Photos: Christophe Breschi

Another win for Reichers

The outbound leg of the Mini's Les Sables-Azores-Les Sables race concludes

Tuesday August 10th 2010, Author: James Boyd, Location: France

Unstoppable Joërg Riechers on mare.de has won the first leg of the Mini class' Les Sables-Azores-Les Sables. Bertrand Delesne on Prati’Buches managed to catch up with the German sailor but had considerable trouble over the last miles into Horta. The result was that 1 hour 44 minutes and 51 seconds now separate the first two sailors in the class' 'big' race this year.

The two leaders in the Proto class endures a windless finish over the last few hours and nobody could say who would win. In the end Riechers chose to round the south side of Pico island while Delesne took a northern route around the archipelago, allowing Riechers across the line first, just before the wind faded away fully.

Arriving at 22:17:10:, the skipper of mare.de also set up a new record between Les Sables d'Olonne and Faial of 6 days 10 hours 30 minutes 10 seconds at an average speed of 8.22 knots.

“First of all, I am really happy, I knew I had a good speed…." said Riechers. "When, after the Cape Finisterre, I heard I was leading,,I kept on pushing the boat to maintain the others at a good distance. I remained on a course relatively close to the shortest route, as I saw I could benefit from enough strong northeast winds. I had planned to go south when arriving in the archipelago. There just has been a moment when I found myself in a stormy squall with no wind and then I found it hard to find good wind angles to go down to Horta and I think that I’ve lost ground here.”

On his race with Delesne, Riechers said:  “I knew it would be hot between us. Bertrand is also very fast and there have never been big gaps between us. I thing the bigger gap has been 20 NM, isn’t it ? Anyway with Bertrand, I’m always nervous.”

On his first venture out into the Atlantic he added: “I must confess that when passing La Coruña, I could not help thinking about my withdrawal from the Transat 6.50 (Joërg had to withdraw due to keel problems). Once the Cape Finisterre was behind me, I thought that I had lifted the curse. I was more serene to attack.”

As to the return leg he said: “We”ll see the results for this first leg. But I think it should be a duel between bertrand and I. Anyway, this campaign is great, I won the Trophée Marie-Agnès Péron, the Mini-Pavois and now, this leg…. I feel really confident for the Route du Rhum that will be my next step (Joërg will participate on a Class 40). It’s great. It’s a wonderful preparation : a tough, tiring, oceanic race…”

Bertrand Delesne added: “I am really happy for Joërg. He has led the race for a while. He has worked a lot and I respect him a lot. The race has been played out at the end. He dared going south of Pico, I did not wand to, he was right.

“From the beginning, I wanted to favour a southern course. Then, there has been some times I had to slow down a bit, the boat’s reactions depend on what we give her. I also aimed at arriving with a boat in perfect state. My only one damage : when Nico Boidevezi told me he had broken his bowsprit. I was talking with him on the VHF when the boat broached and I broke my main autopilot. I’ve finished the whole leg with the second pilot.”We already had some duels last year, I think that the battle will be magnificent on the way back."

Sébastien Rogues on EOLE Génération GDF Suez finished third and Italian Andrea Caracci was fourth on Speedy Maltese (read more about Andrea here)

In the Series fleet less than 30 minutes separated the leaders upon their arrival into the arrivals with victory going to Davy Beaudart in Innovea Environnement after in the final miles he had overtaken Xavier Macaire on Starter.

These two know each other very well. They have the same winning culture they acquired on the Olympic triangles they sailed around on dinghies when they were younger. Passionately fond of development, they do not stop from perfecting the preparation of their production boat, constantly working on the ergonomics, banishing useless weight. The result is a tremendous speed potential of their boats.

Davy Beaudart commented: "The battle has been intense from the beginning to the end. I suspected that Xavier had chosen a southern course than mine, but I did not want to find myself in trouble off the Portugal in a too heavy sea. I know that Xavier is better than I am with strong winds. I preferred to follow my course.  In the last night, I had made sure to be rested and regarding the advance Xavier had, I knew I had to attack. I’ve spent the whole night adjusting, jibing at the least change of wind and I first perceived his lights, I told myself I was on the right track…"

Macaire added; "It really has been very tense. I knew that Davy had a very good speed, that is why I’ve chosen a southern course to keep on pressure. It has been very tricky sometimes off Portugal. At one moment, my bowsprit dived when I had the gennaker on, I have been a bit luck not to break anything. With an opponent like Davy, you always have to be on top, always hang on… The proof  is that in last NM … Now I have the second leg left, 30 minutes is nothing. And I want to enjoy the Azores, it is so great to be here.

