Elies into the lead of La Solitaire du Figaro

As Nick Cherry holds seventh as front runners approach the Chenal du Four

Monday June 25th 2012, Author: James Boyd, Location: France

The first night at sea in La Solitaire du Figaro’s opening leg from Paimpol to Gijon has proved immensely challenging for the 37 solo sailors as they struggle to make headway west in the light winds and strong tides along the north coast of Brittany.

Late yesterday afternoon between Brehat and Les Sept Iles, the fleet had divided into three groups with the bulk, including early leader Gildas Morvan on Cercle Verte, tacking back to land ready for the adverse tide change, another group - led by Adrien Hardy on AGIR Recouvrement and Portugal’s Francisco Lobato on ROFF - leaving the tack inshore until later, and two boats – Jean-Pierre Nicol on Bernard Controls and Didier Bouillard on Jehol - taking an extreme offshore option in search of more pressure.

After spending the early evening rock hopping off Perros Guirec, the former group came out on top with race favourite Yann Elies on Groupe Queguiner/Journal des enterprises edging into the lead just ahead of Erwan Tabarly on Nacarat and Yoann Richomme on DLBC. The middle group lost out after they struggled with the tide off Les Sept Iles and ended up having to pay the price as they converged with the southerly group.

To avoid the worst of the adverse tide, the fleet again dived inshore into the bay to the east of Roscoff and as they passed Roscoff, at around 2330 UTC, Elies was still leading from Erwan Tabarly and 2011’s top rookie Morgan Lagraviere on Vendee.

With the tide turning in their favour in the early hours, the boats continued to beat west but more offshore, leaving Ile de Batz to port, all the boats heading inshore once again at around 0300 UTC when the tide once again turned foul. Leader Yann Elies didn’t stay as far inshore as Morgan Lagraviere and Fabien Delahaye on Skipper MACIF 2012, who momentarily edged the Solitaire legend into third place, but since converging with the two youngsters, Elies is back in front at the latest sched.

"The start did not go as I wanted, I made a lot of errors,” admitted Yann Elies this morning. “But I have gone to great lengths to return to the top of the fleet. Certainly there was a little luck involved, but I managed to find more wind than others and to make more headway.”

The front trio has opened up a lead of almost one mile over the chasing pack as they begin their slow turn to port, following the coast around into the notorious Chenal du Four, between the island of Ushant and the northwesternmost tip of mainland France.

The boats have made better progress than was expected when they left yesterday when most were predicting an ETA at the Chenal du Four not before lunchtime today.

Among the non-French competitors, Artemis Offshore Academy skipper Nick Cherry continues to show the way, presently seventh and just over a mile behind the leaders, alongside former Mini sailor Xavier Macaire on Skipper Herault and Damien Guillou on La Solidarite Mutualiste.

Fellow Artemis Offshore Academy sailors Sam Goodchild and Henry Bomby lie in 23rd and 28th respectively, 3.7 and 5.1 miles off the lead.

Portugal’s Francisco Lobato who made such a strong start yesterda, has dropped back to 26th losing out majorly as part of the group that tacked back inshore too late yesterday evening. Norwegian rookie Kristin Songe Moller is bringing up the rear of La Solitaire du Figaro fleet, 10 miles off the lead.

Positions at 0548:

