Photos: Alexis Courcoux

Leg two victory for Morvan

La Solitaire du Figaro reaches St Gilles, as the Artemis skippers share their reactions

Wednesday July 4th 2012, Author: James Boyd, Location: none selected

Gildas Morvan scored the second significant French victory this week for a 'green' boat when he drove his Cercle Vert into Saint Gilles Croix de Vie in first place on leg two of la Solitaire du Figaro. Cercle Vert crossed the line at 21:58:28 UTC in a time of 2 days, 11 hours, 28 minutes and 28 seconds after the 451 miles of racing from Gijón in northern Spain.

Morvan led out of Gijón on Sunday but then spent most of the northerly crossing of the Bay of Biscay jockeying for the lead with 2009 Solitaire winner Nicolas Lunven on Generali. Morvan regained the lead from Lunven on Monday late afternoon but remained in contact until the end in a prolonged reaching race under spinnaker, finishing just 3 minutes and 17 seconds behind the 'green giant'.

Leg one winner Yann Elies on Groupe Queguiner - Journal des Entreprises was home in third, seven minutes behind Lunven, enough for him to retain the overall lead with a comfortable (in Figaro terms) cushion of just over 30 minutes on second placed Morgan Lagravière on Vendee. Lagravière, last year's rookie winner finished in 12th, 32 minutes after Morvan.

Morvan commented: "Starting from Gijon my goal was to put everything back in place after my bad first leg. I had to go on the attack and be aggressive from the outset - that was the main idea. I went across the ridge, with more wind and more speed. On Monday morning I could not get out in front of Lunven and I did not understand why, but then I discovered I had a bag across the keel which proved impossible to remove. I had to drop the spinnaker, back up before I could leave it behind. After that it was a fight. I managed to get back in the lead to the west of Sein and there I knew it was also a key point. I'm happy because I managed to carry on like that for almost all of the race. I was in shape on the last day because I slept well before and I really didn't want to let up, regularly checking on algae and plastic around the keel and the trim - you had to be on all of it to ensure you lost nothing and weren't caught. I have held off Nico Lunven and for me that's fabulous. The goal is to win the third stage and on that there will be plenty of things to do with currents in which to play."

Yann Elies commented: "I'm happy with third place because this time the situation was not the same once we got back into the Bay of Biscay. I was 4-5000m behind but had the opportunity to make progress down the coast, and I finished seven minutes behind Nicolas Lunven so it is not that bad.

But I'll have to improve my starts. For now that is not my strong point and it can play tricks on me. But I managed to salvage it each time. It's more complicated when you start to come back down the coast, where you have more opportunities. I slept well this afternoon. We had a long gybe across from where my backup driver could steer properly. I can feel well rested."

The Artemis Offshore Academy's Nick Cherry narrowly missed out on being first rookie on this leg, with Julien Villion on Seixo Promotion pipping him to the post. Team mate Sam Goodchild was first Brit home in 24th place, 1 hour and 16 minutes behind Morvan.

Nick Cherry commented on his arrival: “I started badly, did okay in the middle and then lost a few places at the end. It’s a bit frustrating, but I am happy with the overall result. I was the first rookie until the end when I let two past. It would have been good if I had finished first. I feel pretty tired and I have a lot to think about, where it went well and where it went badly. I am pleased to be in now.”

Henry Bomby added: “I feel very tired, I’ve used a lot of energy to get here and I am looking forward to going to bed. Tomorrow morning I will start sorting the boat out and looking towards leg three, but right now I am pretty tired. The race is a lot tougher than you think. A lot of people say it’s hard and you can only imagine how hard until you do it. It’s learning to overcome problems like this and not letting them turn into a big deal so you can overcome them and focus on the positive aspects and finish.”

Leg two finish times (French time)


