War stories

Battle rages in the monohulls as the trimarans descend upon Salvafor de Bahia at the end of the TJV

Monday November 17th 2003, Author: James Boyd/Mary Ambler, Location: Transoceanic
Results:
1. Groupama (Franck Cammas - Franck Proffit) 10d 23h 10m 41s
2. Belgacom (Jean-Luc Nélias - Loïck Peyron) 11d 00h 22m 42s
3. Sergio Tacchini (Karine Fauconnier - Damian Foxall) 11d 03h 20m 28s
4. Géant (Michel Desjoyeaux - Hervé Jan) 11d 06h 27m 31s
5. Biscuits La Trinitaine (Marc Guillemot - Yann Guichard) 11d 08h 11m 55s
6. Banque Populaire (Lalou Roucayrol - Pascal Bidégorry) 11d 09h 27m 44s
7. Sodebo (Thomas Coville - Jacques Vincent) 11d 11h 20m 15s
8. Gitana (Lionel Lemonchois - Marc Guessard) 11d 19h 50m 45s
9. Foncia (Alain Gautier - Ellen MacArthur) 11d 20h 38m 06s
10. Sopra Group (Philippe Monnet - Laurent Bourgnon) 11d 20h 55m 50s

Since Groupama arrival in first place yesterday morning there have been a steady stream of 60ft trimarans finishing in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil.

Third place was an extremely good result for Karine Fauconnier and Irishman Damian Foxall on board Sergio Tacchini.

“I knew I didn’t want to team up with another woman," commented Fauconnier. "The mix of both sexes adds a lot to the equation and are complimentary to each other in life, although on the water we are just two sailors. I like to see this race as more of an adventurous voyage than a competition. There is a poetic side to what we have just gone through. You get the same kind of feelings as the guys who crossed the Atlantic the first time, it’s just the boats which have evolved. Funnily enough though, we probably have a weird perspective of this kind of voyage as we see it through the eyes of our computer screen with charts and weather files, so really a lot of it is in the imagination.

Fauconnier continued: " Groupama were dominant from start to finish, but we’ve beaten them in a Grand Prix so I know it can be done! After two years of hard work this podium is the proof, we only broke two winch handles in the entire race, and I also have learned to tame this wild beast myself. We must have won the award for having the least breakages on our boat!

"It’s the first transat this boat has done and third place is a great reward. We really didn’t ease off for a moment throughout the whole race, so we deserve this podium too. There was no way we could let the boats behind come back on us and pass by after everything we’d done to get into the top three…I couldn’t bear it!

"I like taking risks, and we headed out west on leaving the English Channel and we kept losing place after place on the rankings, in heavy seas and not really progressing. Damian kept saying: it’s going to pay later…and we were the first to get the wind shift and up we went…6th 4th, 3rd...! I have to admit, going through the Doldrums was like being on another planet though, it was definitely hell …but then returning to land after a blue, white and grey life is also kind of mad, I feel as if I am drunk! Oh and Damian and I carried a pot of caviar on board, as once in the AG2R (transat race in the Figaro class) with my father [Yvon Fauconnier, winner of the 1984 OSTAR] we carried a pot of caviar, took the westerly option in the race and then the lead. After three days of leading the fleet, and once the caviar was finished, we lost our lead. My mother this time round gave me a pot of caviar again, but we left three spoonfuls at the bottom just in case…”

Fifth place was another good performance by Marc Guillemot and Yann Guichard on Biscuits La Trinitaine, the red and white trimaran crossing the line nine hours after Groupama. Guillemot commented: "We endured some pretty difficult conditions, twice when the winds reached 50 knots. We made some bad decisions at the start, the first low pressure system we fell right into the middle of it, and the second, we were on the right side, but it felt like a real battering with 50 knot winds and heavy seas. This long reaching tack was a tough final phase of the race, we’re wet through and exhausted.”

Lalou Roucayrol and Pascal Bidegorry crossed the line on Banque Populaire in sixth place 10 hrs behind the leader. During the course of the race the duo had managed one day when they had covered an incredible 613 miles, only 12 miles outside of the 60ft trimaran 24hr record held by Yvan Bourgnon. However they won the Baume & Mercier Trophy for the greatest 24hr run of 555m as this was between 1200hrs from one day to the next. Roucayrol said: “We made a bet together, he didn’t think this boat would beat 600m and he lost!"

