La Solitaire du Figaro: Forging north
Following yesterday afternoon's leg 2 start out of Gijon, so overnight the 36-strong Solitaire du Figaro fleet has successfully crossed a ridge and is now into building southwesterlies with kites hoisted as they head for the next mark of the course - the Raz de Seine.
Positions at 0548 UTC
|4 hr aver|
|1||GENERALI||Nicolas Lunven||45 42.08' N||5 34.99' W||10.3||11||312.3||0|
|2||CERCLE VERT||Gildas Morvan||45 41.98' N||5 34.07' W||9.6||9||312.3||0|
|3||BERNARD CONTROLS||Jean-Pierre Nicol||45 40.25' N||5 34.93' W||10.5||351||314.1||1.8|
|4||NACARAT||Erwan Tabarly||45 40.13' N||5 35.28' W||10.1||9||314.3||2|
|5||GROUPE QUEGUINER / JOURNAL DES ENTREPRISES||Yann Elies||45 38.75' N||5 37.21' W||9.9||10||315.8||3.5|
|6||PRATI'BÛCHES||Vincent Biarnes||45 38.50' N||5 36.02' W||9.3||10||315.9||3.6|
|7||LA SOLIDARITE MUTUALISTE||Damien Guillou||45 38.02' N||5 35.25' W||10.1||9||316.4||4|
|8||BANQUE POPULAIRE||Jeanne Gregoire||45 37.93' N||5 34.37' W||10.1||10||316.4||4.1|
|9||GROUPE FIVA||Alexis Loison||45 37.72' N||5 36.24' W||9.4||13||316.7||4.4|
|10||GEDIMAT||Thierry Chabagny||45 37.49' N||5 35.24' W||9.8||12||316.9||4.6|
|11||SKIPPER MACIF 2011||Paul Meilhat||45 37.39' N||5 37.94' W||9.5||13||317.2||4.9|
|12||KEOPSYS||Charlie Dalin||45 37.22' N||5 36.36' W||9.3||13||317.2||4.9|
|13||VENDEE||Morgan Lagraviere||45 36.91' N||5 37.28' W||8.9||39||317.6||5.3|
|14||SKIPPER MACIF 2012||Fabien Delahaye||45 36.92' N||5 38.02' W||10.3||15||317.7||5.4|
|15||SEPALUMIC||Frederic Duthil||45 35.75' N||5 38.08' W||0||0||317.9||5.6|
|16||SKIPPER HERAULT||Xavier Macaire||45 35.44' N||5 35.26' W||9.4||18||318.9||6.6|
|17||ROFF||Francisco Lobato||45 33.74' N||5 41.53' W||0||0||319.9||7.6|
|18||SEIXO PROMOTION||Julien Villion||45 33.88' N||5 39.02' W||11.7||16||320.5||8.2|
|19||FINANCIERE DE L'ECHIQUIER||Thomas Normand||45 33.63' N||5 35.99' W||9.8||14||320.8||8.5|
|20||GALETTES SAINT-MICHEL||Isabelle Joschke||45 33.50' N||5 35.37' W||10.1||12||320.8||8.5|
|21||IN EXTENSO experts - comptables||Nicolas Jossier||45 33.55' N||5 38.35' W||10.5||10||321.1||8.8|
|22||ENTREPRENDRE LAFONT PRESSE||Matthieu Girolet||45 33.25' N||5 37.39' W||10||10||321.3||9|
|23||ARTEMIS 77||Nick Cherry||45 32.80' N||5 37.54' W||10.7||9||321.7||9.4|
|24||ONE NETWORK ENERGIES||Yannig Livory||45 32.23' N||5 35.60' W||9.7||13||322.1||9.8|
|25||GROUPE SNEF||Jean-Paul Mouren||45 31.30' N||5 37.44' W||9.4||14||323.2||10.9|
|26||JEHOL||Didier Bouillard||45 31.07' N||5 35.33' W||10.1||10||323.3||11|
|27||DLBC||Yoann Richomme||45 31.39' N||5 39.52' W||9.8||14||323.3||11|
|28||ARTEMIS 23||Sam Goodchild||45 31.25' N||5 39.13' W||10.4||13||323.4||11.1|
|29||AGIR RECOUVREMENT||Adrien Hardy||45 30.98' N||5 37.48' W||10.2||14||323.5||11.2|
|30||DESTINATION DUNKERQUE||Thomas Ruyant||45 30.81' N||5 39.49' W||9.9||16||323.9||11.6|
|31||BRETAGNE – CRÉDIT MUTUEL ESPOIR||Corentin Horeau||45 29.90' N||5 39.88' W||9||22||324.8||12.5|
|32||KICKERS||Sebastien Picault||45 28.85' N||5 40.57' W||9.9||13||325.9||13.6|
|33||VOYONS LARGE||Eric D'Hooghe||45 28.16' N||5 41.39' W||9.7||16||326.7||14.4|
|34||KRISTIN FOR FULLE SEIL||Kristin Songe Molle||45 26.72' N||5 39.52' W||0||0||327||14.6|
|35||BRITANIE COSMETIQUES||David Sineau||45 23.22' N||5 32.84' W||10||11||330.9||18.6|
|36||ARTEMIS 37||Henry Bomby||45 14.90' N||5 31.58' W||8.9||11||339.1||26.8|
|DNC||BRETAGNE CRÉDIT MUTUEL PERFORMANCE||Anthony Marchand|
