Third boat home
At 22:08:00 GMT on Monday evening, Loïc Féquet’s crew crossed the finishing line of this first leg of the Vendée St-Petersburg. Taking third place, Loïc, accompanied by Victorien Erussard and Mathieu Souben, confirmed that these three young racers were truly worthy of being entrusted with the helm of Franck-Yves Escoffier’s former boat.
They started off quite gently, taking their time to get to know their machine to build up gradually as the race developed. Finding themselves stuck off Cape Gris-Nez in the Dover Straits, they were forced to let the two frontrunners make their getaway, but remained just as united in their efforts and continued to push their trimaran as hard as they could, to ensure they would not have any regrets later. They now have the return leg ahead of them to show that they have got what it takes to keep up with the two leaders.
A night of waiting before stepping ashore in St. Petersburg…
It was just after two in the morning in Russia, when they crossed the finishing line, which meant a few hours of waiting before they could clear customs in St. Petersburg. They were given a triumphant welcome by the French and Russians, who turned up to welcome the trio, who were clearly delighted to have reached Russian soil.
Loic Féquet commented: “I’m very pleased. During the last 48 hours, we were lucky with the weather, reaching 40 knots right at the end; these ideal conditions enabled us to make up for lost time. We discovered some fabulous sailing between Denmark and Sweden with some magnificent sights. The boat is very seaworthy. We now more or less know her limits; I think that on the return leg, the gap will be smaller.”
Victorien Erussard added: “It’s great being a sailor. We’re having a wonderful time and discovering countries. Thanks to the Vendée St-Petersburg, we’re going to be able to take a look around (…) We sailed well… The first night was a big disappointment, as we didn’t manage to get into the swing of things immediately and very soon, Crêpes Whaou ! 3 and Actual got away from us. It should be said that those two boats have six top sailors on board. So we’re in third place at the end of this first leg; now we know how to take care of the boat, we’re ready for the second leg. We’ll be trying to get the gap down to as narrow as possible!”
Mathieu Souben said: "My first race aboard a Multi 50 has gone well. We had a bit of everything: light airs, brilliant sunshine and above all wind to finish…. All three of us know each other well as we have been through the same training programme. During this first leg, we managed to show that we were determined to keep up the pace set by the best. In the future, with a bit of luck and commitment, we should be able to play in their league and that’s great news!”
From the boats:
Le blues de PiR2…
"Hi, we’re a bit late in sending our news today. There are days like that, where time slips by and you can’t do anything about it; a manoeuvre, a meal, a watch, the rankings which interest us, a bit of DIY and the day has gone again. Time at sea is not like time on land and we don’t have the same obligations. They tend to be a bit more flexible. It seems to us that for people back on dry land, it can all get very repetitive, as for a sailor, the only things that really worries us is the wind, which propels our boat or not, as the case may be. That’s what we have indeed been missing since the start and in the long run, it gets very annoying.... So it’s starting to drag a bit, and all we can do is put up with it without being able to choose between this route or that. If in fact we’re moving, it’s already something to celebrate. That’s why the routine of writing to you is difficult for us to grasp. But it’s only this once and it won’t happen again. We’ll make up for it tomorrow!!! Have a nice evening."
A lot of boats are due to finish tomorrow: It is going to be close. So the suspense is with us until the finish!
Four multihulls are due in tomorrow afternoon: Anne Caseneuve (Naviguez Anne Caseneuve), Lalou Rouquerol (Région Aquitaine Port-Médoc), Erwan Leroux (Fenêtre A.Cardinal )and Pierre Hingant (La Mer révèle nos sens ).
1400 GMT sched
1 Crêpes Whaou ! 3 (FY Escoffier) finished on 24th May at 05h31mn49s
2 Actual (Y Le Blévec) finished on 24th May at 05h33mn04s
3 Crêpes Whaou ! 2 (L Féquet) finished on Monday night (24th May) at 22h08mn00s
4 Région Aquitaine Port-Médoc (L Roucayrol) 192 miles DTF
5 La mer révèle nos sens (P Hingant) 3.8 miles from 4th
6 FenêtréA-Cardinal (E Le Roux) 4.1 miles from 4th
7 Naviguez Anne Caseneuve (A Caseneuve) 4.7 miles from 4th
8 CLM (H Cléris) 56.5 miles from 4th
9 PR2 (E Hochédé) 123.6 miles from the leading boat