Off in aid of the lifeboats

Trophee SNSM sets sail from Saint Nazaire

Monday June 23rd 2008, Author: James Boyd, Location: United Kingdom
55 yachts entered in the Trophee SNSM set off this Sunday in two successive starts. The smaller boats got underway from Saint-Nazaire on France's Atlantic coast, at 1920 bound for Sainte-Marine while 50+ft yachts started at 1935. The breeze at the time was around 12 knots and westerly while the bright sunshine delighted hundreds of spectators who accompanied the crews out on the water or watched from on land.

Given the light forecasts in the English Channel on Monday, the Race Director changed the course for the IMOCA Open 60s and the 50ft multihulls while the two ORMA 60 trimarans, Banque Populaire IV and Groupama 2, will round a buoy off Saint-Malo. All the other boats will round a mark of St Marine before returning to Saint-Nazaire. Two laps of this course will add up to approximately 500 miles...

With a depression south west of Ireland moving north towards Scotland the local sea breeze is expected to take hold this evening with the wind veering northwest and gusting up to 15 knots.

The wind is forecast to north to northeast 10-15 knots off Ile de Groix, with 5-10 knots mollissant off Ouessant. As the boats sail along the north coast of Brittany to west to northwest will remain between 8 and 12 knots.

It is expected that the first boats to complete the race, arriving at Saint-Nazaire on Tuesday morning, but it is hard to say whether it will be an IMOCA 60, a 50ft tri or an ORMA 60 who will be first home.

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