Victory for local hero
At 11:14:36 GMT Fabien Delahaye claimed honours in the opening leg of La Solitaire du Figaro from Perros-Guirec to Caen. This was a great result for 27-year-old Delahaye who heralds from Caen and who's boat, Port de Caen Ouistreham is locally supported.
Delahaye edged ahead after the fleet was becalmed in the early hours of this morning. His leg time was 2 days 2 hours 14 minutes and 36 seconds or an average speed of 5.83 knots for the 293.1 miles sailed.
The highly experienced Cercle Vert skipper Gildas Morvan took second place while Jean-Pierre Nicol on Bernard Controls completes the podium after a final fight in the last 20 miles.
Former Mini sailor Xavier Macaire on Starter Active Bridge won the rookie by finishing in fifth place, edging ahead of top British sailor Phil Sharp on Spirit of Independence who ended up 7th overall.
In 2009, Fabien Delahaye made his mark in la Solitaire du Figaro by winning the rookie ranking overall. Over the past two participations he has improved and through cardful methodical work and a clear state of mind is now regarded as one of the top young hopefuls likely to make a mark in the Figaro class. This win at home could be the first of more to come.
This success at home is also likely to be down to some extent to local inside knowledge that may have proved vital last night as the fleet had to anchor off Barfleur and extricate themselves from the strong currents and light winds.
On the finish line in Ouistreham, the tension was palpable as nothing had been decided until the very end. The light and variable wind together with the 2 knots of current concertinaed part of the fleet and extended others.
The first rookie to finish, Xavier Macaire on Starter Active Bridge finished fifth a mere 14 minutes behind the winner, while Phil Sharp in seventh was just under a minute behind the first rookie who boded well for a potentially good result overall.
DMS skipper Conrad Humphreys was the next Brit home in 22nd place crossing the finish line at 11:59:38 GMT.
Finish times in Caen-Ouistreham (French time - GMT +2 hours)
1-Fabien Delahaye (13:14:36)
2-Gildas Morvan (13:25:45)
3-Jean-Pierre Nicol (13:25:58)
4-Jérémie Beyou (13h 27’ 04)
5-Xavier Macaire, premier bizuth (13:28:48)
6-Thomas Rouxel (13:28:55)
7-Phil Sharp, deuxième bizuth (13:29:40)
8-Lauren Pellecuer (13:31:30)
9-Nicolas Lunven (13:32:22)
10- Erwan Tabarly (13:37:37)
22- Conrad Humphreys (13:59:38)