Kiwi 40 into the lead
At the latest sched the Normandy Channel Race leaders are passing Start Point, but most impressive is that Michel Kleinjans and Marc Lepesquieux aboard Marie Toit-Caen le Mer, the brand new Farr-designed, Cookson-built Kiwi 40 have overtaken this morning's leader Fabien Delehaye and Bruno Jourdren on Port de Caen Ouistreham. The fleet is currently enduring 15-20 knot westerlies and next stop is the Lizard which will be an increasingly starboard tack-favoured beat as the wind veers into the WNW this evening.
Meanwhile the conditions are taking their toll and the crews on Livewire and Partouche have announced their retirement. Last night British duo Stuart Dodd and Steve Kennington on Livewire reported issues with their ballast tanks, automatic pilot and power. At the first mark of the course mark, they opted to continue their route towards Cherbourg to attempt to effect repairs but ultimately, in the middle of the night, they announced their retirement. As for Christophe Coatnoan and Sébastien Figue on Partouche, given the difficult sailing conditions so far and ahead, they’ve decided to head back as being “too risky” to reasonably continue: “It’s very windy and we have big seas," said Coatnoan. "Since the start Sébastien has been sick. He’s exhausted! We’ve turned back and are making for Ouistreham. All’s well but conditions are lively”.
At this lunchtime’s radio session, Yoann Richomme, co-skipper aboard Des pieds et des mains, explained the situation: “It’s lively and wet! At the moment, we have 25 knots of breeze and big seas."
Latest sched below