Multihull positions and weather at 17:14GMT. Image courtesy of Expedition Navigation Software
 

Multihull positions and weather at 17:14GMT. Image courtesy of Expedition Navigation Software

Round Ascension

Lead multihull now on home straight in the Transat Jacques as Open 60 leaders begin their last day at sea

Thursday November 17th 2005, Author: James Boyd, Location: Transoceanic
Positions at 17:14GMT


Pos Yacht DTF DTL VMG Lat Long Spd Crs Spd Crs 24hr
Inst 4hr aver run
ORMA 60 tris
1 Banque Populaire 1451.9 0.0 26.5 8 02.00' S 14 29.12' W 23.3 276 6.4 152.0 254.0
2 Gitana 11 1494.2 42.3 13.2 7 28.32' S 14 19.96' W 16.1 176 10.5 111.0 278.6
3 Géant 1516.8 64.9 15.5 7 43.00' S 15 15.56' W 15.2 90 12.5 161.0 251.7
4 Gitana X 2110.3 658.5 10.0 0 58.72' N 20 17.72' W 14.4 191 13.5 191.0 198.7
ABD Orange Project                    
ABD TIM Progetto Italia                    
ABD Brossard                    
ABD Sodebo                    
ABD Groupama 2                    
ABD Foncia                    
50ft multis
1 Crêpes Whaou ! 416.0 0.0 18.1 7 55.24' S 33 25.44' W 19.1 212 19.3 210.0 477.4
2 Gifi 2116.6 1700.6 11.1 19 24.64' N 25 35.96' W 11.2 198 9.9 196.0 236.6
3 Jean Stalaven 2141.2 1725.1 10.5 18 43.92' N 22 38.64' W 10.9 190 10.9 190.0 181.5
ABD Négocéane-Donneurs de vie-Branec IV                    
ABD Acanthe Ingénierie                    
NL VictorInox                    

Pascal Bidégorry and Lionel Lemonchois on Banque Populaire appears to have now rounded Ascension Island, the final mark of the multihull course and are now hightailing it towards the finish line at Salvador de Bahia. Over the course of today Fred le Peutrec and Tornado sailor Yann Guichard on Gitana 11 have made great inroads into Banque Pop's lead, now down to 42 miles compared to around 70 yesterday. At only point earlier today they had closed the bankers down to 23 miles, although the leaders have now picked up speed as they have tacked and born away around Ascension.

With a welcome port tack broad reach ahead of them - having been upwind since the Doldrums - the multihull crews will get their reward regularly logging speeds of 25-35 knots..for more than 1,440 miles. However it is in just such conditions that the boats can be prone to pitchpoling, as has occurred too many times so far this race.




Above: Lead Open 60 positions and weather at 1744GMT. Image courtesy of Expedition Navigation Systems

Pos Yacht DTF DTL VMG Lat Long Spd Crs Spd Crs 24hr
Open 60s Inst 4hr aver run
1 Virbac-Paprec 402.5 0.0 13.6 8 04.40' S 34 02.20' W 14.0 209 15.2 209.0 380.1
2 Sill et Veolia 428.9 26.3 14.7 7 39.76' S 33 50.44' W 15.0 200 15.2 208.0 376.1
3 Bonduelle 499.1 96.6 14.9 6 33.60' S 33 21.48' W 14.4 213 14.8 210.0 364.5
4 Ecover 557.6 155.0 13.7 5 33.96' S 33 07.48' W 13.8 207 14.2 205.0 337.9
5 Skandia 602.4 199.9 13.5 4 51.28' S 32 52.24' W 11.4 194 13.6 209.0 307.7
6 Pro-Form 613.8 211.2 14.4 4 58.48' S 32 18.08' W 14.4 218 14.6 219.0 325.9
7 UUDS 1141.6 739.1 11.5 2 31.12' N 27 41.08' W 11.6 212 11.7 211.0 240.0
8 Mare Verticale 1375.6 973.1 9.8 7 15.40' N 28 23.88' W 10.5 184 11.3 185.0 307.2
9 Maisonneuve-Région Basse Normandie 1860.8 1458.2 10.5 14 53.32' N 25 39.04' W 8.2 194 9.4 234.0 188.4
10 Galileo 2152.5 1750.0 12.5 19 53.32' N 25 06.28' W 14.4 192 11.3 198.0 272.2
ABD Cheminées Poujoulat                    
NL Roxy                    
Open 50s
1 Gryphon Solo 1768.4 0.0 13.9 13 41.92' N 26 54.20' W 12.0 195 13.2 195.0 252.6
2 Artforms 2006.4 238.0 11.8 17 54.76' N 27 00.52' W 11.0 200 10.9 201.0 248.6
3 Vedettes de Bréhat 2026.8 258.4 9.2 17 10.52' N 23 53.44' W 10.4 186 9.5 193.0 171.5
4 Polarity Solo 2199.3 430.8 8.3 21 33.56' N 28 17.72' W 7.1 174 7.3 188.0 201.2
5 Top 50 Guadeloupe 2206.6 438.2 7.7 19 03.84' N 20 45.24' W 7.0 193 9.1 235.0 158.0
ABD Défi Vendéen                    
ABD Adecco - Etoile Horizon                    

