Transat AG2R: Still heading for Brazil...
Positions at 0930 UTC:
|4 hr aver||24 hours|
|1||CERCLE VERT||Gildas Morvan - Charlie Dalin||14 17.74' N||41 58.99' W||6.3||243||5.7||137.7||1225.8||0|
|2||NACARAT||Erwan Tabarly - Eric Peron||12 59.32' N||41 33.70' W||6.1||240||5.2||124.3||1269.4||43.6|
|3||CORNOUAILLE PORT DE PECHE||Jean-Charles Monnet - Alexandre Toulorge||14 25.04' N||41 03.95' W||7||244||5.6||134.9||1276.2||50.4|
|4||BANQUE POPULAIRE||Jeanne Gregoire - Gérald Veniard||13 24.38' N||41 14.43' W||6.1||246||5.6||134.7||1280.7||54.9|
|5||BRETAGNE CREDIT MUTUEL PERFORMANCE||Anthony Marchand - Romain Attanasio||13 24.44' N||41 14.09' W||6.1||246||5.8||138.5||1281||55.2|
|6||MACIF||Paul Meilhat - Fabien Delahaye||13 03.01' N||41 16.92' W||6.9||245||5.4||128.6||1284.1||58.3|
|7||LES RECYCLEURS BRETONS||Michel Bothuon - Simon Troel||14 01.15' N||41 00.46' W||6.6||245||5.5||131.4||1284.8||59|
|8||LA SOLIDARITE MUTUALISTE||Damien Guillou - Ronan Treussard||13 35.81' N||40 42.97' W||6.7||254||5.6||134.2||1307.4||81.6|
|9||GEDIMAT||Thierry Chabagny - Christopher Pratt||12 34.42' N||41 00.11' W||6.7||245||5.4||128.6||1307.9||82.2|
|10||ARTEMIS||Sam Goodchild - Nick Cherry||12 54.51' N||40 43.43' W||7||245||5.2||123.7||1317.8||92|
|11||GAES||Anna Corbella - Gérard Marin||12 37.51' N||40 44.35' W||7.1||245||4.9||116.6||1321.8||96|
|12||SEPALUMIC||Frederic Duthil - Francois Lebourdais||11 56.37' N||40 36.20' W||7.3||237||4.4||107.8||1341.7||115.9|
|13||EDM / PAYS BASQUE ENTREPRISES||Amaiur Alfaro - Christophe Lebas||12 22.39' N||40 15.77' W||7||236||4.6||109.6||1352.9||127.1|
|14||ONE NETWORK ENERGIES||Yannig Livory - Guillaume Farsy||12 42.93' N||39 25.53' W||7||228||4.6||109.6||1394||168.2|
|15||ARMOR-LUX / PERE LOUSTIC / CLOWN A L'HOPITAL||Germain Kerleveo - Jean-Sebastien Henry||13 19.72' N||37 53.08' W||5.9||239||5.9||142.4||1471.5||245.7|
|16||HOTEL EMERAUDE PLAGE SAINT-BARTHELEMY||Louis-Maurice Tannyeres - Joanna Tannyeres||14 01.07' N||35 40.21' W||6.4||229||5.6||134.6||1587.9||362.1|
Very impressive - now two thirds of the way across the Atlantic, the Transat AG2R fleet are still unable to point their bows at the St Barts finish line and are continuing southwest in the direct of Guyana.
Gildas Morvan and Charlie Dalin on Cercle Verte continue to hold the most northerly berth and as a result the lead, with Fred Duthill and Francois Lebourdais on Sepalumic, the most southerly, 163 miles SSE of the leader at the latest sched with the ever present Nacarat, possibly the real race leader, now equidistant between the two.
As the boat speed figures show, the boats in the south are enjoying better breeze with Sepalumic the fastest boat in the fleet making 7.3 knots, a knot faster than Cercle Verte. Sam Goodchild and Nick Cherry aboard Artemis are in the more southerly group.
The wind continues to be light to the north, most of the way to St Barts and while there is fighting talk of gybing north today, there is a strong case for continuing southwest for at least another day.
"We have a small problem on board - there was no milk for cornflakes!" quipped Gildas Morvan this morning. "Charlie is not happy. Well luckily we have a plan B: the buns with apricot jam! We have a little more wind than was forecast on the models - about 15 knots. We are as fast and as low as Banque Populaire, CMP and Nacarat. With each new sched you realise that you have gained a few extra miles in terms of distance to the finish. We are wedged between the finish line and the rest of the fleet. We're pretty happy with our option and while are confident we are not totally reassured ... We'll see in 24 hours. We had 8-10 knots early in the night and then it built. So we hope that bodes well for us. We can not wait for the next 24 hours to see what will happen to us and if our choice proves positive. We still have quite a few areas of light winds to cross the ridge with a few gybes to perform."
From on board Nacarat Erwan Tabarly reported: "Everything is fine on board. The wind has dropped a little, we are still under spinnaker, the sea was flat tonight and it's really nice! We do not need to use the lights because the moon is bright and the nights are fantastic. We have 12 knots of wind average but that is easing off occasionally to 9 knots. Today will be quite decisive for the Transat AG2R La Mondiale and could dictate the coming days. The wind will soften and at some point we will have to turn towards St Barth. The trick is knowing where to do that. If Cercle Verte continues their northerly route, they should have less wind and we can recover miles at that time. But even if we stay south, we will inevitably move closer to the ridge. Each has chosen his position, Cercle Verte is closer to the ridge, but will be sailing a shorter course than us. So we have to be a bit faster if we hope to recover the miles we have invested over for several days. Conditions are nicer at night than day. The days are really hot."