Pos Boat Skipper Arrival time (Fr) Av spd
1 CERCLE VERT Gildas Morvan 03/07/2012 23:58 7.57
2 GENERALI Nicolas Lunven 04/07/2012 00:01 7.56
3 GROUPE QUEGUINER / JOURNAL DES ENTREPRISES Yann Elies 04/07/2012 00:08 7.55
4 NACARAT Erwan Tabarly 04/07/2012 00:14 7.53
5 GROUPE FIVA Alexis Loison 04/07/2012 00:18 7.53
6 BERNARD CONTROLS Jean-Pierre Nicol 04/07/2012 00:19 7.52
7 SKIPPER MACIF 2012 Fabien Delahaye 04/07/2012 00:22 7.52
8 GEDIMAT Thierry Chabagny 04/07/2012 00:25 7.51
9 PRATI'BÛCHES Vincent Biarnes 04/07/2012 00:27 7.51
10 SKIPPER HERAULT Xavier Macaire 04/07/2012 00:28 7.5
11 BANQUE POPULAIRE Jeanne Gregoire 04/07/2012 00:29 7.5
12 VENDEE Morgan Lagraviere 04/07/2012 00:30 7.5
13 SEPALUMIC Frederic Duthil 04/07/2012 00:30 7.5
14 SKIPPER MACIF 2011 Paul Meilhat 04/07/2012 00:34 7.49
15 LA SOLIDARITE MUTUALISTE Damien Guillou 04/07/2012 00:34 7.49
16 DLBC Yoann Richomme 04/07/2012 00:46 7.47
17 ROFF Francisco Lobato 04/07/2012 00:49 7.46
18 KEOPSYS Charlie Dalin 04/07/2012 00:55 7.45
19 GALETTES SAINT-MICHEL Isabelle Joschke 04/07/2012 00:56 7.45
20 DESTINATION DUNKERQUE Thomas Ruyant 04/07/2012 00:57 7.44
21 AGIR RECOUVREMENT Adrien Hardy 04/07/2012 00:58 7.44
22 IN EXTENSO experts - comptables Nicolas Jossier 04/07/2012 01:06 7.43
23 BRETAGNE – CRÉDIT MUTUEL ESPOIR Corentin Horeau 04/07/2012 01:12 7.41
24 ARTEMIS 23 Sam Goodchild 04/07/2012 01:14 7.41
25 SEIXO PROMOTION Julien Villion 04/07/2012 01:15 7.41
26 ARTEMIS 77 Nick Cherry 04/07/2012 01:15 7.41
27 ONE NETWORK ENERGIES Yannig Livory 04/07/2012 01:23 7.39
28 FINANCIERE DE L'ECHIQUIER Thomas Normand 04/07/2012 01:28 7.38
29 BRITANIE COSMETIQUES David Sineau 04/07/2012 01:30 7.38
30 GROUPE SNEF Jean-Paul Mouren 04/07/2012 01:30 7.38
31 JEHOL Didier Bouillard 04/07/2012 01:45 7.35
32 ENTREPRENDRE LAFONT PRESSE Matthieu Girolet 04/07/2012 01:48 7.34
33 KRISTIN FOR FULLE SEIL Kristin Songe Molle 04/07/2012 02:07 7.3
34 KICKERS Sebastien Picault 04/07/2012 02:23 7.27
35 VOYONS LARGE Eric D'Hooghe 04/07/2012 02:35 7.25
36 ARTEMIS 37 Henry Bomby 04/07/2012 02:43 7.23
37 BRETAGNE CRÉDIT MUTUEL PERFORMANCE Anthony Marchand 04/07/2012 10:43 6.41

