Class40s flooding in
Since Saturday, a second wave of Class 40 finishers has flooded into Guadeloupe at the end of the Route du Rhum-Banque Postale
Following on from Thomas Ruyant and his 2009 Tyker40 Destination Dunkerque and second placed Nicolas Troussel in the new Pogo S² Crédit Mutuel de Bretagne just over three-and-half hours later, fighting all the way to the line four hours later were Yvan Noblet in his 2007 Tyker40 Appart City and former Mini sailor/designer Sam Manuard on his one year-old Vecteur Plus taking 4th just four minutes behind Noblet.
With barely time to welcome the first four skippers ashore, Damien Grimont on another new Pogo S² Monbana was across the finish line three hours after Manuard with German sailor, Jörg Riechers on his one year-old Owen Clarke Design FS40 Mare.de taking 6th place under six hours later.
Under the cover of darkness, GOR entry, Jean-Edouard Criquioche completed the front pack finishers on the third Pogo S² Groupe Picoty just under five hours later than Riechers.
“I’m completely done in!” admitted Criquioche shortly after finishing. The 40 year-old cinema manager was the second non-pro sailor to cross the finish line – Grimont was the first – and this was his second Route du Rhum.
“I gave it everything trying to catch the group of four boats in front of me,” he explained. “Strangely, crossing the Atlantic wasn’t the hard part; it was getting round Guadeloupe! I must have made somewhere between 30 or 35 tacks getting round Basse-Terre and there were squalls with the wind suddenly going from zero to 25 knots! I’m absolutely toasted!”
Groupe Picoty had been in the leading 10 boats consistently for 15 days since the fleet exited the Bay of Biscay: “This is the first transat that I’ve sailed really cleanly and calmly with little stress and no breakages,” he confirmed. “The boat is naturally very fast, so there was no need to take risks and push too hard in order to keep up the pace. It has been fantastic and there hasn’t been a second in the past 18 days that I haven’t thought about the race and the fight going on around me! I’ll admit that I’m completely exhausted and it’s goung to take a little time for the reality to sink in.”
While Criquioche celebrated in Pointe-à-Pitre, the second wave was descending on Guadeloupe from the north-east led by Rémi Beauvais and his four year-old Philippot Design Routes du Large in 8th with 100 miles to the finish line with a 47 miles advantage over Damien Seguin with his 2007 Rogers design Des Pieds et Des Mains.
In 10th position, 18 miles behind Seguin, Bernard Stamm and Cheminées Poujoulat continued to rip through the fleet ranking since stopping in the Azores for repairs 11 days earlier with the Swiss skipper eight places in the past week. With Stamm on the right hand side of the race course, the left hand side was held by Thierry Bouchard and Comiris - Pôle Santé Elior in 11th just one mile behind Cheminées Poujoulat with the entire group in northeasterly breeze.
To the south of the main group, Pete Goss was heading to Guadeloupe from due east at the same latitude as the finish line. In 14th place, 123 miles behind Beauvais, Goss and DMS had built a 360 mile lead over his nearest rival in the six-boat southern group, François Angoulvant and Fermiers de Loué – Sarthe in 31st place. For Goss, the decision to head south had been made on the third day of racing as the Class40 fleet passed Cape Finisterre: “There was a big decision if you go north or south,” he explained on Friday as he approached Guadeloupe. “I chose to go south and I don’t regret the decision at all, but it is apparent from the northerly boats that was the way to go, but you can’t win them all.”
Overall, the British sailor was happy with his return to solo racing. “The boat is in good order,” he reported. “The only damage is I broke the handle off my tea cup. Other than that the boat is immaculate. I am feeling fit and healthy, much fitter and healthier than when I left.”
Stamm climbs into the Top 10:
Shortly before midnight on Friday, the 36 year-old rigger and sailor, Rémi Beauvais and his first generation Class40 Routes du Large crossed the line as the bulk of the fleet dropped south under spinnakers east of the Windward Islands towards Guadeloupe and a hectic Saturday on the Pointe-à-Pitre finish line began with Swiss round the world sailor, Bernard Stamm, and Cheminées Poujoulat taking ninth place having moved up a position on Friday afternoon in the final approach to the northern coast of Guadeloupe. “My climb up through the fleet was really due to being very angry,” said Stamm shortly after crossing the finish line. “It really annoyed me having to stop and I was still very cross when I set off again from the Azores,” he continued, discussing his lightning-fast pit stop and rendezvous with his shore crew in Sao Miguel. “It was good to climb the ranking, but it wasn’t good that I had to stop for gear repair. It just shouldn’t have been like that,” concluded Stamm who will shortly be rejoining the IMOCA Open 60 circuit with a Vendée Globe 2012 campaign.
