Victory for Laurent/Jacq
Leg two winner Thales-Armor Lux
Erwan Tabarly, nephew of the late great Eric Tabarly, and Philippe Vicariot won the second leg of the Figaro class' two handed Transat AG2R into the French Caribbean island of St Barts from Madeira. As usual this proved to be a thrilling high speed drag race through the Trade Winds under spinnaker.
Sailing their 30ft Beneteau Figaro one designs, they arrived in the Baie de Lorient (confusingly the first leg of the race also started in Lorient, but the Breton version) to complete the leg in 14 days 10 hours and 50 minutes at an average of 7.5 knots. On the approach to the finish line the purple spinnaker of their sponsors Thales-Armor Lux exploded.
"The crossing was fast - there wasn't a calm moment," commented Tabarly. "What was testing was the relentless pressure which could never be slackened." He added that they had nearly lost the lead due to the unusual weather situation three days prior to the finish.
However following their 11th place on the first leg Tabarly and Vicariot's combined leg time of 23 days 6 hours and 5 minutes did not win the duo the race overall. "We hope to return to do better next time," said Tabarly.
Overall victors on the combined times from the two legs of this, the sixth Transat AG2R were former Vendee Globe skipper Herve Laurent and Rodolphe Jacq on board Colbert Orco, who had won the first leg into Madeira by a clear margin. Laurent and Jacq finished in St Barts fifth, six hours after Tabarly and Vicariot with a combined time of 22 days 2 hours and 39 minutes. "For me this victory in the Transat AG2R is an achievement after years of routing other, when I was unable to sail," commented Laurent.
It is interesting to note that both Karine Fauconnier and Lionel Lemonchois, who won the last Transat AG2R in 2000 today both have new 60ft trimarans - Karine skippers the Nigel Irens-designed Sergio Tacchini while Lemonchois was recently announced as the skipper of the Gitana trimaran due to be launched in France next month.
"For me, this victory is brilliant because it will help me find sponsorship for the Porquerolles and the Figaro," commented Jacq of the next major events on the Figaro circuit - a long distance race off the south coast of France and La Solitaire du Figaro, the class' annual major singlehanded race. "When I see Karine Fauconnier and Lionel Lemonchois now sailing on three hulls, it makes me dream!"
1 THALES ARMOR LUX Erwan TABARLY Philippe VICARIOT
arrived 10 May 22h50’00" GMT
Leg 2 time: 14 days 10h 40 mn 00s at 7.59 knots
2 JEAN FLOC'H Eric DROUGLAZET Vincent RIOU
arrived 11 May 01h52’28" GMT
Leg 2 time: 14 days 13h 42mn 28s at 7.52 knots average
3 MARSEILLE ENTREPRISES Jean-Paul MOUREN Alexandre TOULORGE
arrived 11 May at 01h55’17" GMT
Leg 2 time: 14 days 13h 45mn 17s at 7.52 knots average
4 CERCLE VERT Gildas MORVAN Charles CAUDRELIER -BENAC
arrived 11 May at 03h56’38" GMT
Leg 2 time: 14 days 15h 46mn 48s
5 COLBERT ORCO Hervé LAURENT Rodolphe JACQ
arrived 11 mai at 04h20’02" GMT
Leg 2 time: 14 days 16h 10mn 02s
Leg 1 time: 7 days 20h 29mn 53s
Total time: 22 days 02h 39mn 55s