Photo: Flipo Maxime

Goodchild still 10th overall, but others flounder

The fortunes of the five Brits and one Irish on leg three of La Solitaire du Figaro

Sunday June 16th 2013, Author: James Boyd, Location: France

With an 8th place into Porto, 11th into Gijon and tonight a 14th into Roscoff, Sam Goodchild, skipper of Shelterbox-Disaster Relief remains the stand-out performer among the five British skippers and one Irish in this year’s La Solitaire du Figaro.

Touch wood, the 23-year-old remains on track to better the top British result in the event’s recent history – Phil Sharp’s 18th place in 2011. After leg three he is lying 10th overall, 1h 40m 13s behind the new overall race leader, Fred Duthil’s Sepalumic. Ironically although he has lost a place he is now half an hour closer to the race leader than he was after leg 2.

Despite arriving at 01:30 in the morning, the crowds in Roscoff’s Port de Plaisance were still out in force to welcome Goodchild in. “It is incredible,” he said. “There are people everywhere, clapping and blowing loud horns to make sure everyone wakes up! And I am English and 14th and they are still clapping me in!”

As to his overall result Goodchild was pleased still to be on track. “I am fairly happy as long as I am in somewhere in the top 15.”

The first part of the leg from Gijon across the Bay of Biscay to Ile d’Yeu went well for him. “Arriving in 10th was quite cool and swapping places with Jeremie Beyou three times coming in – that probably upset him more than it upset me!” However Goodchild added that he was disappointed to have boat speed issues. “I don’t really know why. I just couldn’t go the same speed as many other people, so I lost a few places coming in, but I am still pretty happy with 14th to be honest. That’s nothing to complain about.”

Goodchild looked a little bit fried upon his arrival but was otherwise elated. “I slept alright. I got a few cheeky sleeps on the way in which I probably shouldn’t have done because we were so close to the finish. We got a lot less sleep this time than on the first two legs.

“Sleeping was really difficult. In 25-30 knots and the wave were horrible and the boat would hardly steer itself and I wasn’t really happy with the speed the boat was going, so I wasn’t going to sleep then. And the Biscay was drifting around for the first half and then reaching with spinnaker for the second half and unless you are VMG running with the spinnaker, there is no way you can sleep with the spinnaker up. So there wasn’t the opportunity. Then VMG coming into Ile de Batz it was fine to sleep, but it was a bit late by then!”

The toughest part came after the boats rounded Ile d’Yeu on Friday night. As Goodchild put it – the sun went down with a peaceful 10 knots, there was 5 knot in the lee of the island and they came out the other side into 25-30 ahead of a front that passé them 3-4 hours later. Goodchild reckoned he hadn’t negotiated the front that well. “I played that wrong – it was turning right so I went hard right, but I think quite a few people went through it without ever tacking – they got headed, but came back up with it. Whereas I went low into it with the aim of tacking across people but it didn’t go right as far as I thought it would. Still, you live and learn.”

Somewhat punch drunk, Nick Cherry arrived on Magma Structures in 27th place, finishing at 03:32:37 French time. “I found this leg pretty hard,” said the former UK Match Racing Nation Champion. “I didn’t have the weather situation clear in my head, so I was making decisions and going back on them, zigzagging across behind the fleet on the first leg and then I was a bit slow on the beat up here.”

However Cherry relished putting his match racing skills to good use as he engaged with Jean-Pierre Nicol (Bernard Controls) and Artemis Offshore Academy scholarship winner Jack Bouttell on Artemis 77 coming in to the finish line.

Conversely Jack Bouttell seemed as bright as a button when he pulled into Roscoff’s Port de Plaisance. He was only told on his arrival that the main threat to his lead in the rookie class, Claire Pruvot’s Port de Caen Ouistreham, had suffered a broken spreader. For a third consecutive time Bouttell has won the rookie prize for a leg (along with a cheque...) and he is now the clear leader in this division. If he can hold this position over the final leg, then it will be the first time a Brit has ever achieved a rookie class win.

“It was quite a lot different to what the forecast said,” said Bouttell of his race. “It was meant to be a complete drifter, but it was quite windy the whole way around. I was a bit slow on the first night which didn’t help for the rest of the race really, but I kept plodding away. There were no shut-downs, whereas the two legs before were at some point a complete drift-off, so it was quite a nice change from that. It was all just straight line. The only tactical thing was the beat after Ile d’Yeu, up past Belle Ile where there was a big split in the fleet. Apart from that it was all pretty straight forward.”

