Second victory for Safran

As the third leg of the IMOCA 60's Round Spain Race reaches Sanxenxo

Thursday June 17th 2010, Author: Soazig Guého, Location: Spain

Safran and Marc Guillemot’s crew scored a second win in just three legs with another triumph early this morning after completing the stretch between Gijon and Sanxenxo… as well as gaining an additional half-point bonus, thanks to being the first boat to round Cape Finisterre.

Shortly before 0500 this morning in Sanxenxo, near Vigo, Safran won the third leg of the Round Spain race, which started yesterday at noon in Gijon. The 220 miles of the race course were covered at high speed (peak speeds of 18 knots) by Marc Guillemot’s crew. Safran crossed the finishing line 40 minutes ahead of Vincent Riou’s new PRB, with whom the duel has been extremely intense since the start of this event.

Guillemot and his crew are now therefore alone at the top of the overall results in this Round Spain Race. In particular, this leg included one of the rare bonuses planned for this race, as an extra half point was awarded for being the first to round Cape Finisterre. Safran led throughout the race and has extended her lead over Movistar, which up until now has been in third place, as this time she had to make do with finishing sixth. So, to sum up, Safran has improved her position over her two most dangerous rivals. A great result!

Marc Guillemot said at the finish: "PRB overtook us yesterday afternoon for around an hour or so, before the wind eased off and we were the first to hoist the spinnaker. I think they had some problems with this manoeuvre. In any case, we had a fine race. Charles Caudrelier Benac was excellent as a navigator and dealing with the strategy and the whole crew worked hard. Apart from the little spinnaker, we used all our sails during this stretch. It required a lot of energy to work the boat and then, we had to anticipate and plan the next manoeuvre, even as we were approaching the finish."

3 legs out of 6 already completed

This Vuelta a España a Vela is going very smoothly for the crew of Safran, who have achieved an almost perfect score so far: Twice the winner and once runners up after three legs. These results are very promising as they look forward to tackling the longest leg in this Round Spain Race. The fourth leg from Sanxenxo to Calpe which measures 830 miles… or in other words around four times as long as the third leg and eight times the distance of the first two.

It is now clear that Safran is a serious contender for overall victory*: three legs have been completed and there are three left to be raced. Therefore, at the halfway stage, Marc Guillemot’s crew can continue to aim for the top.

* The Round Spain rankings are based on points scored.

The six legs of the Round Spain Race:
. 1 – Hondarribia / Santander – 90 miles (A win for Safran, 2nd PRB, 3rd Movistar)
. 2 – Santander / Gijon – 100 miles (A win for PRB, 2nd Safran, 3rd Movistar)
. 3 – Gijon / Sanxenxo – 220 miles (A win for Safran, 2nd PRB, 3rd W Hotels)
. 4 – Sanxenxo / Calpe – 830 miles
. 5 – Calpe / Palma de Mallorca – 140 miles
. 6 - Palma de Mallorca / Barcelona – 350 miles

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