Positions at 0900

Pos Boat name DTF DTL vmg Lat Long spd crs spd crs spd crs spd dist
Open 60s Inst 1hr av 4 hr av over 24 hrs
1 VIRBAC 207.9 0.0 11.8 10 56.88' S 35 46.20' W 11.4 218.0 11.9 225.0 11.8 223.0 13.4 322.0
2 ECOVER 340.3 132.3 14.6 9 00.52' S 34 33.08' W 12.6 211.0 14.7 218.0 14.2 206.0 13.4 321.5
3 SILL 342.5 134.6 11.2 9 16.40' S 34 14.44' W 14.0 213.0 11.9 207.0 12.4 208.0 13.4 322.7
4 PRB 446.7 238.8 14.6 7 44.12' S 33 18.12' W 16.0 211.0 14.9 211.0 14.0 210.0 13.4 321.6
5 VMI 506.8 298.9 14.7 6 46.92' S 32 52.52' W 15.2 212.0 14.8 214.0 15.4 216.0 14.1 338.5
6 TEAM COWES 533.9 326.0 13.7 5 48.92' S 33 15.20' W 14.1 200.0 13.9 200.0 14.4 200.0 12.9 310.3
7 CARREFOUR PREVENTION 684.4 476.5 13.7 3 31.28' S 32 29.36' W 13.0 212.0 13.8 209.0 12.6 202.0 11.4 272.5
8 ARCELOR-DUNKERQUE 1171.8 963.9 7.1 2 02.82' N 25 43.38' W 7.3 232.0 7.3 232.0 8.4 212.0 6.6 159.3
9 GARNIER 1182.1 974.2 2.4 4 08.56' N 29 17.76' W 3.1 204.0 2.4 201.0 2.0 203.0 5.1 121.5
10 LOIRE ATLANTIQUE 1352.4 1144.5 3.5 4 54.72' N 24 56.68' W 6.1 169.0 4.9 170.0 4.9 193.0 3.7 88.1
11 60ème SUD 1504.8 1296.9 7.9 8 42.08' N 26 15.12' W 11.0 172.0 10.3 166.0 10.0 205.0 7.8 187.4
12 ADECCO 1583.0 1375.0 8.3 9 02.56' N 24 13.48' W 13.3 172.0 9.7 183.0 9.0 178.0 7.9 189.8
13 TIR GROUPE 1694.2 1486.2 6.9 11 11.28' N 24 14.96' W 9.4 258.0 10.6 258.0 10.3 250.0 8.1 194.5
60ft trimarans
11 BONDUELLE 34.8 0 18.3 12 45.52' S 38 03.60' W 15 225 18.3 229 19 228 18.4 441.6
12 BAYER CROPSCIENCE 205.9 171 16.8 10 57.60' S 35 48.08' W 16.3 209 17.3 217 15.8 212 18.6 447
13 BANQUE COVEFI 324.6 289.8 14.2 9 32.72' S 34 23.20' W 24.4 215 15.1 208 17.3 207 19.3 463.9
50ft multis
1 MOLLYMAWK 2053.7 0 11.9 18 39.60' N 26 43.24' W 11 146 12.2 186 12.2 194 13 311.4
Open 50s
1 HELLOMOTO 1366.7 0 4.1 5 18.96' N 25 04.12' W 5.1 176 5.1 176 6.8 214 7.3 175.4
2 DEFI VENDEEN 1571 204.4 8.7 9 20.04' N 24 28.74' W 10.5 176 10.4 176 10.2 209 9.9 237.9
3 STORAGETEK 1572.1 205.4 9.4 10 13.56' N 26 59.68' W 9.6 192 9.7 189 9.4 189 8.2 196.6

In the monohull fleet, Jean-Pierre Dick and Nicolas Abiven on board Virbac have maintained their lead of 130 miles over the chasing pack. With 200 miles to go to the finish their speed over the last four hours has dropped but this will not be enough for any kind of challenge.

However the hardcore battle for second is continuing between Ecover and Sill. Yesterday Roland Jourdain on Sill no doubt fuelled by the result of the rugby recovered second place from Mike Golding and Brian Thompson on Ecover. But this morning the Brits have regained it. Ecover's course inshore of the red boat seems to be paying as their boat speed over the last four hours has been significantly faster. In fact we have since discovered that on Saturday night the fitting attaching the runner to the mast came adift - potentially a catastrophic failure. Fortunately Golding was able to climb the mast and relash the attachment with a Vectran strop and the boat once again up to speed ..

Meanwhile Team Cowes' fight for fifth place is not looking great. Over the last 24 hours Seb Josse and Isabelle Autissier on board VMI have overtaken them and now lead them by 27 miles. VMI is further offshore and seems to be sailing at on average one knot faster.

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