Becalmed off Cape Finisterre

Northerly boats into the lead in the Solidaire du Chocolat

Tuesday March 13th 2012, Author: James Boyd, Location: none selected

Solidaire du Chocolat charts courtesy of Expedition/Tasman Bay Navigation Systems and GRIB (European model) from PredictWind

Positions at 0830 UTC:

Pos Boat Crew Lat Long Spd Cap Spd2 DTF DTL
          4 hr aver   24hrs    
1 Poëmes Bleus - Planète Insuline Mathis Prochasson - Matthieu Galland 44°08.26'N 010°22.30'W 7.4 232 10.4 4619.2 0.0
2 Mare Jörg Riechers - Marc Lepesqueux 43°23.27'N 010°07.01'W 5.1 269 10.2 4619.6 0.4
3 Yannick Bestaven - Eric Drouglazet 43°19.38'N 009°57.59'W 4.6 258 10.4 4625.5 6.2
4 Looking for a sponsor Jean Edouard Criquioche - Anna Maria Renken 44°10.93'N 010°05.48'W 9.5 227 9.8 4631.6 12.4
5 Initiatives - Alex Olivier Tanguy de Lamotte - Jean Galfione 43°19.33'N 009°33.54'W 2.4 171 9.8 4642.5 23.3
6 Agir Recouvrement - Bureau Veritas Stéphane Le Diraison - Adrien Hardy 43°17.33'N 009°30.89'W 2.4 175 9.7 4644.0 24.7
7 Groupe Picoty Jacques Fournier - Jean-Christophe Caso 43°22.21'N 009°30.89'W 4.6 191 10 4645.0 25.8
8 Jack in the box Aloys Claquin - Ludovic Aglaor 43°20.35'N 009°30.10'W 3 158 9.5 4645.2 26.0
9 Géodis Fabrice Amedeo - Armel Tripon 43°20.42'N 009°29.74'W 3 157 10 4645.5 26.2
10 Eole Generation - GDF Suez Sébastien Rogues - Bertrand Delesne 43°25.52'N 009°20.67'W 2.7 208 9.6 4653.0 33.8
11 Transport Cohérence Benoît Parnaudeau - Benoît Jouandet 43°37.34'N 009°05.49'W 5.5 268 9.3 4666.3 47.0

The leader in the Solidaire du Chocolat has been changing regularly over the last 24 hours with Jorg Riechers and Marc Lepesqueux on mare ahead yesterday afternoon to the south of the fleet, followed by Stéphane Le Diraison and Adrien Hardy on S2 Agir Recouvrement - Bureau Veritas last night, then race favourites on in the early hours of this morning, before the wind died off Cape Finistere favouring the two boats that have remained offshore in the north, with the 2006 vintage Ker 40 Poëmes Bleus - Planète Insuline ahead at the latest sched.

So the pain has begun for the boats aiming to head south once they have passed the Cape with average speeds down to 2-5 knots and two boats - Geodis and Jack In The Box - actually showing minus figures for their VMG!

A significant issue with being becalmed off Cape Finistere is that there tends to be a huge amount of commercial traffic in this area and with no wind the Class40s will be struggling to manoeuvre. So we hope there are no calamities.

The forecast has the wind off the west coast of Spain/Portugal clocking through 360° today before it slowly builds from the north in the early hours of tomorrow morning, with more pressure immediately by the coast.

To date the race has only had one casualty when last night Jacques Fournier and JC Caso's Groupe Picoty collided with a submerged object damaging their port rudder. They have diverted to Bayona to see if they can effect repairs.

"A new race starts for us," reported Caso. "We were doing nearly 15 knots in a very dark night amid fishing boats, when we hit a UFO with our port rudder. The shock to the rudder was very violent and after looking at it with a torch, its leading edge is damaged by 20 cm high. This was sufficiently alarming for us to head for port to effect repairs.

"It is a blow to our ambitions in this race, but a very soft weather forecast for the entire fleet gives us hope that we can continue to play a role. So to action! Depending on the weather and to avoid being trapped with no wind at a bay, we are aiming for Bayona, at the entrance of Vigo Bay where we expect to be by Wednesday night. We will push until then to try to stay in the match. Although it will be hard, you stay motivated."




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