The case of the wrong mark

Unconventional start for this year's Charente Maritime-Bahia Transat 6.50

Sunday September 13th 2009, Author: Veronique Largeau, Location: United Kingdom
Weather conditions were ideal for today's start of the Charente Maritime-Bahia Transat 6.50: a hot sun and a 15 knot northeasterly saw skippers setting sail with one reef. However there were some who had no read the sailing instructions carefully enough.

At the gun it was the rush of 'sprinters' with a reef in the mainsail who were first away. But in the first action in the wake of Pierre Brasseur and his Region Nord Pas de Calais Ripolin, some took a buoy making the perimeter of the start area for the turning mark buoy, 1.6 miles from the starting line.

Around one third of the fleet, like sheep, followed Brasseur before he, and then the others, realised their mistake. This mistake ended up costing them an hour, but then the route to Bahia is a long one.

The main fault of this belongs to? Pierre Brasseur? Not only him for others who should have known better followed too: Thomas Ruyant ( Faber France), Rémi Auburn ( AT Children's Project), Henri-Paul Schipman ( Maison de l’Avenir Urbatys) Bertrand Delesne (Entreprendre Durablement) - all favourites of the race.

In this crowd, Juan Carlos Sanchis on Somni-Gaes that had so many hopes for his third attempt on the Mini Transat was forced to return to the port. Similarly Sébastien Rogues on Eole Génération-GDF-Suez collided with Jean-Christophe Lagrange on Zoukati.

And while the leaders were retracing their steps, others rushed to the 'correct' buoy in front of La Maison de la Charente-Maritime where Nicolas Boidevezi on Défi GDE was first to arrive ahead of Fabien Despres ( Soitec), Laurent Bourgues ( Prim Soins), Anna Corbella ( Gaes 385') and Stéphane Le Diraizon ( Cultisol), while among the series boats, Davy Beaudart on Port à Sec Guy Beaudart was first.

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