Downhill across the Bay of Biscay
Paul Meilhat skipper of Skipper MACIF 2011 continues to lead the opening leg of this year's Solitaire du Figaro Eric Bompard cashmere, but who is now more or less neck and neck with him in terms of DTF? None other than three time winner of this event, Michel Desjoyeaux and TBS.
Positions at 0700 UTC
|2 hour aver|
|1||SKIPPER MACIF 2011||Paul Meilhat||45 13.43' N||3 54.42' W||8.5||266||385.9|
|2||TBS||Michel Desjoyeaux||45 13.07' N||3 54.07' W||8.5||266||385.97||0.07|
|3||GROUPE QUEGUINER - LEUCEMIE ESPOIR||Yann Elies||45 07.28' N||3 50.13' W||8.5||263||386.1||0.2|
|4||MAITRE COQ||Jeremie Beyou||45 12.40' N||3 53.35' W||8.4||265||386.14||0.24|
|5||PRATI BÛCHES||Vincent Biarnes||45 12.83' N||3 53.54' W||8.5||265||386.2||0.3|
|6||AGIR RECOUVREMENT||Adrien Hardy||45 11.69' N||3 51.86' W||8.4||266||386.79||0.89|
|7||GROUPE FIVA||Alexis Loison||45 12.52' N||3 52.00' W||8.5||265||387.05||1.15|
|8||VENDEE||Morgan Lagraviere||45 14.08' N||3 52.81' W||8.6||264||387.21||1.31|
|9||SEPALUMIC||Frederic Duthil||45 09.43' N||3 49.68' W||8.4||262||387.26||1.35|
|10||GEDIMAT||Thierry Chabagny||45 13.54' N||3 52.25' W||8.5||265||387.33||1.42|
|11||SEIXO HABITAT||Julien Villion||45 07.82' N||3 48.43' W||8.3||262||387.41||1.51|
|12||ARTEMIS 37||Edmund Hill||45 14.06' N||3 52.30' W||8.5||264||387.52||1.61|
|13||SKIPPER MACIF 2012||Fabien delahaye||45 09.28' N||3 48.88' W||8.3||262||387.72||1.81|
|14||BANQUE POPULAIRE||Armel Le Cleac'h||45 07.21' N||3 47.57' W||8.4||263||387.73||1.83|
|15||BRETAGNE - CREDIT MUTUEL PERFORMANCE||Anthony Marchand||45 12.64' N||3 50.92' W||8.4||265||387.8||1.89|
|16||DESTINATION DUNKERQUE||Thomas Ruyant||45 14.65' N||3 52.11' W||8.6||263||387.9||1.99|
|17||BERNARD CONTROLS||Jean-Pierre Nicol||45 15.95' N||3 53.00' W||8.4||264||387.9||2|
|18||DFDS SEAWAYS||Frederic Rivet||45 12.74' N||3 50.74' W||8.5||265||387.95||2.05|
|19||DLBC||Yoann Richomme||45 07.66' N||3 47.44' W||8.3||262||387.99||2.09|
|20||CERCLE VERT||Gildas Morvan||45 09.76' N||3 48.68' W||8.3||264||388.04||2.14|
|21||GENERALI||Nicolas Lunven||45 14.29' N||3 51.34' W||8.6||263||388.1||2.19|
|22||BRETAGNE - CREDIT MUTUEL ESPOIR||Corentin Horeau||45 12.67' N||3 50.45' W||8.4||266||388.1||2.2|
|23||MAGMA STRUCTURES||Nick Cherry||45 13.96' N||3 50.96' W||8.5||264||388.32||2.42|
|24||SKIPPER HERAULT||Xavier Macaire||45 11.38' N||3 48.82' W||8.3||263||388.61||2.71|
|25||ARTEMIS 77||Jackson Bouttell||45 13.78' N||3 49.56' W||8.4||265||389.14||3.24|
|26||IN EXTENSO - Experts comptables||Nicolas Jossier||45 12.94' N||3 48.98' W||8.4||264||389.16||3.26|
|27||ROCKFISH||Henry Bomby||45 07.30' N||3 44.96' W||8.4||262||389.46||3.56|
|28||SHELTERBOX - DISASTER RELIEF||Sam Goodchild||45 12.76' N||3 48.11' W||8.4||261||389.63||3.73|
|29||LA SOLIDARITE MUTUALISTE||Damien Guillou||45 12.19' N||3 47.16' W||8.4||262||390.01||4.11|
|30||REGION BASSE NORMANDIE||Joan Ahrweiller||45 09.38' N||3 44.84' W||8.3||262||390.36||4.46|
|31||GROUPE SNEF||Jean-Paul Mouren||45 11.02' N||3 45.14' W||8.4||263||390.82||4.92|
|32||CARNAC THALASSO & SPA||Gilles Le Baud||45 08.80' N||3 43.46' W||8.4||264||391.02||5.12|
|33||REGION AQUITAINE / ATELIER DE France||Amaiur Alfaro||45 07.84' N||3 42.58' W||8.4||263||391.22||5.32|
|34||LAFONT PRESSE||Mathieu Girolet||45 13.04' N||3 45.73' W||8.2||263||391.28||5.38|
|35||FULL IRISH||David Kenefick||45 09.71' N||3 43.22' W||8.2||262||391.54||5.64|
|36||PORT DE CAEN OUISTREHAM||Claire Pruvot||45 12.89' N||3 44.94' W||8.3||264||391.73||5.82|
|37||IB REMARKETING||Benoit Hochart||45 13.30' N||3 44.56' W||8.4||265||392.14||6.24|
