Photo: Alexis Courcoux

Transat Brest-Martinique preview

Eliès stands down to let Anthony Marchand win the prologue

Tuesday March 12th 2013, Author: James Boyd, Location: France

15 singlehanded Figaro sailors are due to set sail on the Transat Bretagne-Martinique this Sunday. The course will take the boats from Brest, on the northwest corner of France across the Atlantic to Port de Prince on the French Caribbean island.

This weekend the boats competed in the 8.5 mile long Prologue AG2R La Mondial. This warm-up race started at 1400 local, with last year's Solitaire winner, Yann Eliès, got away strongly at the front of the fleet ahead of Gildas Morvan on Cercle Vert and Yoann Richomme. Several skippers were over early including Frédéric Duthil, Erwan Tabarly and Adrien Hardy. Eventualy it was won by Anthony Marchand on Bretagne - Crédit Mutuel Performance ahead of Yann Eliès on Groupe Quéguiner - Leucémie Espoir and Yoann Richomme's DLBC - Module Création, after Eliès chose to slow up and not to win the Prologue (for reasons of superstition).

Anthony Marchand commented: "The castle lends itself well to getting these races close to the public. Usually we're at sea and people just get to see images on the internet, and this is difficult to visualise.

"I suspect Yann letting me win was in order not to have bad luck during the Transat. But I am not superstitious. As was the case with Gildas Morvan in 2009 when he won the prologue and then the Transat, I hope it will be the same for me."

Yann Eliès came home second and agreed with Marchand. "It's nice to sail close to the public, especially in my case as it is a little nostalgic - I studied sailing here in 420s and I must have crossed the Rade de I crossed thousands of times, under spinnaker, under genoa, etc. It is great to return to this beautiful harbor. It is important to know the area, because it is quite complicated but there are some locals the race, like Gildas..." Interestingly Eliès says that winning this Transat is his main objective for this season.

Over the course of this week the boats will continue to go through scrutineering in the lead-up to the start on Sunday at 1300 local time.

AG2R La Mondiale Prologue results:

1. Anthony MARCHAND on Bretagne - Crédit Mutuel Performance
2. Yann ELIES on Groupe Queguiner – Leucémie Espoir
3. Yoann RICHOMME on DLBC – Module Création
4. Corentin HOREAU on Bretagne - Crédit Mutuel Espoir
5. Gildas MORVAN on Cercle Vert
6. Thierry CHABAGNY on Gedimat
7. Damien GUILLOU on La Solidarité Mutualiste
8. Fabien DELAHAYE on Skipper Macif 2012
9. Adrien HARDY on Agir Recouvrement
10. Frédéric DUTHIL on Sepalumic
11. Simon TROEL on Les Recycleurs Bretons
12. Erwan TABARLY on Armor Lux – Comptoir de la mer
13. Eric BARAY on Tektôn – AGM / Région Martinique
14. Arnaud GODART PHILIPPE on Régates Sénonaises
15. Kristin SONGE-MOLLER on Sponsor Me



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