MichDes ahead

Figaro and solo sailing legend moves into Pole as Solitaire Figaro fleet heads for Brest

Tuesday August 7th 2007, Author: Sabin Mollart-Rogerson, Location: France
Positions at 1600

Pos Skipper Boat Lat Long Crs Spd DTF/L
1 Desjoyeaux Michel   Foncia   49 29' 08' N   6 53' 77' W   142 º   11.1 129.6 nm  
2 Mahe Gildas  Le Comptoir Immobilier  49 29' 28' N  6 54' 05' W  141 º  11 0.3 nm 
3 Lebas Christophe  LoLa La piscine assemblée  49 27' 57' N  6 58' 48' W  145 º  10.4 0.8 nm 
4 Chabagny Thierry  Brossard  49 29' 71' N  6 54' 60' W  139 º  10.9 0.9 nm 
5 Morvan Gildas  Cercle Vert  49 28' 06' N  6 58' 23' W  139 º  10.6 1.1 nm 
6 Berenger Nicolas  KONE Ascenseurs  49 28' 87' N  6 58' 08' W  141 º  10.9 1.6 nm 
7 Duthil Frédéric  Distinxion  49 30' 26' N  6 55' 84' W  141 º  10.9 1.8 nm 
8 Rouxel Thomas  Défi Mousquetaires  49 29' 20' N  6 58' 62' W  141 º  10.7 2.1 nm 
9 Treussart Ronan  Groupe Celeos  49 30' 69' N  6 55' 98' W  141 º  10.8 2.2 nm 
10 Veniard Gérald  Scutum  49 29' 85' N  6 58' 99' W  141 º  10.9 2.8 nm 
11 Nagy Robert  Théolia  49 37' 62' N  7 11' 40' W  139 º  10.5 3.4 nm 
12 Pellecuer Laurent  Cliptol Sport  49 30' 66' N  6 59' 74' W  133 º  11.1 3.7 nm 
13 Drouglazet Eric  Luisina  49 31' 08' N  6 59' 31' W  141 º  10.8 3.8 nm 
14 Douguet Corentin  E. Leclerc / Bouygues Telecom  49 32' 09' N  6 57' 55' W  141 º  10.8 3.9 nm 
15 Le Gal Franck  Lenze  49 31' 07' N  6 59' 69' W  142 º  10.7 4 nm 
16 de Broc Bertrand  Les Mousquetaires  49 32' 10' N  6 57' 90' W  142 º  10.7 4.1 nm 
17 Biarnes Vincent  Côtes d'Armor  49 31' 19' N  6 59' 99' W  143 º  10.8 4.2 nm 
18 Troussel Nicolas  Financo  49 32' 58' N  6 58' 10' W  141 º  10.7 4.5 nm 
19 Wardley Liz  Sojasun  49 33' 22' N  6 58' 57' W  141 º  10.5 5.2 nm 
20 Emig Marc  A.ST Groupe  49 32' 52' N  7 01' 60' W  138 º  10.5 5.9 nm 
21 Lepesqueux Marc  Rapid' Flore - Caen-La-Mer  49 34' 14' N  7 11' 40' W  138 º  10.7 5.9 nm 
22 Rivet Frédéric  Novotel Caen  49 31' 94' N  7 02' 97' W  140 º  10.3 6 nm 
23 D’Ali Pietro  Kappa  49 33' 93' N  6 59' 27' W  142 º  10.9 6.1 nm 
24 Mouren Jean-Paul  M@rseillEntreprises  49 33' 91' N  6 59' 46' W  142 º  10.5 6.1 nm 
