Victory for Cercle Verte
Second at the turning mark off the Canaries behind Nacarat, Morvan and Dalin maintained a bold northerly route across the Atlantic, despite their proximity to a giant area of high pressure that forced the fleet on a dramatic route south. As the fleet converged over the last few days so Cercle Verte in textbook style edged across to cover their opponents and despite a costly gybe WSW that allowed the ever-present Nacarat to close to within 20 miles of them, Cercle Verte managed to hold the lead through the Caribbean to the finish.
On finish burly Gildas Morvan commented: "The arrival in St. Barts is always a magical moment for sailors, especially during the day on a Sunday. The Atlantic crossing was sometimes hard, sometimes pleasant. The Transat AG2R La Mondiale is a long race - a little over 22 days at sea. So the arrival here is a great reward. Our first place is greatly satisfying. Charlie and I, we're happy to have done a good job and sailed well, consistent with what we wanted. We entertained ourselves from start to finish. We were a little more aggressive than Nacarat shifting further west in the 5-6 hours after the turning mark. Our gap then widened laterally. Then it was down to differences in wind angle and pressure. He made the mistake of wanting to control the fleet and should have been more wary of us!"
Charlie Dalin added: "We made the right choices and that is why we arrived at the top. We always had confidence in our route and it paid off. We used the pilot very little. We worked hard, but it paid off! We realised that if we watched our opponents too much, whenever there some tactical strategy, it didn't work out. We gained confidence in our choices and saw they were good. This Transat AG2R La Mondiale was a great experience for me and I thank Gildas for having me on board."
An hour and a half later, Cercle Verte was followed in by Erwan Tabarly and Eric Peron on Nacarat taking second and then by Jeanne Gregoire and Gerald Veniard on Banque Populaire. Sam Goodchild and Nick Cherry aboard Artemis ended up coming home in 12th in the 16 strong fleet, having dropped a few places in the closing stage of the race after breaking their forestay.
|Pos||Boat||Crew||Finish time (FR)||Av spd|
|1||CERCLE VERT||Gildas Morvan - Charlie Dalin||13/05/2012 21:55||7.25|
|2||NACARAT||Erwan Tabarly - Eric Peron||13/05/2012 23:10||7.23|
|3||BANQUE POPULAIRE||Jeanne Gregoire - Gérald Veniard||14/05/2012 00:37||7.21|
|4||MACIF||Paul Meilhat - Fabien Delahaye||14/05/2012 00:39||7.21|
|5||BRETAGNE CREDIT MUTUEL PERFORMANCE||Anthony Marchand - Romain Attanasio||14/05/2012 01:42||7.19|
|6||GEDIMAT||Thierry Chabagny - Christopher Pratt||14/05/2012 02:01||7.19|
|7||SEPALUMIC||Frederic Duthil - Francois Lebourdais||14/05/2012 03:09||7.18|
|8||EDM / PAYS BASQUE ENTREPRISES||Amaiur Alfaro - Christophe Lebas||14/05/2012 03:33||7.17|
|9||LES RECYCLEURS BRETONS||Michel Bothuon - Simon Troel||14/05/2012 03:42||7.17|
|10||CORNOUAILLE PORT DE PECHE||Jean-Charles Monnet - Alexandre Toulorge||14/05/2012 03:43||7.17|
|11||GAES||Anna Corbella - Gérard Marin||14/05/2012 03:57||7.16|
|12||ARTEMIS||Sam Goodchild - Nick Cherry||14/05/2012 04:59||7.15|
|13||LA SOLIDARITE MUTUALISTE||Damien Guillou - Ronan Treussard||14/05/2012 06:26||7.13|