Rockfish skipper Henry Bomby arrived in 31st place at 03:48:56 local time. He felt he hadn’t made the best job of the Bay of Biscay crossing. “There wasn’t the big high pressure that we thought we might get stuck in and have to go around. In fact you could go straight through the middle of it if you wanted which is what some people did, only I didn’t. So I was 12 miles behind the leaders by Ile d’Yeu which was pretty painful. So that hurt, my strategy didn’t pay off. I should have bailed a bit earlier along with Yann [Elies] and Armel [le Cleac’h] who got wise to it quicker than I did. But you live and learn.”

As to his sleep, Bomby said he managed some on the first night, but less on the second when they were upwind in conditions that were rough enough to force them to have to steer. In fact the sea was so lumpy that it caused a window on Rockfish to spring a leak. “Then with these late/really early finishes you don’t sleep because you have the approach into land and lots going, but I anticipated that and got some sleep this afternoon.” Bomby reckons that he probably slept in total for four or five hours this leg.

He near came acropper exiting the lee of Ile d’Yeu when the wind was rapidly building into the 20s and he was attempting to change from genoa to Solent. “I got on it quickly before it got to 28-29 when it becomes very hard to make a change.”

Conversely Ed Hill on Artemis 37 felt the part to Ile d’Yeu had gone comparatively well for him. “I had a not great start, but got back into it and overtook all the other rookies and was looking pretty good up to Ile d’Yeu. Then I made a bad headsail change, lost a few places there and let Jack get back in front of me, which was disappointing.”

Like Goodchild, Hill felt he lacked pace at times, but his biggest hurdle was the failure of his autopilot. Figaros typically carry a smaller, lightweight spare, but this proved not to be man enough for the task.

“I spent the last 150 miles basically having to hand steer,” recounted Hill. “It was entertaining in gybes without a pilot. I am pretty knackered. Since the pilot failed I haven’t had any sleep at all. Just running downstairs to check the nav is difficult enough with the boat spearing out. I had some weed on the rudder by the Chenal de Four and when I tried to get it off, the boat broached out and I was trapped to leeward with the boat careering off towards the rocks... It has been tough to do anything apart from steering.”

The youngest competitor, Ireland’s David Kenefick on Full Irish arrived in torrential rain at 05:45:23 French time to take 36th place.

“I got off to a good start: I tacked to clear my air as you do on a normal inshore race, but unfortunately I ended up on the wrong side of the fleet and I stupidly split from it which I have done too many times,” Kenefick admitted upon his arrival. “And the routing that we did beforehand didn’t come into play: It was all the right hand side and I found myself on the right hand side which should have been favoured but that wasn’t the case. After that it was pretty hard to catch up – there were no lanes.”

Kenefick’s race nearly came to an end on the first morning of this leg when his leeward D2 diagonal rigging on his mast came unwound. This required him to go aloft, only that he had no climbing gear. He put on a lifejacket and fashioned a make-shift arrangement using a spinnaker halyard on a loop, hauled himself up the rig before shimmying across to the leeward end of the spreader to sort out the piece of rigging.

Having arrived in Roscoff ahead of schedule will allow the skippers some added time to catch up on their sleep. Little is expected to occur today, Sunday, now they have arrived.

Leg 3 results:


