Lining up for Finisterre

Key west-east decisions made as the Transat AG2R La Mondiale fleet continues to bask in 15 knot northeasterlies

Tuesday April 20th 2010, Author: James Boyd, Location: none selected

See the image above full size here - image courtesy of Expedition Navigation Systems and PredictWind -

Positions at 0748 GMT

Pos Nom Lat Spd Crs Spd2 Crs3 Spd4 Dist DTF DTL
  Crew Lon Inst   4 hr av   24 hour      
                     
1 LUISINA 45 06.34' N 8.5 220 8.2 212.0 7.0 168.5 3609.2 0.0
  Eric Drouglazet/Laurent Pellecuer 8 46.94' W                
2 CERCLE VERT 45 07.41' N 8.0 213 8.2 213.0 7.0 169.0 3609.7 0.4
  Gildas Morvan/Bertrand de Broc 8 48.56' W                
3 CHEMINEES POUJOULAT 45 07.36' N 8.5 221 8.1 213.0 7.0 168.0 3609.7 0.5
  Bernard Stamm/Gildas Mahé 8 48.31' W                
4 GENERALI Europ Assistance 45 08.48' N 10.0 212 8.1 212.0 7.0 168.2 3609.9 0.6
  Yann Elies/Jérémie Beyou 8 50.95' W                
5 GASPE 7 44 59.65' N 10.5 205 7.7 206.0 7.2 172.2 3609.9 0.6
  Joseph Brault/Antoine Koch 8 26.95' W                
6 CREDIT MUTUEL DE BRETAGNE 45 09.97' N 8.0 218 8.0 210.0 7.0 168.6 3612.2 3.0
  Nicolas Troussel/Thomas Rouxel 8 47.81' W                
7 BANQUE POPULAIRE 45 15.48' N 9.0 210 8.1 222.0 6.9 165.8 3612.4 3.2
  Jeanne Grégoire/Gérald Véniard 9 02.66' W                
8 GROUPE BEL 45 11.00' N 8.0 233 7.9 214.0 6.9 166.4 3612.5 3.3
  Kito De Pavant/Sébastien Audigane 8 49.66' W                
9 SAVEOL 45 07.58' N 10.0 211 7.7 211.0 7.0 167.5 3612.6 3.3
  Romain Attanasio/Sam Davies 8 40.13' W                
10 LUFTHANSA 45 10.78' N 8.0 214 7.9 213.0 6.9 165.7 3612.7 3.5
  Ronan Treussart/Yannick Le Clech 8 48.40' W                
11 GEDIMAT 45 10.73' N 8.0 217 7.9 213.0 6.9 166.0 3613.1 3.9
  Armel Tripon/Franck Le Gal 8 47.00' W                
12 GROUPE SNEF 45 12.30' N 7.0 219 8.0 216.0 6.9 165.5 3613.2 3.9
  Jean Paul Mouren/Paul Meilhat 8 51.25' W                
13 SAVE THE RICH 45 13.83' N 8.5 199 7.8 211.0 6.8 163.1 3613.8 4.6
  Christophe Bouvet/Yannick Bestaven 8 39.31' W                
14 SKIPPER MACIF 2009 45 11.64' N 7.5 195 7.8 211.0 6.9 166.1 3614.1 4.9
  Eric Peron/Gwen Riou 8 46.42' W                
15 GENERALI 45 08.45' N 8.0 218 7.8 213.0 7.1 170.0 3614.7 5.5
  Nicolas Lunven/Jean Le Cam 8 35.81' W                
16 CONCARNEAU - ST BARTH 45 17.24' N 8.5 218 7.9 225.0 6.9 164.6 3614.8 5.5
  Miguel Danet/Damien Cloarec 9 00.28' W                
17 BRIT AIR 45 17.59' N 8.0 211 8.1 219.0 6.9 166.6 3615.2 6.0
  Armel Le Cleac'h/Fabien Delahaye 8 59.83' W                
18 AGIR Recouvrement 45 09.02' N 9.5 215 7.7 214.0 6.9 165.7 3615.3 6.1
  Adrien Hardy/Stanislas Maslard 8 35.50' W                
19 KICKERS 45 12.95' N 8.5 221 7.1 212.0 6.9 165.6 3619.8 10.5
  Sébastien Picault/Laurent Bourgues 8 32.61' W                
20 Trier c'est préserver 45 20.39' N 9.0 211 7.4 212.0 6.7 160.0 3620.6 11.3
  Laurent Gouezigoux/Bertrand Delesne 8 50.75' W                
21 MAISONS DE L'AVENIR- URBATYS 45 14.04' N 7.0 211 6.7 211.0 6.8 164.3 3621.9 12.7
  H-P Schipman/Pierre Canevet 8 28.95' W                
22 BcomBIO 45 16.17' N 8.5 194 7.3 200.0 6.8 164.3 3622.2 13.0
  Luce Molinier/Bertrand Castelnerac 8 33.77' W                
23 GARMIN - ONE NETWORK ENERGIES 45 17.71' N 8.5 192 7.2 201.0 6.8 163.9 3623.2 13.9
  Yannig Livory/Erwan Livory 8 35.09' W                
24 iSanté 45 15.96' N 9.0 219 6.8 211.0 6.8 162.5 3623.5 14.3
  Christophe Rateau/Sylvain Pontu 8 29.25' W                
25 MemoireStBarth.com 45 04.37' N 5.0 193 5.6 203.0 5.9 141.8 3633.0 23.8
  Richard Lédée/Christophe Lebas 7 32.47' W                

A day and a half into the Transat AG2R La Mondiale and no real leader has emerged, with 0.6 miles separating the top five boats in terms of DTF. Weather-wise the boats have had a magnificent warm, downwind start in this doublehanded race between Concarneau and St Barts.

Yesterday mid-afternoon the fleet saw the wind shift from the northeast to the east and with that there was a mass gybe south on to port. The timing of this gybe has dictated the west to east positioning of the boats since then - for example Romain Attanasio and Sam Davies on Saveol gybed early and are now among the easterly group while Armel Le Cleac'h and Fabien Delahaye on BritAir gybed later and are now furthest west.

There was some entertainment yesterday afternoon when after some problems with their polling, Richard Lédée and Christophe Lebas on MemoireStBarth.com revealed themselves to have taken a major flier out to the east emerging in the early afternoon sched in first place an impressive 10 miles ahead of the main fleet. However they have since gone from hero to zero, bringing up the rear of the fleet out to the east.

The breadth of the race track for the bulk of the fleet is now around 20 miles, excluding MemoireStBarth.com and also Joseph Brault and Antoine Koch on Gaspe 7,  who are doing well in the top five and were leading at the first sched this morning, having also taken a more easterly option. 

Later this afternoon the boats will be passing Cape Finistere and the northwest corner of Spain and judging from their course it looks likely that they will be giving the land a wide berth for it seems likely that for once in the southeasterly breeze there will be a wind shadow here, although the forecast shows that by this evening the wind to have built to 15-20 knots and backed into the east again. 

“It will be necessary to be offshore by approximately 40 miles, to avoid being trapped in a zone without wind close to the coast," confirmed Banque Populaire skipper Jeanne Gregoire yesterday.

Over the course of tomorrow the shallow depression at present to their west is due to pass to the south of the AG2R fleet and while it will go light for all as this transition occurs, the wind should then fill in for a time from northwest. Rather alarmingly - looking ahead at the longer term forecast indicates an area of high pressure to be developing over the Canaries - exactly where the AG2R fleet must pass through a gate.

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