Eight hours later, 31 year-old Damien Seguin on the sistership to Stamm’s Class40, the three year-old Rogers design Des Pieds et Des Mains took 10th place, while, a fierce battle was underway for 12th place as Marc Lepesqueux on Marie Toit - Caen La Mer and Swiss-German sailor Axel Strauss on Tzu Hang approached the final headland of Vieux-Fort separated by less than a mile. On Saturday afternoon, Thierry Bouchard and his one year-old Akilaria RC2 Comiris - Pôle Santé Elior took 11th while Lepescueux squeezed ahead of Strauss, taking 12th place by a margin of just nine minutes after 3,500 miles of racing.
Goss is first British entry home
Late on Saturday afternoon, the first of the two British boats in the fleet crossed the finish line with Pete Goss and the new Akilaria RC2 DMS taking 14th. “It’s been a fantastic race and I recommend the Route du Rhum to everybody!” said the ecstatic 49 year-old, round the world yachtsman. Goss shot into the sailing history books when he rescued Raphaël Dinelli from the capsized Algimouss in the Southern Ocean during the 1996 Vendée Globe and this was his first try at single-handed racing since then: “I haven’t sailed solo for 13 years and it took about four days to get back into the rhythm. I find the whole concept of Class40, the races they do and the level of competition really good and the boats are very exciting to race,” said Goss. “This young class is going to go a long way, I’m certain.”
An emotional finish for GOR entry, Tanguy de Lamotte:
Crossing the finish line three hours after Goss, Global Ocean Race entry Tanguy de Lamotte and Novedia-Initiatives took 15th. "This is the end of a beautiful voyage and I think I’ve done the best I could under really difficult circumstances," said the 32 year-old skipper. "When the mainsail ripped, I really thought I’d have to stop in the Azores and that any chance of continuing the race was over,” Lamotte recalled. “The start of the race was a very special moment, then re-hoisting the mainsail after repairs was incredible as I was back in the race and in the adventure again,” he continued. “The last 24 hours have been possibly the best of the entire race,” admits Lamotte whose brother was waiting for him in Guadeloupe and his mother had also made a surprise trip to watch her son finish the race. “There was a fleet of ten, fast speedboats following me for the last 30 minutes and it was really hard not to be overcome by emotion. In fact, those memories will remain with me forever.”
In the six hours following Lamotte’s arrival, four boats finished in quick succession: Eric Galmard took 16th with Avis Immobilier; Regis Guillemot took 17th on the new Pogo S² Regis Guillemot Charter; Olivier Singelin on the 2009 Akilaria Gonser Group–Cambio took 18th and David Augeix on EDF Energies Nouvelles–Vestas took 19th.
On Sunday morning, the youngest skipper in the race on one of the oldest boats crossed the line taking 20th place as 25 year-old Louis Burton and the 2005 Pogo Bureau Vallée finished racing, followed just over half-an-hour later by Eric Defert and the new Tyker40 Drekan Energie-Groupe Terrallia with Olivier Grassi and Grassi Bateaux taking 22nd two hours behind Defert. Christophe Coatnoan and Partouche finished a further two hours later and separated by 12 minutes, Guadeloupe resident, Philippe Fiston, took 24th place on his new Akilaria RC2 Territoires Attitude just ahead of Arnaud Daval and Techneau.
Fighting to the finish
While Daval’s on shore celebrations were underway, 32-year-old French journalist, Fabrice Amedeo, took his new Akilaria RC2 Géodis across the line, while two Global Ocean Race entries were working down the west coast of Basse-Terre on Sunday afternoon in increasingly light wind. Marco Nannini and UniCredit held a four mile lead over Kiwi yachtsman Conrad Coleman on 40 Degrees with Nannini slowing to 2.5 knots as he rounded Vieux-Port at the southern tip of Guadeloupe and Coleman – with Bertrand Guillonneau and Ville de Douarnenez just three miles off his stern – dropped to below one knot in the island’s wind shadow. Clearing the headland, the trio of boats picked up pace early on Sunday evening with Nannini and UniCredit taking 27th place just six minutes ahead of Coleman after three weeks and 3,500 of racing with Guillonneau crossing the line just over half-an-hour behind the Kiwi skipper.