Pos Boat Skipper Arrived TTL Spd
1 VENDEE Morgan Lagraviere 16/06/2013 00:03   7.26
2 GENERALI Nicolas Lunven 16/06/2013 00:22 0d 0h 18mn 10sec 7.22
3 SKIPPER HERAULT Xavier Macaire 16/06/2013 00:23 0d 0h 19mn 15sec 7.22
4 SKIPPER MACIF 2012 Fabien delahaye 16/06/2013 00:23 0d 0h 19mn 58sec 7.22
5 TBS Michel Desjoyeaux 16/06/2013 00:24 0d 0h 20mn 30sec 7.22
6 DLBC Yoann Richomme 16/06/2013 00:28 0d 0h 24mn 7sec 7.21
7 AGIR RECOUVREMENT Adrien Hardy 16/06/2013 00:28 0d 0h 24mn 58sec 7.21
8 SEPALUMIC Frederic Duthil 16/06/2013 00:30 0d 0h 26mn 34sec 7.21
9 CERCLE VERT Gildas Morvan 16/06/2013 00:31 0d 0h 27mn 50sec 7.2
10 MAITRE COQ Jeremie Beyou 16/06/2013 00:37 0d 0h 33mn 24sec 7.19
11 PRATI BÛCHES Vincent Biarnes 16/06/2013 00:44 0d 0h 40mn 26sec 7.18
12 GROUPE FIVA Alexis Loison 16/06/2013 00:50 0d 0h 47mn 0sec 7.17
13 SEIXO HABITAT Julien Villion 16/06/2013 00:51 0d 0h 47mn 35sec 7.17
14 SHELTERBOX - DISASTER RELIEF Sam Goodchild 16/06/2013 00:59 0d 0h 55mn 23sec 7.15
15 BRETAGNE - CREDIT MUTUEL PERFORMANCE Anthony Marchand 16/06/2013 01:13 0d 1h 9mn 52sec 7.12
16 DFDS SEAWAYS Frederic Rivet 16/06/2013 01:16 0d 1h 12mn 45sec 7.12
17 BANQUE POPULAIRE Armel Le Cleac'h 16/06/2013 01:19 0d 1h 15mn 48sec 7.11
18 LA SOLIDARITE MUTUALISTE Damien Guillou 16/06/2013 01:31 0d 1h 27mn 49sec 7.09
19 SKIPPER MACIF 2011 Paul meilhat 16/06/2013 01:37 0d 1h 33mn 36sec 7.08
20 GEDIMAT Thierry Chabagny 16/06/2013 01:47 0d 1h 43mn 16sec 7.06
21 GROUPE QUEGUINER - LEUCEMIE ESPOIR Yann Elies 16/06/2013 02:00 0d 1h 56mn 8sec 7.03
22 GROUPE SNEF Jean-Paul Mouren 16/06/2013 02:02 0d 1h 58mn 45sec 7.03
23 BRETAGNE - CREDIT MUTUEL ESPOIR Corentin Horeau 16/06/2013 02:27 0d 2h 23mn 43sec 6.98
24 IN EXTENSO - Experts comptables Nicolas Jossier 16/06/2013 02:52 0d 2h 48mn 56sec 6.94
25 DESTINATION DUNKERQUE Thomas Ruyant 16/06/2013 03:14 0d 3h 10mn 52sec 6.9
26 BERNARD CONTROLS Jean-Pierre Nicol 16/06/2013 03:30 0d 3h 26mn 46sec 6.87
27 MAGMA STRUCTURES Nick Cherry 16/06/2013 03:32 0d 3h 28mn 42sec 6.86
28 ARTEMIS 77 Jackson Bouttell 16/06/2013 03:34 0d 3h 30mn 36sec 6.86
29 LES RECYCLEURS BRETONS Simon Troel 16/06/2013 03:43 0d 3h 39mn 9sec 6.84
30 THERMACOTE France Yannig livory 16/06/2013 03:47 0d 3h 43mn 54sec 6.84
31 ROCKFISH Henry Bomby 16/06/2013 03:48 0d 3h 45mn 1sec 6.83
32 JEHOL Didier Bouillard 16/06/2013 04:08 0d 4h 4mn 47sec 6.8
33 ARTEMIS 37 Edmund Hill 16/06/2013 04:15 0d 4h 11mn 28sec 6.79
34 LAFONT PRESSE Mathieu Girolet 16/06/2013 04:37 0d 4h 33mn 29sec 6.75
35 ADOCIS / IB REMARKETING Benoit Hochart 16/06/2013 05:09 0d 5h 5mn 20sec 6.69
36 FULL IRISH David Kenefick 16/06/2013 05:45 0d 5h 41mn 28sec 6.63
37 REGION AQUITAINE / ATELIER DE France Amaiur Alfaro 16/06/2013 06:09 0d 6h 5mn 52sec 6.59
38 REGION BASSE NORMANDIE Joan Ahrweiller 16/06/2013 07:38 0d 7h 34mn 34sec 6.45
39 CARNAC THALASSO & SPA Gilles Le Baud 16/06/2013 07:45 0d 7h 41mn 28sec 6.44
40 PORT DE CAEN OUISTREHAM Claire Pruvot 16/06/2013 09:45 0d 9h 41mn 28sec 6.25
NL JOANNA Louis-Maurice Tannyeres      

Overall results (cumulative elapsed times)

