Transat AG2R: Closing on Cercle Verte

Less than 1000 miles to go now for the race leaders

Wednesday May 9th 2012, Author: James Boyd, Location: none selected

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

Positions at 0930 UTC:

Pos Boat Crew Lat Long Spd Crs Spd Dist DTF DTL
          4 hr aver   24 hours      
1 CERCLE VERT Gildas Morvan - Charlie Dalin 14 09.28' N 47 29.41' W 6.1 271 6.4 152.7 917.9 0
2 NACARAT Erwan Tabarly - Eric Peron 13 35.09' N 47 10.91' W 6.3 293 7.1 169.5 945.2 27.3
3 BANQUE POPULAIRE Jeanne Gregoire - Gérald Veniard 14 04.04' N 46 49.14' W 6.1 301 7 168.8 956.9 39
4 BRETAGNE CREDIT MUTUEL PERFORMANCE Anthony Marchand - Romain Attanasio 13 59.20' N 46 45.86' W 6.2 302 6.9 166 961.3 43.4
5 MACIF Paul Meilhat - Fabien Delahaye 13 31.61' N 46 51.68' W 6.1 279 7.4 177.8 964 46.1
6 CORNOUAILLE PORT DE PECHE Jean-Charles Monnet - Alexandre Toulorge 14 25.84' N 46 34.60' W 6.2 296 6.6 157.8 964.6 46.7
7 LES RECYCLEURS BRETONS Michel Bothuon - Simon Troel 14 34.31' N 46 30.66' W 5.8 271 7.1 169.4 966.2 48.3
8 GEDIMAT Thierry Chabagny - Christopher Pratt 13 07.46' N 46 45.37' W 6.9 301 7.2 173.5 977.6 59.7
9 ARTEMIS Sam Goodchild - Nick Cherry 13 45.93' N 46 26.79' W 5.9 297 7.2 172.7 982.8 64.9
10 SEPALUMIC Frederic Duthil - Francois Lebourdais 12 52.03' N 46 23.73' W 7.2 300 7.6 182.5 1002.6 84.7
11 GAES Anna Corbella - Gérard Marin 12 32.25' N 46 17.90' W 6.7 292 6.8 163.3 1014.8 96.9
12 LA SOLIDARITE MUTUALISTE Damien Guillou - Ronan Treussard 12 44.07' N 46 00.14' W 5.9 281 6.2 149.5 1026.9 109
13 EDM / PAYS BASQUE ENTREPRISES Amaiur Alfaro - Christophe Lebas 11 56.60' N 45 54.85' W 6.6 284 7.2 172.2 1048.8 130.9
14 ONE NETWORK ENERGIES Yannig Livory - Guillaume Farsy 13 23.22' N 45 01.72' W 6.2 291 7.5 178.9 1068.5 150.6
15 ARMOR-LUX / PERE LOUSTIC / CLOWN A L'HOPITAL Germain Kerleveo - Jean-Sebastien Henry 13 31.51' N 43 22.22' W 4.5 285 6.6 159.2 1159 241.1
16 HOTEL EMERAUDE PLAGE SAINT-BARTHELEMY Louis-Maurice Tannyeres - Joanna Tannyeres 13 24.29' N 41 04.21' W 5 270 6.1 150.6 1290.3 372.5

The drag race northwest towards the St Barts finish line is now well underway with less than 1000 miles to go for the leaders of the Transat AG2R La Mondiale.

Race leaders Gildas Morvan and Charlie Dalin as sailing tactically - for the first time in what seems like an age they are no longer the most northerly boat in the fleet and have chosen to converge with their no1 threat - Erwan Tabarly and Eric Peron on Nacarat. Two days ago Cercle Verte was 80 miles north of Nacarat, now they are half this distance. This has led to a compression in the leaderboard with Cercle Verte's lead over Nacarat down from 44 miles 24 hours ago to 27 at the latest sched. This north-south split does seem to be making a difference in terms of boat speed due to the proximity of the high that still remains to their northeast - the more southerly boats have managed to cover 15-20 miles more than Cercle Verte in the last 24 hours.

Sam Goodchild and Nick Cherry aboard Artemis are now into 9th place, 64 miles off the lead and have repositioned themselves north - hopefully not too far - so they are now following a route towards St Barts closer to that of Cercle Verte than Nacarat.

Gildas Morvan reported: "There are still a lot of wind shifts - sometimes up to 30° and its strength is not very stable either. So we continue to try and exploit these variations. We have closed the gap laterally with Nacarat. It is possible that we might realign some more but I did not really want to talk about that too much..."

"We can not wait for the wind strength to stabilise, and we hope it will strengthen tonight, which would will be favorable for us. Now we are in the same weather pattern as the others. We are sailing our best course and if we can still tighten up a bit laterally with Nacarat without too losing our lead, that would be nice.

"Yesterday, we opened the foie gras to celebrate the 1000 miles to go mark and we enjoyed some delicious Moroccan chicken. Food is our business with Cercle Verte, so it's important on board. If Charlie and I arrive in St Barth emaciated, we risk having problems with our sponsor! Anyway, Charlie, is not bored, we celebrate on the water - it is interesting and fun. We cannot wait to get to St. Barth, but we are happy to be where we are."

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