Transat AG2R: Passing Madeira

Cercle Verte pulls into the lead

Friday April 27th 2012, Author: James Boyd, Location: none selected

Chart courtesy of Expedition/Tasman Bay Navigation Systems and GRIB (European model) from PredictWind

Positions at 0930 UTC:

Pos Boat Crew Lat Long Spd Crs Spd2 Dist DTF DTL
          4 hr aver   24 hours      
1 CERCLE VERT Gildas Morvan - Charlie Dalin 32 25.91' N 16 12.21' W 7.1 219 7.6 182.8 2774.2 0
2 NACARAT Erwan Tabarly - Eric Peron 32 19.49' N 15 55.66' W 7 234 7.4 177.4 2774.4 0.1
3 MACIF Paul Meilhat - Fabien Delahaye 32 25.79' N 15 54.43' W 6.8 222 7.6 182.1 2780.4 6.2
4 BRETAGNE CRÉDIT MUTUEL PERFORMANCE Anthony Marchand - Romain Attanasio 32 25.88' N 15 52.81' W 6.6 221 7.7 183.7 2781.1 6.9
5 GEDIMAT Thierry Chabagny - Christopher Pratt 32 26.39' N 15 54.01' W 6.8 222 7.5 181.1 2781.1 6.9
6 SEPALUMIC Fréderic Duthil - Francois Lebourdais 32 25.72' N 15 43.85' W 6.5 231 7.2 176.4 2784.5 10.3
7 BANQUE POPULAIRE Jeanne Gregoire - Gérald Veniard 32 25.99' N 15 44.35' W 6.4 228 7.3 174.6 2784.6 10.3
8 ARTEMIS Sam Goodchild - Nick Cherry 32 39.71' N 16 02.99' W 6.7 226 7.5 180 2790 15.7
9 LES RECYCLEURS BRETONS Michel Bothuon - Simon Troel 32 47.34' N 16 09.99' W 6.8 222 7.7 188.4 2794.8 20.5
10 CORNOUAILLE PORT DE PECHE Jean-Charles Monnet - Alexandre Toulorge 32 39.30' N 15 40.32' W 6.6 228 7.6 181.6 2797.9 23.7
11 LA SOLIDARITÉ MUTUALISTE Damien Guillou - Ronan Treussard 32 44.24' N 15 40.04' W 6.2 225 7.6 182.3 2802.4 28.1
12 GAES Anna Corbella - Gérard Marin 32 46.36' N 15 28.67' W 6.4 230 7.4 177.7 2808.8 34.5
13 EDM / PAYS BASQUE ENTREPRISES Amaiur Alfaro - Christophe Lebas 32 52.54' N 15 14.86' W 6.5 229 7.1 174.3 2819.9 45.7
14 ONE NETWORK ENERGIES Yannig Livory - Guillaume Farsy 33 16.36' N 14 41.54' W 7 224 6.7 161.6 2854.9 80.7
15 ARMOR-LUX / PERE LOUSTIC / CLOWN A L'HOPITAL Germain Kerleveo - Jean-Sébastien Henry 33 24.73' N 13 44.95' W 6 217 6.4 160.9 2889.8 115.6
16 HOTEL EMERAUDE PLAGE SAINT-BARTHELEMY Louis-Maurice Tannyeres - Joanna Tannyeres 35 04.55' N 13 11.33' W 6 228 4.4 106.1 2986.4 212.1

After almost six days of sailing only 10.3 miles separate the top seven boats in the Figaro class' doublehanded Transat AG2R. However this has come about following some overnight compression - at the last sched yesterday there was 16.5 miles between first and seventh.

At present the boats are passing Madeira which all have chosen to leave to starboard. With the wind in the NNW, so they may feel the effects of some wind shadow from the island.

At the latest sched Gildas Morvan and Charlie Dalin on Cercle Verte has pulled into the lead. Cercle Verte is closest to Madeira, 30 miles away while race leader up until the latest sched, Nacarat, is furthest away from the islands with Sepalumic and Banque Populaire directly astern of her with and the trio of Gedimat, Skipper MACIF and Bretagne Credit Mutuel Performance in between.

For Cercle Verte there is still 224 miles before she reaches the turning mark to the north of Las Palmas. The leaders are expected to reach the turning mark late tomorrow afternoon.

In eight place the Artemis Offshore Academy's Sam Goodchild and Nick Cherry are holding their own in eighth, following a similar route south to Cercle Verte.

Sam Goodchild reported: 

Yesterday afternoon we finally got some relief from the constant 'fire hydrant' walls of water that had been occupying above deck for the first 4 days. Last night and today have presented their own problems but, atleast we have been able to dry out the boat and ourselves (especially our feet) for the first time, being able to go on deck with out having to fully kit up is quite a luxary. Not to mention the rest of the boat that was prety thouroughly soaked by that stage as well.

With this calming down we have had a bit of time to reflect on the last couple weeks and the buid up to the start. Not like normal, the week before the start was very relaxed and we were able to go through all our supplies and fine tune them as much as possible and, so far we havent encountered too many unsolvable problems.(touch wood) We potenitally have brought too much food and water but, for the first week the extra weight is a good thing and once we get past the Canaries we can re assess and eat faster and drop some water off. We'd prefer to have it this way than looking for rain clouds and trying to eating flying fish.

Our 2 concerning problems so far arehave been; yesterday afternoon, after getting bit keen in a spinnaker manouvre, the sail fell in the water and bent a stanchion as it filled with water and washed down thw side od the boat. By some sort of miracle, the sail stayed in one piece and thankfully the stanchion, albeit wonky, is in the same place and the boat isnt leaking. Weve lashed it in place in place as a safety concern and that should see us to the finish. The other that has been causing some greif is a chafing halyard, in it self this isnt a problem but, if it were to break, then our performance would definately suffer. Until now we have been loosing a small amount of distance at every sail change in order to save the damaed halyard but, yesterday eveing as the weather calmed down, we were able to reinforce it and are back in action now.

as far as the race has gone, we are a bit disspointed to have lost a few miles to the leading back, which has mainly been due to an accumulation of small tactical and boat speed errors. The main thing that stands out about thi race to me is that,compared to any of the other ocean raing i have done, this is at a much higher tempo, there is no room for error and every small mistake is punished. You cant even afford to leave the helm when it is your watch otherwise you'll immediately see another boat going faster than you. Its relentless and never stops. You really think twice about how you spend your time. In the back of our heads is also that is is the course of most of the other single handed transats and the first few days of the vendee globe. Its very interesting to think what changes and by how much? Where are the compromises made to keep the boat going quickly and in one piece? Well we've got atleast 2 weeks and 3000miles to think about it.

All for now


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