Getting through the ridge which has been lurking around the Bay of Biscay for the last week was expected to be of vital importance prior the start of this second leg. Going into it yesterday afternoon so leader Gildas Morvan on Cercle Verte and Jean-Pierre Nicol on Bernard Controls set up furthest east with Portugal's Francesco Lobato on ROFF and Adrien Hardy on AGIR Recouvrement furthest west.
The ridge proved not to be completely without wind and the fleet made it through yesterday evening. With the unstable southwesterlies to the north of the ridge filling in, so spinnakers were hoisted at around 20-2100 UTC. As the wind has built, so speeds have built overnight, but the wind remain unstable both in direction and in strength, keeping the skippers on their toes and meaning that they can't leave the helm for long.
Since yesterday evening, the easterly right hand side of the course has paid for 2009 Solitaire winner Nicolas Lunven on Generali, who overhauled Gildas Morvan to pull into the lead. This morning, as the fleet has returned to being more of a procession, so Lunven and Morvan have coaxed out a 1.8 mile lead over those chasing.
The fruits of a sleep-free night have also paid off for overall leader Yann Elies on Groupe Queginer/Journal des Entrerpises who after his mid-fleet start has moved up to fifth place at the latest sched.
At present the leaders are approaching the half way mark of their Bay of Biscay crossing and the remainder of today is expected to be a boat speed fest, the skippers attempting to remain alert for the shifts as they fly north under spinnaker. Generally the wind is forecast to veer slightly as they approach the Raz.
Overnight the Brits have struggled. At the latest sched Nick Cherry on Artemis 77 leads in 23rd place with Sam Goodchild back in 28th. Henry Bomby dropped off the back of the fleet overnight as he attempted to solve a fault with his autopilot.
Earlier this morning Nicolas Lunven commented from Generali: "The first night at sea was not so bad. Yesterday afternoon, the fleet was quickly scattered across the course with plenty of lateral separation. So far we have always had wind to keep us moving. The option I chose and my position in the fleet has proved profitable enough. I hoisted the spinnaker at around 20-2100 [French time]. Currently there is 15-18 knots and we're downwind but slightly luffed. There are little rain squalls occasionally but visibility is good. It is a little choppy. I have been stuck on the helm with little respite and little sleep. I think we will spend much of today under spinnaker in 15 to 20 knots. We can use the pilot only very rarely because of the wind direction and because its relatively fickle so we will hav to remain vigilant ... "
From Skipper Macif 2012, Fabien Delahaye reported: "The wind gradually returned, but it's still irregular. Sometimes it was gusting to 20 knots then it softened to 12. So - be careful and stay busy! Since leaving I have only three or four catnaps of 10 minutes. And that is likely to continue since I have Fred Duthil beside me! We were positioned more to the west compared to the other pack led by Nico and Gildas. It's hard to know what will happen, they have slipped in front. We have about 170 miles to run to the Ile de Sein. To make gain we wil need to stay in the pressure and stay west. I hope that it will pay off ... For now we're on a broad reach."