Pos Boat Crew Lat Long Spd Crs DTF DTL
          4hr aver      
1 SKIPPER MACIF 2012 Fabien Delahaye 48 38.00' N 4 36.20' W 3.8 250 365.4 0
2 GROUPE QUEGUINER / JOURNAL DES ENTREPRISES Yann Elies 48 37.92' N 4 36.07' W 1.8 212 365.4 0.1
3 VENDEE Morgan Lagraviere 48 37.92' N 4 35.93' W 2.1 158 365.5 0.2
4 IN EXTENSO experts - comptables Nicolas Jossier 48 38.32' N 4 35.02' W 5 246 366.2 0.8
5 GENERALI Nicolas Lunven 48 38.35' N 4 34.85' W 4.8 246 366.3 0.9
6 SKIPPER HERAULT Xavier Macaire 48 38.50' N 4 34.44' W 4.4 257 366.6 1.2
7 ARTEMIS 77 Nick Cherry 48 38.51' N 4 34.37' W 4.9 259 366.7 1.3
8 LA SOLIDARITE MUTUALISTE Damien Guillou 48 38.54' N 4 34.24' W 4.8 257 366.7 1.4
9 DLBC Yoann Richomme 48 38.59' N 4 33.80' W 4.9 240 367 1.7
10 DESTINATION DUNKERQUE Thomas Ruyant 48 38.66' N 4 33.70' W 4.4 232 367.1 1.8
11 PRATI'BÛCHES Vincent Biarnes 48 38.67' N 4 33.58' W 4.1 234 367.2 1.8
12 SEPALUMIC Frederic Duthil 48 38.69' N 4 33.42' W 4.6 232 367.3 1.9
13 BRETAGNE – CRÉDIT MUTUEL ESPOIR Corentin Horeau 48 38.79' N 4 33.21' W 4.3 233 367.5 2.1
14 SKIPPER MACIF 2011 Paul Meilhat 48 38.86' N 4 33.13' W 4.1 238 367.5 2.2
15 NACARAT Erwan Tabarly 48 39.04' N 4 32.97' W 3.8 238 367.7 2.3
16 CERCLE VERT Gildas Morvan 48 39.17' N 4 32.58' W 3.6 245 368 2.6
17 FINANCIERE DE L'ECHIQUIER Thomas Normand 48 39.26' N 4 31.91' W 1.9 232 368.4 3.1
18 BRITANIE COSMETIQUES David Sineau 48 39.70' N 4 31.35' W 0 0 368.5 3.1
19 GEDIMAT Thierry Chabagny 48 39.34' N 4 31.57' W 3.1 200 368.7 3.3
20 KEOPSYS Charlie Dalin 48 39.34' N 4 31.36' W 3.2 200 368.8 3.4
21 GROUPE FIVA Alexis Loison 48 39.85' N 4 30.86' W 0 0 368.9 3.5
22 SEIXO PROMOTION Julien Villion 48 39.78' N 4 31.07' W 3.7 263 369.1 3.7
23 ARTEMIS 23 Sam Goodchild 48 39.41' N 4 30.82' W 3.1 249 369.1 3.8
24 BANQUE POPULAIRE Jeanne Gregoire 48 39.65' N 4 30.66' W 3.2 256 369.3 3.9
25 AGIR RECOUVREMENT Adrien Hardy 48 39.65' N 4 30.10' W 3 271 369.7 4.3
26 ROFF Francisco Lobato 48 39.77' N 4 29.50' W 3.1 268 370.1 4.7
27 BRETAGNE CRÉDIT MUTUEL PERFORMANCE Anthony Marchand 48 40.08' N 4 29.27' W 2.4 274 370.3 5
28 ARTEMIS 37 Henry Bomby 48 40.18' N 4 29.07' W 2.4 283 370.5 5.1
29 ENTREPRENDRE LAFONT PRESSE Matthieu Girolet 48 40.16' N 4 28.88' W 2.1 285 370.6 5.2
30 GALETTES SAINT-MICHEL Isabelle Joschke 48 40.13' N 4 28.68' W 1.8 282 370.7 5.3
31 BERNARD CONTROLS Jean-Pierre Nicol 48 45.02' N 4 31.99' W 1.1 326 371.2 5.8
32 GROUPE SNEF Jean-Paul Mouren 48 40.21' N 4 26.92' W 1.9 266 371.8 6.5
33 VOYONS LARGE Eric D'Hooghe 48 40.57' N 4 25.33' W 2.9 260 373 7.6
34 JEHOL Didier Bouillard 48 40.54' N 4 25.19' W 3.1 263 373 7.7
35 ONE NETWORK ENERGIES Yannig Livory 48 40.64' N 4 24.95' W 2.9 271 373.2 7.8
36 KICKERS Sebastien Picault 48 40.58' N 4 24.91' W 2.9 265 373.2 7.9
37 KRISTIN FOR FULLE SEIL Kristin Songe Molle 48 41.36' N 4 21.73' W 3 260 375.5 10.1

 

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