Please select your home edition
Edition
Pantaenius - Fixed Value

Rolex Fastnet Race - French boats hold the upper hand

by Peta Stuart-Hunt on 12 Aug 2013
Maxi 80 Prince de Bretagne © Marcel Mochet
Despite having been upwind since the start, the Rolex Fastnet Race fleet has been making excellent progress down the south coast of the UK since yesterday's start.

There have been no retirements overnight, and to date, just four boats from 335 starters have officially dropped out. The most dramatic was the grounding of the brand new Cayman Islands-registered Botin 65, Caro, which went hard onto Salt Mead Ledge at the top of the tide yesterday afternoon. She has since been pulled off but has been forced to retire back to Endeavour Quay in Gosport.

The Clipper 68, New York, retired after suffering a fire on board and didn't make the start. The Farr 52, Toe in the Water, withdrew yesterday afternoon when a winch pulled out of her deck. The Royal Navy Nicholson 55, Dasher, is also out after another boat collided with her.

At 0130 BST this morning, Sidney Gavignet's crew on board the Oman Air-Musandam MOD70 trimaran led the substantially larger Armel le Cleac'h-skippered Banque Populaire past Land's End, hugging the shore this morning. Dona Bertarelli and Yann Guichard's even larger 40m long Spindrift two chose a different route to the west, only tacking north once they were south of the Scilly Isles. The lead trio remains close with the Omani MOD70 a nose ahead.

'The sea is quite choppy so it is not easy,' said Dona Bertarelli. 'It makes for a lot of work on the deck for the team to trim the sails and to keep up a good speed in these short waves. During the night we had less wind near the Scilly Isles, which has been really bad for the speed of Spindrift two. So our friends on the other multihulls have gained ground on us and now a new fight begins to reach the Fastnet in first position.'

Mike Slade's Farr 100, ICAP Leopard, continues to hang on to the coat tails of the monohull front runner, the Gazprom-backed European maxi, Esimit Europa two. Both are passing west of the traffic separate scheme (TSS) at Longships off Land's End, with Leopard just four miles astern of her rival. But on handicap it is the Baltic 78, Lupa of London, that leads IRC Canting Keel.

Six miles behind Leopard, and approaching the TSS, is Team SCA, which, in the on-going Volvo Open 70 match race, overtook Ian Walker's team on Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing off Start Point at 2300 BST last night.

'We had a park up at Start Point which turned our race inside out,' Walker reported. 'We had tide against and we went off wider, hoping to carry some wind round, worried about getting stuck under the cliffs. Unfortunately everyone else just sent it right in under the cliffs and ghosted through while we got stuck. We lost about five-six miles to the girls and to some of the Open 60s and Bella Mente. We made a few gains back and then had a big fish on the rudder. That took about 20 minutes to clear off the port rudder. Other than that it is going alright.'

Walker reported that off the TSS they currently have 16 knots from the north-west (although they had seen as much as 20 knots) and they had just decided to follow the leaders up the western end of the TSS.


A similar match race is going on just between the 72ft Judel Vrolijk Mini Maxis. 3.5 miles behind the Abu Dhabi VO70 and having just passed the longitude of Land's End, American Hap Fauth's Bella Mente is just over three miles ahead of her older rival, Niklas Zennstrom's Rán two, the Rolex Fastnet Race defending champion. The bulk of IRC Zero is due south of the Lizard, including the IRC Zero leader on handicap, the Russian team on the Swan 60, Bronenosec, skippered by Vladimir Liubomirov.

After passing Portland Bill yesterday evening, the IRC Zero fleet, en masse, dug into Lyme Bay, but since passing Start Point has pushed south of the rhumb line to the Lizard.

One of the most impressive performances in the race continues to be that of Vendée Globe winners François Gabart and Michel Desjoyeaux, who are leading the IMOCA 60 class aboard the former's MACIF. Despite being 12ft shorter and being sailed doublehanded, MACIF is lying between the Mini Maxis on the water.

