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Last boats home

Women's teams bring up the rear in the Normandy Channel Race

Friday May 27th 2011, Author: James Boyd, Location: France

The final four crews in the Normandy Channel Race have now finished. At 0718 GMT this morning, Gryphon Solo 2, skippered by Joe Harris and Josh Hall, arrived in ninth position. Less than 30 minutes later, Phillippa Hutton Squire and Nick Leggatt successfully brought Phesheya Racing home. Finally, nearly 24 hours after the arrival of the leaders, the two all-female crews brought the procession of finishers to a close. Hannah Jenner and Anna-Maria Renken on 40 Degrees finished 11th in a time of 4 days 21 hours 28 minutes and 18 seconds. Behind them, Caroline Vieille and Stéphanie Alran aboard Ocean’s Eleven finished 12th. The 12 Class40s are alongside tonight and the prize-giving will take place tomorrow, Saturday 28 May at 1700 GMT.

Hannah Jenner and Anna-Maria Renken looked back at their race: “We didn’t come here to win! It was our first race. We were keen to learn, to get in some training and to test the boat. Our initial aim was to complete the course and we did that! Our real goal in fact was to beat the girls. Yesterday, Thursday, we were ahead of them but we’d eased off the pace and they were beginning to catch us up. We asked ourselves a good many questions and we ended up with some answers. At that point, we said to ourselves “Wowwwwwww, so that’s how you go fast!”

"We are exhausted, we’ve eaten nothing, but we’ve also learnt so much! After such a race we’re even more motivated for the Global Ocean Race. Right now, we know what we have to change and work on and so on.

"The Normandy Channel Race was a great training ground. We were able to discover the rhythm of life when racing, which is not something you get a chance to do everyday. Above all, it enabled us to validate our pairing. On a boat, the slightest crisis situation can degenerate. At least now we know we share the same vision of things and we’re capable of getting on during a race.”

Caroline Vieille Olagne and Stéphanie Alran added: “Since yesterday’s arrival of the frontrunners we haven’t really thought too much about all the cold beer they were enjoying. At that point we were happy with the conditions we had and we were able to make up a bit of ground on 40 Degrees.

"We never lost our motivation. From the outset we were aware that we weren’t going to win and we set ourselves other objectives: getting the boat making headway, sailing cleanly and reducing our deficits in relation to the boats in front as much as possible. Above all though we battled against the clock.

"It was really great and we’re proud to have gone the whole hog. We made a very fine comeback yesterday. We drew a line through the mistakes we made at the start and rounded things off in style. We really enjoyed ourselves on the final downwind run. It was wild. We had 40 knots of breeze and heavy seas and we were creaming along.

"Next up is Les Sables Horta and then the Transat Jacques Vabre. The Normandy Channel Race is an extraordinary race. It’s a fine course and we got a very warm reception which is really something special!”

Final results:

1. INITIATIVES SAVEURS in 3d 22h 25m 25s


2. PORT DE CAEN OUISTREHAM in 3d 23h 4m 12s


3. DES PIEDS ET DES MAINS in 3d 23h 12m 35s


4. MARE.DE2 in 3d 23h 40m 14s


5. L'EXPRESS – SAPMER in 3d 23h 42m 56s


6. TALANTA in 4d 1h 0m 10s


7. DEFI GDE - TZU HANG in 4d 2h 34m 27s


8. RED in 4d 6h 20m 40s


9. GRYPHON SOLO 2 in 4d 18h 18m 56s


10. PHESHEYA RACING in 4d 18h 43m 58s


11. 40 DEGREES in 4d 21h 28m 18s


12. OCEAN’S ELEVEN in 4d 22h 31m 16s










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