Combined elapsed times for legs one and two

Pos Boat Skipper Leg 1 Leg 2 Overall 
1 Groupe Queguiner / Journal des entreprises Yann Elies 3d, 3h 9m 7s 2d, 11h 38m 53s 5d, 14h 48m 0s
2 VENDEE Morgan Lagravière 3d, 3h 18m 4s 2d, 12h 0m 13s 5d, 15h 18m 17s
3 GENERALI Nicolas Lunven 3d, 3h 46m 42s 2d, 11h 31m 45s 5d, 15h 18m 27s
4 SKIPPER MACIF 2012 Fabien Delahaye 3d, 3h 29m 26s 2d, 11h 52m 23s 5d, 15h 21m 49s
5 GEDIMAT Thierry Chabagny 3d, 3h 49m 27s 2d, 11h 55m 22s 5d, 15h 44m 49s
6 CERCLE VERT Gildas Morvan 3d, 4h 20m 19s 2d, 11h 28m 28s 5d, 15h 48m 47s
7 NACARAT Erwan Tabarly 3d, 4h 8m 17s 2d, 11h 44m 15s 5d, 15h 52m 32s
8 GROUPE FIVA Alexis Loison 3d, 4h 15m 20s 2d, 11h 48m 25s 5d, 16h 3m 45s
9 SKIPPER MACIF 2011 Paul Meilhat 3d, 4h 0m 38s 2d, 12h 4m 45s 5d, 16h 5m 23s
10 SEPALUMIC Frédéric Duthil 3d, 4h 9m 34s 2d, 12h 0m 58s 5d, 16h 10m 32s
11 SKIPPER HERAULT Xavier Macaire 3d, 4h 14m 31s 2d, 11h 58m 23s 5d, 16h 12m 54s
12 LA SOLIDARITÉ MUTUALISTE Damien Guillou 3d, 4h 12m 42s 2d, 12h 4m 50s 5d, 16h 17m 32s
13 BANQUE POPULAIRE Jeanne Grégoire 3d, 5h 3m 45s 2d, 11h 59m 17s 5d, 17h 3m 2s
14 IN EXTENSO experts comptables Nicolas Jossier 3d, 4h 37m 7s 2d, 12h 36m 49s 5d, 17h 13m 56s
15 KEOPSYS Charlie Dalin 3d, 5h 0m 47s 2d, 12h 25m 14s 5d, 17h 26m 1s
16 FINANCIÈRE DE L'ECHIQUIER Thomas Normand * 3d, 4h 37m 40s 2d, 12h 58m 6s 5d, 17h 35m 46s
17 DESTINATION DUNKERQUE Thomas Ruyant 3d, 5h 24m 36s 2d, 12h 27m 28s 5d, 17h 52m 4s
18 AGIR RECOUVREMENT Adrien Hardy 3d, 5h 33m 11s 2d, 12h 28m 18s 5d, 18h 1m 29s
19 SEIXO PROMOTION Julien Villion * 3d, 5h 19m 32s 2d, 12h 45m 36s 5d, 18h 5m 8s
20 DLBC Yoann Richomme 3d, 5h 50m 57s 2d, 12h 16m 53s 5d, 18h 7m 50s
21 GALETTES SAINT-MICHEL Isabelle Joschke 3d, 6h 0m 49s 2d, 12h 26m 7s 5d, 18h 26m 56s
22 PRATI'BÛCHES Vincent Biarnes 3d, 6h 29m 54s 2d, 11h 57m 20s 5d, 18h 27m 14s
23 BRETAGNE – CRÉDIT MUTUEL ESPOIR Corentin Horeau * 3d, 6h 6m 40s 2d, 12h 42m 43s 5d, 18h 49m 23s
24 ARTEMIS 77 Nick Cherry * 3d, 6h 55m 24s 2d, 12h 45m 53s 5d, 19h 41m 17s
25 ARTEMIS 23 Sam Goodchild 3d, 7h 1m 55s 2d, 12h 44m 51s 5d, 19h 46m 46s
26 ROFF Francisco Lobato 3d, 7h 33m 47s 2d, 12h 19m 53s 5d, 19h 53m 40s
27 BRITANIE COSMÉTIQUES David Sineau 3d, 7h 6m 44s 2d, 13h 0m 4s 5d, 20h 6m 48s
28 ENTREPRENDRE LAFONT PRESSE Matthieu Girolet 3d, 7h 39m 9s 2d, 13h 18m 59s 5d, 20h 58m 8s
29 JEHOL Didier Bouillard 3d, 8h 37m 8s 2d, 13h 15m 14s 5d, 21h 52m 22s
30 KICKERS Sebastien Picault 3d, 8h 6m 3s 2d, 13h 53m 4s 5d, 21h 59m 7s
31 ARTEMIS 37 Henry Bomby * 3d, 8h 36m 26s 2d, 14h 13m 34s 5d, 22h 50m 0s
32 KRISTIN FOR FULLE SEIL Kristin Songe Moller * 3d, 9h 22m 56s 2d, 13h 37m 57s 5d, 23h 0m 53s
33 ONE NETWORK ENERGIES Yannig Livory 3d, 10h 41m 16s 2d, 12h 53m 1s 5d, 23h 34m 17s
34 VOYONS LARGE Eric D'Hooghe 3d, 10h 2m 3s 2d, 14h 5m 34s 6d, 0h 7m 37s
35 BERNARD CONTROLS Jean-Pierre Nicol 3d, 12h 41m 16s 2d, 11h 49m 48s 6d, 0h 31m 4s
36 GROUPE SNEF Jean Paul Mouren 3d, 12h 41m 16s 2d, 13h 0m 38s 6d, 1h 41m 54s
37 BRETAGNE CRÉDIT MUTUEL PERFORMANCE Anthony Marchand 3d, 12h 41m 16s 2d, 22h 13m 34s 6d, 10h 54m 50s


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