Mabire and Merron home in ninth
Crossing the finish line of the Transat Jacques Vabre at 01:02:22 UTC on Campagne de France, Miranda Merron and Halvard Mabire secured ninth place overall in the Transat Jacques Vabre's Class 40 division into Itajaí, Brazil, finishing 2 days 2 hours 6 minutes and 22 seconds behind winner GDF Suez. Campagne de France's average speed for the theoretical course of 5450 miles from Le Havre was 9.79 kts, but she sailed 5610 miles at an average speed of 10.17 knots
Although together they have vast experience with their heavily tweaked 2010 generation Finot-Conq Pogo S2, up against the newer generation Class 40s, Merron and Malbire were probably considered title outsiders in Le Havre pre-start. But the experienced duo sailed a formidable, intelligent race after a relatively modest start until Cape Finisterre. They moved west early after that and were rewarded with stronger breeze in which they were really able to put the hammer down, gaining them places. Fourth by the latitude of Lisbon, third at the Canary Islands, the loss of their medium spinnaker compromised them and they dropped back to ninth.
On the reaching leg down the Brazilian coast, they were able to stay ahead of ERDF des Pieds et des Mains and Vaquita, but progressively they were ground back after Vitoria. The choice to stay inshore and avoid the windless bubble off Sao Paolo paid off and they stayed ahead of Phoenix Europe and the Italians on Fantastica.
Listen to audio with Miranda here