25 Belloir Aymeric  CAP 56  49 32' 09' N  7 03' 78' W  139 º  10.1 6.5 nm 
26 Pratt Christopher  Espoir Crédit Agricole  49 33' 82' N  7 00' 88' W  144 º  10.3 6.6 nm 
27 Duprey du Vorsent Thierry  Domaine du Mont d'Arbois  49 33' 81' N  7 00' 81' W  144 º  10.2 6.6 nm 
28 Tripon Armel  Gedimat  49 28' 71' N  7 10' 18' W  140 º  10.2 6.8 nm 
29 Lunven Nicolas  Bostik  49 34' 71' N  6 59' 72' W  145 º  10.3 6.9 nm 
30 Bos Christian  Belle Ile en Mer  49 33' 33' N  7 02' 89' W  141 º  10 7.1 nm 
31 Grégoire Jeanne  Banque Populaire  49 34' 35' N  7 03' 29' W  151 º  9.3 8 nm 
32 Nigon Erik  AXA Atout Coeur Pour AIDES  49 31' 42' N  7 11' 71' W  139 º  10.6 9.4 nm 
33 King Nigel  Nigel King Yachting  49 35' 58' N  7 04' 83' W  141 º  10 9.6 nm 
34 Loison Alexis  ALL MER Inéo Suez  49 38' 03' N  7 02' 37' W  145 º  10.4 10.5 nm 
35 Le Miere Grégoire  Basse-Normandie / OTCex Group  49 31' 92' N  7 14' 62' W  141 º  10 11.1 nm 
36 Svilarich Etienne  Grain de Soleil  49 30' 05' N  7 18' 41' W  140 º  9.8 11.5 nm 
37 Defert Eric  Suzuki Automobiles  49 32' 03' N  7 16' 76' W  144 º  9.8 12.1 nm 
38 Bouillard Didier  MEDevent  49 39' 02' N  7 04' 37' W  140 º  10.5 12.1 nm 
39 Bird James  GFI Group  49 34' 12' N  7 14' 26' W  137 º  10.3 12.5 nm 
40 Bougard Patrice  Kogane  49 33' 80' N  7 16' 13' W  136 º  10.4 13.1 nm 
41 Nabart Laurent  Corsica  49 40' 74' N  7 27' 06' W  137 º  9.8 13.2 nm 
42 Le Nabour Quentin  Votre Nom pour Le Figaro  49 34' 44' N  7 16' 88' W  135 º  10.2 13.9 nm 
43 Nicol Jean-Pierre  Gavottes  49 36' 12' N  7 19' 83' W  135 º  10.3 16.4 nm 
44 Monnet Jean-Charles  Degrémont Suez Source de Talents  49 36' 70' N  7 18' 92' W  144 º  9.8 16.5 nm 
45 O’Rian Paul  City Jet  49 38' 32' N  7 17' 67' W  136 º  10.2 17.1 nm 
46 Thiercelin Marc  Siemens  49 29' 42' N  7 31' 69' W  137 º  9.5 17.5 nm 
47 Da Cruz Antonio-Pedro  Baïko  49 33' 71' N  7 26' 12' W  133 º  10.2 17.6 nm 
48 Bulot Jean-François  Crédit Mutuel de Normandie - Ville de Caen  49 49' 24' N  7 12' 63' W  139 º  9.2 23.5 nm 
49 Le Baut Jimmy  Port Olona - Arrimer  49 42' 14' N  7 30' 27' W  136 º  9.6 25.5 nm 
50 Le Meitour Jean-Philippe  Construction DORSO  49 51' 34' N  7 31' 25' W  143 º  7.8 32.6 nm 


