Off across the Channel
The first leg comprises a crossing of the English Channel to Plymouth, which is expected to be quite strong conditions before the boats return south around Ushant and across the Bay of Biscay towards Santander in northern Spain, a calmer crossing due to the proximity of the Azores high.
25 knot northwesterlies are expected to give the fleet a tough time tonight weakening gradually to 10 knots approaching the English coast. As always passing the Channel Islands will prove tricky and it will be necessary for the crews to negotiate the currents which are on springs at present.
Former Mini Transat winner, Armel Tripon, co-skipper with Damien Seguin on Ville de Guérande is impatient to leave Saint-Malo. “We will leave under in sunshine with wind, it is perfect. I am glad to be sailing on a Class 40, which is different to the Figaro as it is faster, and there are more combinations of sails. With Damien, it should work well.”
Louis Duc, co-skipper of REV 86, is also glad to be setting sail, and has been preparing for the crossing of the English Channel. Like Tripon he reckons the tactical options will open up after the Minquiers.
“We will have a beautiful race, it is a beautiful course and there are several different boats: Pogo, old Akilaria and new generation, JPK and Rogers design of Bruno Jourdren. It will be a good opportunity to make comparisons”.
The boats are expected to arrive in Plymouth tomorrow morning. The sailors will then have a pitstop of just six hours before taking again the sea in direction of Northern Spain.