Finishers:

Pos Boat Skipper Time
1 753 - Mare.de Jörg RIECHERS Finished on 07/08/2010 at 22:17:10 (6d 10h 30m 10s)
2 754 - Prati'Buches Bertrand DELESNE Finished on 08/08/2010 at 00:02:01 (6d 12h 15m 01s)
3 716 - Eole Génération GDF SUEZ Sébastien ROGUES Finished on 08/08/2010 at 03:03:10 (6d 15h 16m 10s)
4 756 - Speedy Matesse Andrea CARACCI Finished on 08/08/2010 at 03:20:44 (6d 15h 33m 44s)
5 198 - Kickers Sébastien PICAULT Finished on 08/08/2010 at 06:58:32 (6d 19h 11m 32s)
6 630 - NorthStar Vincent BARNAUD Finished on 08/08/2010 at 07:06:05 (6d 19h 19m 05s)
7 759 - Follow me Milan KOLACEK Finished on 08/08/2010 at 08:09:30 (6d 20h 22m 30s)
8 618 - ONG Conseil Lucas MONTAGNE Finished on 08/08/2010 at 13:14:03 (7d 01h 27m 03s)
9 429 - De l'espace pour la mer Véronique LOISEL Finished on 08/08/2010 at 13:34:04 (7d 01h 47m 04s)
10 265 - Région Nord Pas de Calais Paul MARETTE Finished on 08/08/2010 at 13:48:06 (7d 02h 01m 06s)
11 674 - Innovea Environnement Davy BEAUDART Finished on 08/08/2010 at 17:40:35 (7d 05h 53m 35s)
12 472 - Starter Xavier MACAIRE Finished on 08/08/2010 at 18:08:55 (7d 06h 21m 55s)
13 719 - GDE Nicolas BOIDEVEZI Finished on 08/08/2010 at 21:01:35 (7d 09h 14m 35s)
14 629 - Abri&Co Solidaires Louis MAUFFRET Finished on 09/08/2010 at 00:56:46 (7d 13h 09m 46s)
15 464 - Baker Tilly AG2R La Mondiale Jean-Marc ALLAIRE Finished on 09/08/2010 at 02:35:39 (7d 14h 48m 39s)
16 602 - Ned 602 Robert ROSENJACOBSON Finished on 09/08/2010 at 03:31:36 (7d 15h 44m 36s)
17 774 - JMO Sailling Jean-Marie OGER Finished on 09/08/2010 at 03:42:24 (7d 15h 55m 24s)
18 312 - Ocean Works Dan DYTCH Finished on 09/08/2010 at 04:54:45 (7d 17h 07m 45s)
19 758 - Mediabrein Ysbrand ENDT Finished on 09/08/2010 at 05:36:22 (7d 17h 49m 22s)
20 527 - Herve Sail Design Hugo LAVAYSSIERE Finished on 09/08/2010 at 05:44:18 (7d 17h 57m 18s)
21 697 - amauryfrancois.com Amaury FRANCOIS Finished on 09/08/2010 at 08:18:14 (7d 20h 31m 14s)
22 435 - CGG Veritas Vincent KERBOURIOU Finished on 09/08/2010 at 08:21:20 (7d 20h 34m 20s)
23 744 - El Nono Bruno SIMONNET Finished on 09/08/2010 at 08:26:39 (7d 20h 39m 39s)
24 514 - No War Clément BOUYSSOU Finished on 09/08/2010 at 08:27:26 (7d 20h 40m 26s)
25 252 - Myrna Minkoff Ryan Finn Finished on 09/08/2010 at 08:40:38 (7d 20h 53m 38s)
26 787 - Financière de l'échiquier Thomas NORMAND Finished on 09/08/2010 at 08:49:17 (7d 21h 02m 17s)
27 739 - Evasol Benoit LENGLET Finished on 09/08/2010 at 08:51:45 (7d 21h 04m 45s)
28 721 - Xanlite Pascal CHOMBART DE LAUWE Finished on 09/08/2010 at 09:49:20 (7d 22h 02m 20s)
29 733 - Les amis de la Terre Kokopelli Marc VERTES Finished on 09/08/2010 at 10:16:30 (7d 22h 29m 30s)
30 468 - I Feel Good Jérôme LECUNA Finished on 09/08/2010 at 11:01:21 (7d 23h 14m 21s)
31 708 - Plume d'Ange Fabienne ROBIN Finished on 09/08/2010 at 16:16:20 (8d 04h 29m 20s)
32 487 - Green Dragon Chuan GUO Finished on 09/08/2010 at 17:55:08 (8d 06h 08m 08s)

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