mare pulls ahead

Solidaire du Chocolat Class40s heading out into the Atlantic proper

Wednesday March 14th 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 Crs DTF DTL
          4hr aver      
1 Mare Jörg Riechers - Marc Lepesqueux 41°19.83'N 013°06.69'W 8.6 243 4462.1 0.0
2 Poëmes Bleus - Planète Insuline Mathis Prochasson - Matthieu Galland 42°32.56'N 012°59.69'W 7.3 242 4484.9 22.8
3 Geodis Fabrice Amedeo - Armel Tripon 41°25.12'N 012°28.26'W 9 242 4491.4 29.3
4 Jack in the box Aloys Claquin - Ludovic Aglaor 41°02.71'N 012°03.76'W 9.2 238 4504.3 42.2
5 Agir Recouvrement - Bureau Veritas Stéphane Le Diraison - Adrien Hardy 40°53.12'N 011°59.80'W 8.7 233 4505.2 43.1
6 Yannick Bestaven - Eric Drouglazet 40°56.74'N 011°59.78'W 9 237 4506.0 43.9
7 Eole Generation - GDF Suez Sébastien Rogues - Bertrand Delesne 41°09.35'N 011°58.71'W 8.5 233 4509.5 47.4
8 Looking for a sponsor Jean Edouard Criquioche - Anna Maria Renken 41°33.40'N 012°05.14'W 8 234 4510.1 48.0
9 Initiatives - Alex Olivier Tanguy de Lamotte - Jean Galfione 41°01.07'N 011°53.84'W 8.8 237 4511.3 49.2
10 Transport Cohérence Benoît Parnaudeau - Benoît Jouandet 41°38.18'N 011°29.03'W 7.4 231 4537.5 75.4
11 Groupe Picoty Jacques Fournier - Jean-Christophe Caso 41°58.73'N 009°05.80'W 3.5 240 4646.2 184.1

The Class40s in the Solidaire du Chocolat have had a better 24 hours than the GRIBs were indicating yesterday. In particular Jorg Riechers and Marc Lepesqueux on their new Sam Manuard-designed Mach40 mare have managed to pull out a 23 mile lead. Yesterday morning at Cape Finisterre they were slightly further offshore than the rest of the fleet and managed to keep the breeze and as a result they were first to set off on a southwesterly course. They have since opened up a 29 mile lead over third placed Geodis while the main group of boats is some 50-60 miles to their ESE.

For mare, while this has gained them the lead, their current course seems quite dangerous as the forecasts are showing more breeze on the left side of the course, where the bulk of the fleet has positioned itself. While the German boat is sailing into a zone of high pressure, the southeasterly boats will benefit from a stronger northerly flow encouraged by the development of a small depression centred over Gibraltar to the Algarve later today. So it is probable that mare will gybe back to consolidate her lead at some point. 

At 0630 this morning Jacques Fournier and Jean-Christophe Caso on Groupe Picoty rejoined the race after stopping in Bayona to repair their damaged rudder. Their stopover lasted just three hours total - (the minimum allowed under the Sailing Instructions), where they carried out the work with the assistance of the Alexandro Montereal Yacht Club, employees at the Port of Bayona and Luis Guervós who organised the technical assistance.

Groupe Picoty arrived at 03:30 this morning, and was inclined using a halyard to lift the damaged rudder out of the water. JC Caso then proceeding to fix the rudder with fast setting epoxy paste after which the rudder was refaired and the boat returned to the horizontal.

"Although the profile of the rudder is not perfect, it should work," Fournier wrote this morning. "Now the hunt is on! The first competitor is now 100 miles way... A huge thank you Alexandro and his colleagues of the port of Bayona and to Luis Guervós."






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