At 07:00 GMT on Monday, Pierre-Marie Baz-n and Les 3 caps is recorded as having finished in 30th place and with the retirement of Bulgarian sailor Dimitar Topolov and White Swallow at the end of last week in the Azores, nine other Class40s are still racing in the North Atlantic.
Off the northern coast of Guadeloupe, François Angoulvant on Fermiers de Loué – Sarthe is 61 miles from the finish line leading the five remaining boats in the southern division of the Class40 fleet, while British sailor, Richard Tolkein in 33rd on ICAP Orca, leads the four boats remaining in the northern group with 185 miles to the finish.
Class40 Route du Rhum ranking at 07:00 GMT Monday 22 November:
1. Thomas Ruyant (FRA) Destination Dunkerque (‘09 Tyker40) 17d 23h 10m. 9.18kts
2. Nicolas Troussel (FRA) Crédit Mutuel de Bretagne (’10 PogoS²) 18d 02h 40m. 9.12kts
3. Yvan Noblet (FRA) Appart City (’07 Tyker40) 18d 06h 38m. 8.07kts
4. Sam Manuard (FRA) Vecteur Plus (’09 Manuard) 18d 06h 42m. 8.07kts
5. Damien Grimont (FRA) Monbana (’10 PogoS²) 18d 09h 37m. 7.99kts
6. Jörg Riechers (GER) Mare.de (’09 OCD FS40) 18d 01h 32m. 7.92kts
7. Jean-Edouard Criquioche (FRA) Groupe Picoty (’10 PogoS²) 18d 19h 49m
8. Rémis Beauvais (FRA) Routes du Large (’06 Philippot) 19d 08h 38m. 7.62kts
9. Bernard Stamm (SUI) Cheminées Poujoulat (’07 Rogers) 19d 20h 51m. 7.42
10. Damien Seguin (FRA) Des Pieds et Des Mains (’07 Rogers) 20d 08h 52m. 7.24kts
11. Thierry Bouchard (FRA) Comiris - Pôle Santé Elior (’09 Akilaria RC2) 20d 1h 5m. 7.36kts
12. Marc Lepescueux (FRA) Marie Toit-Caen La Mer (’06 Rolland) 20d 3h 27m. 7.32kts
13. Axel Strauss (SUI-GER) Tzu Hang (’07 Akilaria) 20d 03h 36m
14. Pete Goss (GBR) DMS (’10 Akilaria RC2) 20d 04h 56m
15. Tanguy de Lamotte (FRA) Novedia-Initiatives (’07 Rogers) 20d 07h 44m. 7.26kts
16. Eric Galmard (FRA) Avis Immobilier (’07 Akilaria) 20d 09h 14m. 7.23kts
17. Régus Guillemot (FRA) Regis Guillemot Charter (’10 PogoS²) 20d 11h 54m. 7.19kts
18. Olivier Singelin (FRA) Gonser Group–Cambio (’09 Akilaria) 20d 13h 12m
19. David Augeix (FRA) EDF Energies Nouvelles–Vestas (’07 Akilaria) 20d 13h 22m
20. Louis Burton (FRA) Bureau Vallée (’05 Pogo) 20d 13h 22m
21. Eric Defert (FRA) Drekan Energie-Groupe Terrallia (’10 Tyker40) 20d 14h 19m
22. Olivier Grassi (FRA) Grassi Bateaux (’06 Akilaria) 20d 16h 10m
23. Christophe Coatnoan (FRA) Partouche (’07 JPK) 20d 18h 03m. 7.11kts|
24. Philippe Fiston (FRA) Territoires Attitude (’10 Akilaria RC2) 21d 02h. 6.99kts
25. Arnaud Daval (FRA) Techneau (07 Pogo) 21d 02h 12m. 6.99kts
26. Fabrice Amedeo (FRA) Géodis (’10 Akilaria RC2) 21d 05h 21m. 6.95kts
27. Marco Nannini (ITA) UniCredit (’07 Akilaria) 21d 09h 16m. 6.9kts
28. Conrad Coleman (NZ) 40 Degrees (’09 Jaz MKII OCD) 21d 09h 22m. 6.9kts
29. Bertrand Guillonneau (FRA) Ville de Douarnenez (’06 Ker40) 21d 09h 54m. 6.9kts
30. Pierre-Marie Bazin (FRA) Les 3 caps (’08 Akilaria) 21d 12h 33m