|38||JEHOL||Didier Bouillard||45 13.54' N||3 41.14' W||8.3||264||394.43||8.53|
|39||THERMACOTE France||Yannig livory||45 16.76' N||3 42.57' W||8.3||265||394.86||8.96|
|40||JOANNA||Louis-Maurice Tannyeres||45 17.17' N||3 40.19' W||8.2||266||396.56||10.65|
|41||LES RECYCLEURS BRETONS||Simon Troel||45 20.48' N||2 24.32' W||9.3||259||447.16||61.26|
Jeremie Beyou on Maitre Coq led the 41 boat Solitaire fleet out of the Gironde yesterday, but at the latest sched has been technically lost first place, although with six boats all within a mile of the leader still, this is something of a moot point.
With the wind in the northeast, and around 15 knots, the entire fleet is heading downwind on starboard, the fleet coming having had to come to starboard slightly overnight with the wind shift. Reports from the race course indicates that there is a difficult cross swell that has been making it hard for the skippers to sleep. It has also caused some skippers to suffer spinnaker issues with both Jean Pierre Nicol and Louis Maurice Tannyères on Joanna to rip their big kites.
The fleet has of course split north-south, with 9-10 miles separating yesterday's early leader Jean-Pierre Nicol on Bernard Controls in the north (who's having to sail higher with his small kite), and in the south the likes of Yann Elies and Armel le Cleac'h. Meilhat and Desjoyeaux remain closer to the north of the fleet while in third place Yann Elies is leading the group in the south.
This course is taking the boats north of the direct route to Cape Finistere. As the boats sail further west, so the wind is very slowly veering into the east and at some point they will have gybe south. The southerly group will of course benefit when the boats in the north gybe.
The 25 miles that the skippers have to sail out of the Gironde yesterday afternoon did claim one scalp, temporarily at least with Simon Troel on Les Recycleurs Bretons going aground on the ebb tide and having to wait six hours before he could get away. This is potentially good news for the Artemis Offshore Academy rookies. Troel was the favourite Solitaire rookie this year and this incident will have put a big dent in his prospects this year. At present the AOA's Ed Hill on Artemis 37 is the top Brit in the race and the top Bizuth in 12th place, among the lead group astern of Meilhat in the north.
Among the other Brits, after his outstanding start yesteday Nick Cherry and Magma Structures have dropped back to 23rd with Jack Bouttell 25th, Henry Bomby and Rockfish in 27th with Sam Goodchild up to 28th after his slow start. Cherry, Bouttell and Goodchild are with the northerly group, while Bomby is in the southerly group.
This morning Michel Desjoyeaux said he had narrowly avoided the same fate as Troel. "My start was terrible but I dared to go closer and closer to shore and that paid and allowed me to get back into the game. I didn't stop like Simon did but did end up in the mud during a tack that stopped the boat, but fortunately I got off. It was a bit tense and I lost 50 metres. In the end, I was in a group of four or five and when the wind shifted into the NNE shortly before Royan, I was on the right side."
Paul Meihlat said that he was expecting to gybe south towards the end of the day but reports conditions as being stable enough to allow them to get some rest before they have to take on Cape Finisterre and the wind potentially dropping as they sail south down the west coast of Spain. With the Solitaire now being sailed in June rather than August the skippers are able to enjoy shorter nights, hopefully improving safety on board.