Solidaire du Chocolat - awaiting the next transition

Le Diraison and Hardy on the charge

Monday March 19th 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
          4 hr aver      
1 Mare Jörg Riechers - Marc Lepesqueux 34°10.72'N 032°35.52'W 12.1 260 3451.8 0.0
2 Agir Recouvrement - Bureau Veritas Stéphane Le Diraison - Adrien Hardy 32°35.03'N 031°40.76'W 12.6 257 3458.7 6.9
3 Yannick Bestaven - Eric Drouglazet 33°30.31'N 031°49.34'W 11.9 260 3471.7 19.9
4 Geodis Fabrice Amedeo - Armel Tripon 33°41.21'N 031°40.71'W 12.5 260 3482.4 30.6
5 Jack in the box Aloys Claquin - Ludovic Aglaor 33°06.99'N 031°10.34'W 10.9 250 3493.7 42.0
6 Eole Generation - GDF Suez Sébastien Rogues - Bertrand Delesne 32°37.01'N 030°45.92'W 12.5 262 3502.9 51.1
7 Initiatives - Alex Olivier Tanguy de Lamotte - Jean Galfione 32°48.71'N 029°50.75'W 10.9 245 3550.6 98.8
8 Poëmes Bleus - Planète Insuline Mathis Prochasson - Matthieu Galland 36°46.26'N 031°21.69'W 10 254 3571.3 119.6
9 Looking for a sponsor Jean Edouard Criquioche - Anna Maria Renken 33°55.23'N 029°42.12'W 11.3 253 3579.4 127.7
10 Transport Cohérence Benoît Parnaudeau - Benoît Jouandet 31°39.26'N 028°29.50'W 9.6 234 3595.7 143.9
11 Groupe Picoty Jacques Fournier - Jean-Christophe Caso 37°08.54'N 027°15.75'W 11.3 251 3760.1 308.3

Jorg Riechers and Marc Lepesqueux continue to hang on to their lead in the Class40's Solidaire du Chocolat aboard mare, but the Franco-German crew is far from having it all their own way. At present second placed Stéphane Le Diraison and Adrien Hardy on Agir Recouvrement-Bureau Veritas are on a charge, their average speed 0.5 knots faster than the leaders. Since yesterday evening they have taken 10 miles out of mare's advantage.

At present the boats are enjoying fast speeds to the southwest of the high currently centred over the Bay of Biscay, but with a 130 mile lateral split across the race course among the lead group - with mare furthest the north and Eole Generation - GDF Suez furthest south - so the latter group at present are broad reaching in more breeze, whereas mare is on a tighter reach.

For the crews all eyes are on the trough lying to their west and how they should best tackle this. Will north or south pay? At present it looks as though the trough is narrower for the northerly boats who should be able to make a faster passage through sooner.

Bringing up the rear Groupe Picoty successfully made her second pitstop in this race, last night pulling into Ponta Delgada in the Azores, this time to replace, rather than attempt repairing, their broken rudder. Their shore crew had flown in with a new rudder for their Pogo 40 S2. This they managed to install in just one hour, although their pitstop took three hours. Their set off again at 00:40 this morning.



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