. While Cammas won two years ago it is also a second win for Franck Proffit who was co-skipper with Loick Peyron on board Fujicolour the winner in 1999.
Comparisons with the Transat Jacques Vabre two years ago are hard to make because this time due to their delayed start the boats didn't have to sail around the Ascension Island waypoint.
Franck Cammas’ gave his observations: “The race was shorter but much harder than the last time. There were a lot more weather systems to play with, strong upwind, downwind - and we got trapped by the calms in the Doldrums too when the boats behind didn’t have it so bad. Although the last tack in is an easy solution in terms of strategy, it’s the least comfortable one. Well, it was great to arrive this morning, physically we felt as if we’d just been in a night club dancing til dawn - we were both awake and on deck for the last 48 hours of the race. In fact the whole race has been physically tough, we didn’t eat our first hot meal until four days into the race! This victory is sweeter than the one in 1999, because it was one which we had to fight much harder for. She’s a great boat, but in a race where pure boat speed was crucial for the last part and with Belgacom hard on our heels for the last two days, we know that she’s not as fast as the others now. But the team had to put her back together after my capsize in the Rhum and they deserve this victory as much as we do.”
Belgacom was due to arrive just over an hour after Groupama. Sailed by Jean-Luc Nélias and Loick Peyron, the blue trimaran has been storming along at high speed, eating into Groupama's lead all night.
The positions between the top five boatsin the trimaran class is suitably spread out that barring disaster their finish order is unlikely to change between now and the finish.
Positions at 0900GMT
|Inst||1hr av||4hr av||Over 24hrs|
|1||VIRBAC||529.9||0.0||13.6||6 21.80' S||32 45.80' W||13.2||214||13.7||212||13.2||211||14.5||347.5|
|2||ECOVER||661.8||131.9||13.1||4 11.64' S||32 01.44' W||13.2||208||13.1||207||13.0||211||13.8||331.9|
|3||SILL||665.2||135.3||14.9||4 24.88' S||31 35.40' W||16.0||212||15.0||211||14.7||210||14.3||342.9|
|4||PRB||768.3||238.4||13.6||2 55.28' S||30 43.40' W||15.0||212||13.9||204||14.5||203||12.8||306.1|
|5||TEAM COWES||845.0||315.1||12.2||0 52.56' S||31 53.20' W||12.4||193||12.4||193||11.8||197||11.1||267.0|
|6||VMI||845.3||315.4||13.5||1 56.84' S||29 53.48' W||13.5||210||13.6||210||13.1||209||12.3||296.2|
|7||CARREFOUR PREVENTION||957.0||427.1||11.5||0 30.92' N||30 24.04' W||11.0||204||11.8||217||11.8||212||11.4||274.2|
|8||GARNIER||1301.9||772.0||5.4||6 02.20' N||28 40.28' W||10.3||180||5.6||191||4.2||199||8.7||209.3|
|9||ARCELOR-DUNKERQUE||1326.9||797.0||9.0||4 03.00' N||24 30.84' W||10.7||190||10.3||190||8.0||213||8.9||214.1|
|10||LOIRE ATLANTIQUE||1440.5||910.6||2.4||6 20.44' N||24 25.28' W||4.3||173||3.6||165||4.8||169||9.3||222.1|
|11||60ème SUD||1691.3||1161.4||9.5||12 16.36' N||26 44.84' W||10.0||176||10.4||177||10.4||176||9.7||232.9|
|12||ADECCO||1772.6||1242.7||8.8||12 31.02' N||23 52.92' W||8.7||197||9.1||194||9.1||192||9.4||225.4|
|13||TIR GROUPE||1888.7||1358.8||7.1||13 34.32' N||21 49.52' W||10.3||262||10.2||257||9.6||251||9.1||218.1|
|2||BELGACOM||6||0||26.1||12 54.62' S||38 10.38' W||26.3||236||26.3||236||25.5||230||24.2||580.1|
|3||SERGIO TACCHINI||80||74||24.2||12 27.48' S||37 20.40' W||21.4||240||24.3||239||22.6||237||23.9||574.3|
|4||GEANT||138.2||132.2||22.9||11 45.24' S||36 37.52' W||24.4||235||23||236||21.1||234||22.2||533.7|
|5||BISCUITS LA TRINITAINE||174.7||168.7||11.1||11 22.24' S||36 09.48' W||8.4||233||11.1||233||16.2||226||21.5||516.8|
|6||BANQUE POPULAIRE||216||210||21.9||11 07.60' S||35 28.44' W||26||238||21.9||235||22||227||25||600.7|
|7||SODEBO||232.4||226.4||19.6||10 45.04' S||35 23.68' W||20.3||230||20||219||18.1||216||22.4||537.2|
|8||GITANA||263.1||257.1||16.9||10 01.32' S||34 41.28' W||30.4||214||17.3||216||18.4||212||21.3||511|
|9||SOPRA GROUP||361.1||355.1||18.8||8 30.08' S||34 22.36' W||21.4||207||19.1||210||18.8||209||19.6||470.8|
|10||FONCIA||409.7||403.8||21.9||8 05.04' S||33 49.96' W||9||202||22.3||211||22.1||205||21||503.4|
|11||BONDUELLE||476.3||470.3||22.1||7 01.88' S||33 21.24' W||22.4||208||22.9||204||19.3||203||16.9||406.3|
|12||BAYER CROPSCIENCE||653.2||647.2||21.3||4 08.68' S||32 03.28' W||22||207||21.4||206||18.8||202||18.9||454.3|
|13||BANQUE COVEFI||788.4||782.5||18.1||2 42.16' S||30 26.80' W||21.3||208||18.2||209||21.3||206||20||481.1|
|1||MOLLYMAWK||2365.4||0||3.8||23 40.68' N||25 16.76' W||10||227||13.1||271||13.2||269||4.5||107.2|
|1||HELLOMOTO||1539.9||0||8.4||8 46.24' N||25 12.04' W||9.1||187||9.1||187||8.5||183||10.3||247.1|
|2||STORAGETEK||1768.7||228.8||7.9||13 37.20' N||26 39.44' W||8.8||175||8.5||177||8.8||178||9.4||226.7|
|3||DEFI VENDEEN||1803.1||263.2||11||13 17.36' N||24 22.08' W||12.2||192||11.4||192||11.4||191||8.2||196.3|
In the monohull class Jean-Pierre Dick and Nicolas Abiven on board Virbac are looking more certain than ever of taking line honours having extended their lead over the boats astern - Mike Golding's Ecover in second place was 116 miles behind yesterday which had increased to 132 miles this morning at 0900.
But the Brits on Ecover have other more pressing matters to think of - they are locked in battle with Roland Jourdain and Alex Thomson on board Sill, the latter slightly further offshore and potentially with a fraction broader angle to make it to the finish line. Saying this Ecover this morning seems to have picked up speed and is hanging on to the inside.
Meanwhile the inside track definitely appears not to be paying for Nick Moloney and Sam Davies on Team Cowes. From being 30 miles ahead of Seb Josse and Isabelle Autisser on VMI yesterday, Team Cowes was level pegging with VMI at 0900 this morning, the French boat sailing more than a knot faster. Moloney and Davies will have to use all their tactical cunning if they are to hang on to fifth place.
Below: Quikscat wind radar image at 1000GMT this morning