The 50 sailors competing on leg two of La Solitaire Afflelou le Figaro have this afternoon covered more than half the distance to the finish in Brest - just 130 miles remain with an ETA expected of between 0600 and 0900 tomorrow morning for the first arrivals. The early morning turning of the tide around Ushant, a light and fluctuating breeze along with the land effects will all come into play over the course of the final 58 miles from the Racon mark off Ushant, along to St. Mathieu and then to the finish line in front of Brest itself.

The fleet of 50 Solitaire competitors have been racing downwind since last night in a steady 15-20 knots and a steady swell. This long spinnaker run south, while exhilarating, has been taxing on the solo sailors who have been averaging 10 knots of boat speed. Gildas Morvan on Cercle Vert reported "clocking up a 16 knot surf” and Jeanne Grégoire on Banque Populaire showed a 14 knot instant boat speed this morning. Today the wind is forecast to back further north, then northeast over the course of the afternoon before decreasing to 10 to 15 knots this evening.

Michel Desjoyeaux on Foncia has moved back into the lead on the last position report but is chased by Gildas Mahé ( Le Comptoir Immobilier) just 0.3 miles behind and Thierry Chabagny ( Brossard) 0.9 miles astern. Christophe Lebas ( Lola la piscine assemblée), is positioned slightly south of the leader and has moved into third place just 0.8 miles behind with Gildas Morvan (Cercle Vert) in his wake.

Morvan commented: "The conditions are nice, I have managed to sleep 20 minutes, which is great so we are on and moving! I have been driving non-stop since the Fastnet, with lots to do. I am going to try and stop doing things and grab something to eat now. Going to Brest should be nice as it is there that I got the boat ready. I did a surf at 16 knots so sometimes it is going great but the wind should drop a bit soon…”

Although the line to the mark is straight, sailors have applied a different strategy to their approach. Marc Thiercelin ( Siemens) has taken the most extreme westerly option, which leaves more than a 20 mile lateral gap between him and Jean-François Bulot ( Crédit Mutuel de Normadie – Ville de Caen).

The competitors have been positioning themselves to get what they think is the best from the wind shift to the NNE. Those who made the move further east early on are on the direct heading for the Racon mark - among them are Distixion and Groupe Céléos. Sylvain Mondon at Météo France reckons the boats will see 12-15 knots around the tip of Brittany. The tide turns against the fleet at 7am tomorrow, which could give the trailing boats a chance to catch up on the close of the race leaving everything to play for right to the end.

Liz Wardley on Sojasun commented: "I had a really good race from the start down to the Fastnet rock; it was quite busy with lots of manoeuvres and then I did quite well after under spinnaker. I think I went a little too far east, so now I have boats passing me, but it is okay. I had no rest at the start but once I put the spinnaker up I managed some sleep, but only one hour I think. I am still next to Financo and now Contin Douguet and Bertand de Broc are just in front of me.

"It has been a very fun day going down on spinnaker on big waves. I am just a little bit worried about later when the wind drops and we have big waves, which are difficult to sail in. I have not even looked at the charts since the beginning. I had all my strategy in my head before I went so had everything planned before. Later I will go down and check the charts."

Nigel King on ( Nigel King Yachting) reported: "I am not doing to well; I am very frustrated and am struggling for boat speed and seem to be losing out the boats around me. I think I have a small steering problem, which is making it pretty hard to drive the boat at the moment. I am feeling okay having managed a few 10-minute naps here and there. It is just hard trying to work out why I am going so slow.

"It was a good passage, (at the Fastnet) which I think I rounded in about 19th place, so okay, which was a good recovery after a poor start. Since then it has slowly been backwards. I can see boats on the horizon, but can’t identify them. Otherwise everything is fine and am just about to have some lunch!"

Eric Drouglazet ( Luisina) said: "Only problems on board Luisina, just problems. I managed to rip my spinnaker on the spreaders during the squalls and have a big hole in it…I have tried to fix it as best I can, but it is looking very fragile. Then I went and got a fishing net caught in the keel forcing me to go for a dice, so the Nicolas Bérenger called the security boat because he was worried I was ahead to the wind. I got quite a shock beneath the water when the net got caught round my waist, so all in all not very reassuring at 3 in the morning. When Koné called I was under the water. I must have lost three miles and it is hard when you see how tough it is to win just 100 metres…but then I am happy to be at sea anyway because we have got some exceptional conditions and had a beautiful course along the south coast of Ireland, where you can see just how hostile the rocks are! We will get in tomorrow morning which is great because with the big race ahead, having two or three days on land is not bad."

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