In the Open 60 division the race remains a two way battle between Jean-Pierre Dick and Loick Peyron on board Virbac-Paprec versus Sill et Veolia, sailed by Roland Jourdain and Ellen MacArthur. However Virbac's lead over Sill has gone up now down and with a port tack reaching procession down the Brazilian coast it is going to take some wily use of sea/land breeze effects over the next 24 hours if Ellen and Bilou are going to make in roads into the leaders.

"With TWA at 80° is when the pace of my boat is at its best," Dick said earlier. "The wind will decrease as we approach the finish line, so the aim is to position ourselves as best we can. Our objective was to be at 30 miles in advance, because nothing is certain and it is necessary to remain vigilant. Two years ago, we got stuck under a large squall cold without wind right just before the arrival, and those behind us gained 20 miles. So we are dependent on the good will of the weather and very being wary of the coastal effects."

While they are still some way off Jean le Cam and Kito de Pavant's third placed Bonduelle, Mike Golding and Dominique Wavre on board Ecover have put some distance between them and fourth placed Skandia.

"The winds look pretty settled with the same type of winds, slowly lifting as we go in, which means we should be able to get the spinnakers out again soon," said Wavre. "It's a shame because that means we will have few opportunities, but we have to be realistic. We will have been racing for the best part of a week without part of our rudder and we are tired, but we will fight until the end and see what happens.

"Everything is okay. We are reaching with one reef in and it is quite windy and very wet with waves coming over the boat. We have between 20 and 25 knots of wind from the SE and are close reaching, going quite fast. It is very warm below because there is no ventilation. It's going to be the same type of sailing all the way in with the wind slowly lifting as we go. I have learned a lot. You always do when you go racing. Certainly I am
glad that I have ordered an Owen-Clarke design and have learned a lot about
sailing them. I am sure it has been a good decision."

From on board Skandia Will Oxley writes: "We are just passing the amazing island of Fernando de Noronha and are now onto the final sprint to the finish. As we Australians like to say ' only one more Sydney-Hobart to do' or for the poms 'about a Fastnet to go'. (It is just over but who's counting?)



"I visited fernando about 14 years ago and spent a couple of days there en route to Australia with my brother John and friend Ddorothee. There is a bay on the north side of the island where literally hundreds of dolphins frolik every day. Quite incredible. It is highly protected and you need to be sure to obey the local laws or the penalties are severe. Enough said on that matter but John and I do have one amazing underwater photo!

"It is very wet on deck but the sun still beats down relentlessly. In the photo you can see Brian protecting his delicate english skin. :-)). He is actually being very sensible, with one in three Queenslanders (where I live) affected by skin cancer at some stage in their lives!!

" Proform is still slowly running us down as they sail in with a better angle from offshore and we are going to have a real battle all the way to the finish. Ecover meanwhile is clearly superior in these conditions and is steadily increasing their distsance ahead. We need the breeze to free a bit to give a few more course options to have any chance to have another go at them.

"With a fast race in the offing I have snaffled through the future days food bags to pick out the 'best' freeze dried meals for the next two nights. With a bit of luck these will be our last two evening meals at sea!!

"Back to the sailing. We are doing everything we possibly can to eek that extra bit of speed out of our steed in the race to the finish."

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