Yann Elies back in front
If the Biscay crossing was a blast, then the last 24 hours have proved extremely tricky as the wind shut down off Cape Finisterre yesterday afternoon and have since filled in on different parts of the race track.
Positions at 0800
|2 hr aver||24 hr aver|
|1||GROUPE QUEGUINER - LEUCEMIE ESPOIR||Yann Elies||41 28.04' N||9 16.04' W||4.2||166||5.2||125.9||32.82|
|2||SEPALUMIC||Frederic Duthil||41 29.25' N||9 16.99' W||4.3||169||5.2||125||34.12||1.29|
|3||SKIPPER HERAULT||Xavier Macaire||41 30.82' N||9 18.91' W||4.5||163||5.4||128.7||36.21||3.39|
|4||BERNARD CONTROLS||Jean-Pierre Nicol||41 40.71' N||9 08.17' W||4.9||176||5.2||129.7||38.08||5.26|
|5||GROUPE FIVA||Alexis Loison||41 33.62' N||9 19.93' W||4.8||165||4.9||118||38.56||5.74|
|6||CERCLE VERT||Gildas Morvan||41 36.99' N||9 20.38' W||4.9||165||5||119.6||41.05||8.23|
|7||AGIR RECOUVREMENT||Adrien Hardy||41 33.88' N||9 24.46' W||4.4||174||4.9||116.5||41.37||8.55|
|8||ARTEMIS 77||Jackson Bouttell||41 35.96' N||9 22.87' W||4.6||167||5.4||130.4||41.75||8.93|
|9||DLBC||Yoann Richomme||41 39.60' N||9 19.22' W||4.7||164||4.9||117.1||42.22||9.39|
|10||SKIPPER MACIF 2011||Paul meilhat||41 35.53' N||9 24.57' W||4.7||171||5.1||122.9||42.46||9.63|
|11||GEDIMAT||Thierry Chabagny||41 41.61' N||9 17.63' W||4.7||165||4.9||116.8||43||10.18|
|12||DFDS SEAWAYS||Frederic Rivet||41 48.88' N||9 02.26' W||4||159||4.6||119.9||43.42||10.59|
|13||SHELTERBOX - DISASTER RELIEF||Sam Goodchild||41 40.60' N||9 20.53' W||4.7||169||5||120.2||43.61||10.79|
|14||TBS||Michel Desjoyeaux||41 33.86' N||9 28.43' W||4.2||183||4.7||112.2||43.76||10.94|
|15||DESTINATION DUNKERQUE||Thomas Ruyant||41 35.11' N||9 27.38' W||4.6||175||5||119.3||43.86||11.03|
|16||MAGMA STRUCTURES||Nick Cherry||41 41.85' N||9 20.36' W||4.5||169||4.9||117.6||44.52||11.7|
|17||PRATI BÛCHES||Vincent Biarnes||41 50.57' N||9 01.51' W||4.3||163||4.5||117.1||44.81||11.99|
|18||SKIPPER MACIF 2012||Fabien delahaye||41 50.83' N||9 01.48' W||4.3||161||4.6||121.3||45.05||12.22|
|19||ADOCIS / IB REMARKETING||Benoit Hochart||41 37.43' N||9 26.99' W||4.5||175||5.5||131.7||45.06||12.23|
|20||IN EXTENSO - Experts comptables||Nicolas Jossier||41 42.85' N||9 20.03' W||4.4||176||4.9||118.7||45.11||12.29|
|21||BANQUE POPULAIRE||Armel Le Cleac'h||41 41.38' N||9 23.08' W||4.8||174||4.8||116.3||45.57||12.74|
|22||MAITRE COQ||Jeremie Beyou||41 41.83' N||9 22.61' W||4.9||172||4.7||112.5||45.65||12.83|
|23||LA SOLIDARITE MUTUALISTE||Damien Guillou||41 42.10' N||9 22.48' W||4.9||172||4.9||117.5||45.78||12.96|
|24||LAFONT PRESSE||Mathieu Girolet||41 51.35' N||9 02.44' W||4.3||159||4.9||127||45.78||12.96|
|25||VENDEE||Morgan Lagraviere||41 44.59' N||9 19.94' W||4.9||167||4.8||114.2||46.39||13.56|
|26||ROCKFISH||Henry Bomby||41 51.62' N||9 05.97' W||5.4||166||4.6||120||46.9||14.07|
|27||PORT DE CAEN OUISTREHAM||Claire Pruvot||41 46.52' N||9 18.64' W||4.5||174||5||122.5||47.32||14.5|
|28||GENERALI||Nicolas Lunven||41 45.87' N||9 20.53' W||5||162||5||119.7||47.66||14.84|
|29||ARTEMIS 37||Edmund Hill||41 47.10' N||9 19.25' W||4.4||183||4.8||117.1||48.06||15.23|
|30||BRETAGNE - CREDIT MUTUEL PERFORMANCE||Anthony Marchand||41 44.23' N||9 25.28' W||4.5||175||4.7||113.3||48.76||15.94|
|31||BRETAGNE - CREDIT MUTUEL ESPOIR||Corentin Horeau||41 48.29' N||9 26.54' W||4.7||177||4.8||114.6||52.4||19.57|
|32||THERMACOTE France||Yannig livory||41 52.42' N||9 25.16' W||4.5||172||5.5||133||54.87||22.05|
|33||FULL IRISH||David Kenefick||41 58.81' N||9 15.79' W||3.1||174||4.8||118.7||56.62||23.8|
|34||SEIXO HABITAT||Julien Villion||41 58.48' N||9 20.33' W||3.8||170||4.3||104.9||57.97||25.14|
|35||JEHOL||Didier Bouillard||42 01.02' N||9 20.20' W||4||170||5||128.6||60.09||27.26|
|36||CARNAC THALASSO & SPA||Gilles Le Baud||42 07.31' N||9 09.44' W||3.3||171||4.2||111.1||62.56||29.73|
|37||REGION BASSE NORMANDIE||Joan Ahrweiller||42 06.64' N||9 13.28' W||2.9||169||4.1||106.2||62.95||30.12|
|38||JOANNA||Louis-Maurice Tannyeres||42 07.54' N||9 15.62' W||3.5||162||4.6||120.2||64.46||31.64|
|39||REGION AQUITAINE / ATELIER DE France||Amaiur Alfaro||42 09.98' N||9 10.10' W||2.9||169||4.9||128.4||65.25||32.42|
|40||GROUPE SNEF||Jean-Paul Mouren||42 12.43' N||8 59.17' W||5.2||176||3.9||105.2||65.48||32.65|
