Audrain and Brasseur claim Mini Fastnet
Having led the Mini Fastnet practically from beginning to end, at 05:06 on Friday morning, Damien Audrain and Pierre Brasseur aboard EPC – Rêves de Clown were first home in the Protos after sailing an almost faultless race.
They had led since passing Land’s End on the second day of the race. They were pushed at times by the ‘Maximum’ sailed by Davy Beaudart and David Raison (Cultisol). But isuffered boat damage just 24 hours before the finish, they had to drop back, leaving the classic hulls to pick up the race in pole position.
Following in their wake came Luke Berry and Pierre Denjean aboard Wild Side, against whom they were battling almost from the starting line. Jean-Baptiste Daramy and Pierre-François Dargniès aboard Chocolats Pariès – Sygespro completed the podium.
Davy Beaudart and David Raison on ‘Maximum’ (Cultisol) fell victim to boat damage 24 hours before the finish, while they were fighting for first place.
Damien Audrain, commented: "This was contact sailing throughout for us. It was a good fight with 753 (Luke Berry and Pierre Denjean – Wild Side). We were always aware of them just behind us, ready to attack, so we had to trim constantly. We were often just that little bit faster…
"I’m learning about Prototypes, making progress with each race. I learnt a lot from Pierre. I was constantly asking him about trim and speed. Now I’ll have to apply all that I’ve learned to my next races."
Pierre Brasseur (2nd in the Mini Transat 2011 and now looking for funding for a Figaro Bénéteau campaign): "The most satisfying aspect was how we handled the strategy. We’d prepared our route well, and as we were never able to pick up a weather bulleting the entire time of the race, we worked from our road book, adjusting it according to the barometer and the cloud patterns. And it worked well. As for speed, I think we have a good boat for light winds, which helped."
Davy Beaudart, 6th in the Protos with David Raison said of their damage: "The chainplate got broken. It compromised the race, but didn’t stop us qualifying. We made the most of having two skippers to get the best from the boat. That’s what these qualifying races are for! It’s a youthful weakness that we’ll repair and sort out as soon as possible. At sea, we did a temporary repair to guarantee qualification.
"I should have just enough time to get my boat back up to scratch ready for the start of Les Sables-Azores-Les Sables. On the other hand, there’s a risk that I won’t have much time left to train. Either way, these four days at sea with David have been very worthwhile. He taught me loads of tips and tricks for adjustments that I’d never have imagined.
In the Series class, it was a race full of surprises on this 600 mile long return trip between Douarnenez and the Fastnet rock. Damien Cloarec and Yannick Le Clech on www.damin-cloarec.fr won after showing good boat speed and great tactics throughout the race, finishing at 08:56.
But, on the return trip across the Celtic Sea after rounding the Fastnet Rock, pockets with no wind caused the fleet to bunch together. Twice, the promising young duo of Quentin Vlamynck/Loïc Coudret (quentinvlamynck.com), took advantage of these moments to temporarily snatch the lead from www.damin-cloarec.fr.
In www.damin-cloarec.fr's wake were two newcomers: the Italians Fornaro/Fredella (Sideral) and the incongruous duo Machado/Pahun (Velasco II Du Léman à l’Océan.com), just six minutes behind them, handicapped by having to use a sail not suited to the wind strength.
Damien Cloarec commented: "It was long, but we were having a good time at sea… It’s very satisfying because we managed our race well. In terms of strategy, everything was well thought-out, we sailed cleanly. Quentin and Loïc worked really hard but they were held back by their boat. Overall, the standards are going up in Series boats…
"Looking back, this Mini Fastnet was great! I’ve got to grips with the boat, technically and strategically and in terms of overall knowledge, I think I’ve made good progress. I feel more confident..."
1 754 EPC-REVE DE CLOWN at 05:09 in 4 days 12:50:30
2 753 WILD SIDE at 05:38 in 4 j 13:19:59
3 814 CHOCOLAT PARIES SYGESPRO at 06:12 in 4 days 13:53:35
4 630 LENGER.FR at 06:31 in 4 days 14:12:33
5 667 MICROVITAE at 06:56 in 4 days 14:37:13
6 865 CULTISOL at 06:58 in 4 days 14:39:02
7 679 SURFRIDER FOUNDATION EU at 07:42 in 4 days 15:23:42
8 719 A2J COMPOSITES at 08:50 in 4 days 16:31:27
9 866 ENTREPRISES INNOVANTES at 09:15 in 4 j 16:56:33
10 491 MARCEL FOR EVER at 09:42 in 4 days 17:23:40
11 741 A H2O at 10:14 in 4 days 17:55:35
1 833 WWW.DAMIENCLOAREC.FR at 08:56 in 4 days 16:37:09
2 857 SIDERAL at 09:27 in 4 days 17:08:43
3 832 VELASCOII DULEMANALOCEAN.COM at 09:37 in 4 days 17:18:30
4 586 SEAOWL-STUDIO ANDRE at 10:26 in 4 days 18:07:38
5 745 LEONOR at 10:56 in 4 days 18:37:50
6 746 COLIBRI LES CHEVAUX DU BEAL at 11:12 in 4 days 18:53:20
7 728 QUENTINVLAMYNCK.FR at 11:28 in 4 days 19:09:00
8 514 OUI AU GRIPEN! at 11:38 in 4 days 19:19:20
9 566 GUADELOUPE PROJET at 11:47 in 4 days 19:28:30
10 599 MERCATOR OCEAN at 12:26 in 4 days 20:07:45