Belgacom second home
Their time for the 4,340 mile course between Le Havre and Salvador de Bahia was 11 days 0 hours 22 mins and 42 second at an average speed of 16.42 knots. This is 1 hours 12 minutes and 1 second short of Groupama's time.
Nelias gave his reactions: "We had a much better first part of the race, the boat is simple, intelligent and we were looking very dominant. Then our descent to Madeira was not so great, and we got blocked by the weather, and then lost control over Groupama. We fought hard in the Doldrums and came out second and the rest of the race was like ski-ing on new powder! This was our Transat, for us two to enjoy, aside from the commercial pressure there has been about the end of the sponsorship by Belgacom. We would have liked the race to be longer, who knows what will have happened, but those guys on Groupama weren’t born on the last wave! Now we are hoping the keys to this 2 year old boat may attract another sponsor soon…the rest of life starts tomorrow!”
1. Groupama (10 jours 23 heures 10 minutes et 41 secondes)
2. Belgacom (11 jours 00 heures 22 minutes et 42 secondes)
Meanwhile the 1100 position report shows that VMI have overtaken Team Cowes to take fifth place in the Open 60s.
Prior to this Sam Davies sent this account:
We are finally out of the squall activity that is associated with the Doldrums. Hooray. it is pretty tiring going through these squalls (all of which seem to line themselves up with us for a direct hit every time.) The wind was gusting up to 45 knots, so you can imagine, it is a bit of a handful. we were changing sails for every squall, which meant little sleep and tiring work.
Anyway, the Doldrums turned out to be very easy as there were no patches of light wind like normal. In fact, the average wind speed was around 15 knots and minimum 9 knots (for about 10 minutes.) We were lucky, that was probably because we needed a patch of very light wind to sort out the code E gennaker which is currently unfurled and taking up just about the whole forepeak due to an incident yesterday. The furler line snapped during a squall and we had to do a kamakhaze drop (not very pretty at all, but funny after the event.)
So, apart from the code E, we are on 100% form, sailing as fast as possible to the finish. Our race is not over. VMI and PRB have a better angle to the wind right now and they are a little faster. We need to hang in there until the breeze frees us so that we are still in touch for a final attack at the finish.
Better go and get some rest.