As the 41 boat Solitaire du Figaro fleet streamed around the northwest corner of Spain yesterday, there was an almighty park up early yesterday afternoon, just short of Cape Finisterre as they encountered a shallow trough (ie no wind).
Leaders, Michel Desjoyeaux on TBS and Alexis Loison aboard Groupe Fiva parked up offshore as another 20 ground to a halt just astern of them. However there was still pressure slightly further inshore and Jean-Pierre Nicol on Bernard Controls and Fred Rivet on DFDS Seaways benefitted most from this, able to draw level to subsequently 'buffalo girl' the rest of the boats to the west, pulling into first and second place late yesterday afternoon as the boats finally did make it south of Cape Finisterre. Also benefitting from this strategy was the Artemis Offshore Academy's Ed Hill, who yesterday evening was up to third place.
In the big park-up 28 boats has closed back down to being within 7 miles of each other. Mid-evening these boats offshore were underway again with 2012 Solitaire winner Yann Elies on Groupe Queguiner-Leucemie Espoir looking strong on the eastern end of the pack. For this group the wind had filled in from the north while for Nicol and Rivet, who had headed further inshore it was more NW-NNW which they took inshore. Ed Hill chose not to follow Nicol and Rivet into the coast.
Late evening and the duo that had gone into the coast were still in great shape and attempting to return to the middle of the course to bank their lead. Meanwhile the big group had divided in two with Ed Hill leading a promising-looking group into the middle of the course, this group including Rockfish's Henry Bomby and Fabien Delahaye on Skipper MACIF 2012. However sadly around midnight Hill's group and Nicol and Rivet suffered another park-up, as Yann Elies and Fred Duthil on Sepalumic steamed past offshore still holding the breeze.
At the first sched this morning at 0248 UTC, Elies and Duthil's boats were into the lead making more than 7 knots, with Elies ahead by a mile and Duthill a further 2.6 miles ahead of third placed Xavier Macaire on Skipper Herault and Alexis Loisin a further three miles back. Meanwhile Nicol and Rivet were wallowing, making less than half of this, dropping them to 4th and 13th respectively. Similarly Ed Hill's position had plummeted to 25th, making less than an knot. The distance between 1st and 30th had increased to 15 miles.
The wind has since backed into the northwest for those offshore, further nailing the boats closer to the shore but most recently has once again disappeared. This lack of wind isn't just for the front runners, it seems to be across the entire course. Elies may have 32 miles left to go before he reaches the finish line but making 1-2 knots at present, this could take some time... The wind, if it does fill in, should do so from the east.
Among the Brits, after Ed Hill's hero night, he's now down to 29th with British hopes resting with the Artemis Offshore Academy's Jack Bouttell going great guns in eighth place. Go JACK! Sam Goodchild on Shelterbox-Disaster Relief is in 13th with Nick Cherry, just behind him on Magma Structures in 16th with Henry Bomby 26th.
Despite the ups and downs of the night, Yann Elies sounded rested this morning, sailing in 5 knots of breeze from 330°. "I had a good night," he said. "I made progress in an unexpected wind! So I took the opportunity to get some sleep and I'm quite comfortable - I needed some rest last night after the day of transition when there was not much wind. I had not slept that much but I am fresh and ready for the final push." Most impressive, Elies has managed this despite his computer going down. In particular at present he has no AIS and so is sailing 'blind'.
Second placed Fred Duthil commented: "We had a little wind, it was not bad, I was able to sleep well and suddenly here I am well rested to finish this regatta." Duthil adds that attempting to come back into the coast on starboard gybe he felt the wind faltering and so he (and Elies) have continued south.
"The last two hours we're back in soft conditions, so nothing is certain. It is not easy and in my opinion it is quite possible that there are small changes. I'd rather there weren't, but we'll see!"