Pos Boat / Skipper Elapsed time TTL
1 SEPALUMIC / Frédéric Duthil 7d 19h 50m 46s -
2 Vendee / Morgan Lagravière 7d 20h 20m 42s 0h 29m 56s
3 GROUPS QUEGUINER - LEUKEMIA HOPE / Yann Elies 7d 20h 23m 14s 0h 32m 28s
4 SKIPPER L'HERAULT / Xavier Macaire 7d 20h 36m 21s 0h 45m 35s
5 DLBC / Yoann Richomme 7d 20h 51m 6s 1h 00m 20s
6 Generali / Nicolas Lunven 7d 20h 53m 49s 1h 03m 03s
7 FIVA GROUPS / Alexis Loison 7d 20h 58m 7s 1h 07m 21s
8 MASTER COCK / Jeremiah Beyou 7d 21h 4m 19s 1h 13m 33s
9 SKIPPER MACIF 2012 / Fabien Delahaye 7d 21h 8m 7s 1h 17m 21s
10 ShelterBox - DISASTER RELIEF / Sam Goodchild 7d 21h 30m 59s 1h 40m 13s
11 TBS / Michel Desjoyeaux 7d 21h 32m 40s 1h 41m 54s
12 POPULAR BANK / Armel Le Cléac'h 7d 21h 40m 14s 1h 49m 28s
13 SOLIDARITY MUTUALISTE / Damien Guillou 7d 22h 12m 17s 2h 21m 31s
14 GREEN CIRCLE / Gildas Morvan 7d 22h 14m 39s 2h 23m 53s
15 SKIPPER MACIF 2011 / Paul Meilhat 7d 22h 15m 37s 2h 24m 51s
16 BRITAIN MUTUAL CREDIT PERFORMANCE / Anthony Marchand 7d 23h 0m 2s 3h 09m 16s
17 GEDIMAT / Thierry Chabagny 7d 23h 18m 22s 3h 27m 36s
18 RECOVERY ACT / Adrien Hardy 7d 23h 30m 41s 3h 39m 55s
19 Prati'Buches / Vincent Biarnes 8J 0h 10m 23s 4h 19m 37s
20 MAGMA STRUCTURES / Nick Cherry 8J 0h 18m 47s 4h 28m 01s
21 BERNARD CONTROLS / Jean-Pierre Nicol 8J 0h 28m 31s 4h 37m 45s
22 DFDS SEAWAYS / Frédéric Rivet 8J 0h 34m 39s 4h 43m 53s
23 ARTEMIS 77 / Jackson Bouttell * 8J 1h 10m 44s 5h 19m 58s
24 IN EXTENSO accountants / Nicolas Jossier 8J 1h 31m 24s 5h 40m 38s
25 SEIXO HABITAT / Julien Villion 8J 2h 0m 41s 6h 09m 55s
26 BRITAIN - MUTUAL CREDIT HOPE / Corentin Horeau 8J 2h 7m 47s 6h 17m 01s
27 ROCKFISH / Henry Bomby 8J 2h 32m 53s 6h 42m 07s
28 DESTINATION DUNKIRK / Thomas Ruyant 8J 2h 35m 49s 6h 45m 03s
29 LAFONT RELEASE / Matthew Girolet 8J 3h 15m 12s 7h 24m 26s
30 ADOCIS / IB Remarketing / Benedict Hochart * 8J 4h 15m 29s 8h 24m 43s
31 FULL IRISH / David Kenefick * 8J 5h 24m 11s 9h 33m 25s
32 THERMACOTE FRANCE / Yannig Livory 8J 5h 38m 25s 9h 47m 39s
33 ARTEMIS 37 / Edmund Hill * 8J 7h 48m 7s 11h 57m 21s
34 NFRS GROUPS / Jean Paul Mouren 8J 8h 28m 16s 12h 37m 30s
35 RECYCLERS BRETONS / Simon Troel * 8J 9h 25m 23s 13h 34m 37s
36 Jehol / Didier Bouillard 8J 9h 34m 0s 13h 43m 14s
37 NORMANDY REGION / Joan Ahrweiller * 8J 13h 37m 21s 17h 46m 35s
38 REGION AQUITAINE / WORKSHOPS FRANCE / Amaiur Alfaro 8J 17h 36m 0s 21h 45m 14s
39 Carnac Thalasso & SPA / Gilles Le Baud 5J 18h 40m 53s -
39 JOANNA / Louis Maurice Tannyères 3J 11h 3m 45s -
39 PORT DE CAEN Ouistreham / Claire Pruvot * 5J 9h 41m 15s -

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