Home straight to St Petersburg
The lead duo in the Vendee-St Petersburg race have entered the Gulf of Finland and are at present shaving the coast of Estonia with 187 miles left to go to the finish. Meanwhile the match race between the frontrunners continues with Franck-Yves Escoffier's Crepes Whaou! 3 holding a five mile advantage over Yves le Blevec's Actual, the latter having pulled back from 27 miles behind yesterday afternoon, taking a more westerly course. While they may not be fully tricked up ORMA 60s, the two new Multi50 trimarans still demonstrate exceptional performance - upwind in light conditions over the last 24 hours they have still covered around 300 miles.
Ocean racing veteran and former Whitbread skipper Eric Loizeau racing on Actual reported: "In the Baltic, you can’t be certain of anything. I’ve already been up here twice, once in the Europe Race and once when I was delivering one of my racing boats. The scenery hasn’t changed that much, apart from all the wind turbines you can see on land. Sailing here is something very special, because there are so many rivers feeding this sea, so it is less salty than the oceans; the water is black, the winds unreliable on this cold sea, which tends to slow down the masses of air. It’s rather like being on a big lake. Apart from that, I’m happy to be out here: even if for several years I opted for the mountains, deep down I still enjoy being on a boat.”
Conditions are still at present in the 5-10 knots range and the boats may slow down a little over the course of today as they go through a transition with the wind shifting from the southwest into the southeast. Overnight tonight a depression is set to move over Finland to their north and this will turn the wind into the west, albeit still light for the final miles.
Meanwhile third placed Crepes Whaou! 2 is this morning to the south of Sweden, some 351 miles off the lead. Yesterday they had to drop anchor just 15 miles from the bridge linking Denmark and Sweden. Meanwhile the majority of the fleet is negotiating these waters in the channel between Denmark and southwest Sweden. In fourth place, Pierre Hingant’s crew on La mer révèle nos sens have won back fourth place from Anne Caseneuve Croisières.
|Boat||Longitude||Over 4 hours|
|1||Franck Yves Escoffier||59 20.83' N||6.2||61.6||187.7||187.7|
|Crêpes Whaou ! 3||23 24.75' E|
|2||Yves Le Blevec||59 18.14' N||13.3||57.3||192.9||5.3|
|Actual||23 16.17' E|
|3||Loïc Fequet||55 41.85' N||10.3||48.9||539.4||351.8|
|Crêpes Whaou ! 2||14 58.31' E|
|4||Anne Caseneuve||55 46.05' N||4.9||153.4||644.2||456.5|
|Naviguez Anne Caseneuve||12 46.62' E|
|5||Pierre Hingant||55 46.85' N||5.6||157.6||645.8||458.1|
|La Mer révèle nos sens||12 41.08' E|
|6||Lalou Roucayrol||56 02.18' N||12.7||149.7||658||470.3|
|Région Aquitaine - Port Médoc||12 37.81' E|
|7||Erwan Le Roux||56 01.73' N||13||148.1||660.8||473.2|
|Fénétré A-Cardinal||12 38.38' E|
|8||Hervé Cléris||56 23.52' N||15.5||151.5||685.8||498.2|
|CLM||12 13.04' E|
|9||Etienne Hochedé||57 46.20' N||9.7||69.5||787.8||600.2|
|Pir²||10 45.52' E|