Behind, once again French boats are dominating all of the remaining classes on handicap. Overall IRC leader at present is François Lognone's J/122, Nutmeg IV, also front runner in IRC Two. She is shortly to pass the Lizard and is right on the coat tails of the IRC One leader, Nicolas Loday and Jean Claude Nicoleau's Grand Soleil 43, Codiam, second overall under IRC. Both boats are past competitors in French teams contesting the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup. The bulk of IRC One and Two is at present due south of Plymouth.

The IRC One boats were forced to shave Portland Bill last night to keep out of the worst of the tide with Piet Vroon's Ker 46, Tonnerre de Breskens, continuing to lead the charge on the water, passing Start Point at around 0230 BST.

Jean Jacques Godet's J/120, Rhapsodie V, is ahead in IRC 3, close to the rhumb line between Start Point and the Lizard, while around five miles behind on the water, Noel Racine's JPK 10.10, Foggy Dew, is leading IRC Fastnet website

Bakewell-White Yacht DesignSouthern Spars - 100InSunSport - NZ

Related Articles

Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 2
Yachting NZ's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is unprecedented Yachting New Zealand's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is without precedent. Subject to Appeal, the Kiwis have signaled that they will reject 30% of the positions gained in the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Santander in 2014.
Posted on 22 May
Gladwell's Line - World Sailing changes tack after IOC windshift
Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick. Every blow well earned over issues such as the pollution at Rio, the Israeli exclusion abomination plus a few more. But now World Sailing is getting it right.
Posted on 21 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 1
Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving its goals Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving goals set in the Olympic Commission report of 2010. Around 64 countries are expected to be represented in Rio de Janeiro in August. That is a slight increase on Qingdao and Weymouth, but more importantly a full regional qualification system is now in place
Posted on 19 May
Taming the beast-a conversation with Stuart Meurer of Parker Hannifin
While AC72 cats were fast, they difficult to control, so Oracle partnered with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way. If you watched videos of the AC72s racing in the 34th America’s Cup (2013), you’re familiar with the mind-boggling speeds that are possible when wingsail-powered catamarans switch from displacement sailing to foiling mode. While foiling is fast, there’s no disguising the platform’s inherent instability. Now, Oracle Team USA has teamed up with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way.
Posted on 18 May
From foiling Moths to Olympic starting lines-a Q&A with Bora Gulari
Bora Gulari’s is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class, along with teammate Louisa Chafee. Bora Gulari (USA) has made a strong name for himself within high-performance sailing circles, with wins at the 2009 and 2013 Moth Worlds. In between, he broke the 30-knort barrier and was the 2009 US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. His latest challenge is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class as skipper, along with his teammate Louisa Chafee.
Posted on 12 May
Concern for Zika at Rio Olympics is now deadly serious
Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, or the Rio Olympics. Many others have, and they were apt, but things have changed. So here now we have a situation where one man, Associate Professor Amir Attaran, who does have a more than decent string of letters after his name, is bringing nearly as many facts to bear as references at the article's end
Posted on 12 May
The importance of being Alive
Since buying the stunningly pretty Reichel-Pugh canting keel 66-footer, and re-naming her Alive, Since buying the stunningly pretty Reichel-Pugh canting keel 66-footer, and re-naming her Alive, the team have lined up for a lot of things, won plenty and nabbed a record, as well. She’s presently in a yard in the Philippines having a minor refit in readiness for the Australian season. It will commence with the upcoming Brisbane to Keppel and then head sharply into this year’s Hobart.
Posted on 10 May
Zhik - The brand born of a notion, not its history
here is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline is officially marketed as Made For Water There is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline has been officially marketed as Made For Water, and this is precisely what the company has done for the last eight years before the succinct and apt strapline came from out of R&D and into mainstream visibility.
Posted on 8 May
Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr