Please select your home edition
Edition
Lancer Lasts Longer

Transat Jacques Vabre – Team Safran calm and collected

by Safran Sailing Team on 4 Nov 2013
Marc Guillemot (Skipper) and Pascal Bidegorry (Co-skipper) of Imoca SAFRAN practising and sailing off Port La Foret (Brittany, West France) on September 11th, 2013 prior to the Transat Jacques Vabre (start : 03/11/2013) Pierrick Contin / DPPI / Safran http://www.safran-group.com
The start of the Transat Jacques Vabre 2013 gets underway tomorrow. Now scheduled for 1415hrs (local time) on Monday, Marc Guillemot and Pascal Bidégorry remain calm and collected. Naturally, everything is ready for them to set off for Brazil and face the 5400 miles that lie ahead. As far as the conditions are concerned, as happened with the last two editions, it is certainly not going to be a comfortable ride…

All of the fleet remained moored in the harbour on Sunday in the Paul Vatine dock. The violent squalls that swept through the Transat Jacques Vabre race village have confirmed that the decision to postpone the start was wise and indeed the right one. Safran is gently pulling on her mooring lines this Sunday and will remain there for another 24 hours. She will be leaving the harbour tomorrow morning at 0936hrs to head for the start area under the cliffs at Cape de la Hève. The starting gun will be fired at 1415hrs.

Everything is more than ready aboard of course, and the two sailors appear totally relaxed. Pascal Bidégorry and Marc Guillemot are used to this sort of run-up to the race: on the eve of the start for a transatlantic race, the important thing is to get some rest and study the latest weather patterns.

So what about the weather? Marc Guillemot warns us, 'It would be wrong to believe that the first two days of racing are going to be a quiet affair. The postponement of the start will enable us to miss the strong gusts forecast on Sunday night… but we shall still be facing some tough weather, with wind, rough seas and challenging conditions.'

Upwind in nasty seas: The skipper of Safran adds, 'As for the start itself, the wind will be around ten knots. We shall be sailing upwind... And that may continue all the way to Spain, or even down as far as Lisbon. The wind will strengthen very quickly with the arrival of another low-pressure area. We shall soon find ourselves in 25-knot winds, then 30 or even 35-knot westerlies. It is not going to be easy to deal with this off the tip of the Cherbourg Peninsula, as we shall be setting off in spring tides, so with some strong currents, sometimes in excess of five knots.' The sea state? 'Looking at what has been going on out in the Atlantic over the past three weeks with a series of lows moving in, we certainly won’t be expecting to find calm seas off Ushant or in the Bay of Biscay.'

Marc seems to be clear about what is at stake during these first few days of racing. 'We have to sail quickly, not break anything, watch out for any little shifts to tack where necessary… and above all get some sleep in. It is vital get some rest at that particular moment, as it is crucial to have a clear head and not waste any time when we encounter the first transition, when the wind shifts around to the north-west, meaning we shall be sailing downwind. You have to get the timing just right to adapt to changes in the wind and ensure you have the right sail combination.' Taking care of the men and the boat is obviously a wise thing to do, but also contributes to performance, when you are setting off on a long transatlantic race that should last around 19 days.

During these three weeks, weather analysis (routing is not allowed) will be one of the main concerns for the two sailors on Safran. 'I pick up the data and we run through it together, in other words with Pascal. We then decide whether to change tack or not. For the start of the race, we shall probably have to change tack several times, if only to respect the traffic separation lanes off the Casquets (the Cherbourg Peninsula) and Ushant (off the tip of Brittany). And we know that there are always opportunities that need to be grabbed, even if the weather charts tell us to go straight ahead. There are always strategic choices to be made,' explained Marc.
Ensign 660InSunSport - NZPacific Sailing School 660x82 1

Related Articles

Hamilton Island Race Week - Supermaxis battle on Day 2 + Video
Photographer Michael Chittenden is on the water at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week Photographer Michael Chittenden is on the water at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, and provided this gallery of images on a day when the supermaxi Scallywag beat Wild Oats XI for the first time. Bob Killick and Warwick Rooklyn commentate the video of Race Day 2
Posted on 23 Aug
Mid-week weekend at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week
Layday came early for the AHIRW fleet despite best efforts by the race committee to get some divisions racing out 2016 Audi Hamilton Island Race Week - Layday came early for the Audi Hamilton Island Race Week fleet despite best efforts by the race committee to get some divisions racing out on the Eastern course area, in the Turtle Bay vicinity.
Posted on 23 Aug
AHIRW Day 3 - Audi Hamilton Island Whale Watching Week
Day three saw no racing for any of the 252 entries at AHIRW, but there was plenty of people and whale watching 2016 Audi Hamilton Island Race Week - Day three saw no racing for any of the 252 entries at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, but there was plenty of people and whale watching to be done for the media! I have to say it is the best postponement I have had in my 20+ years of sailing!
Posted on 23 Aug
The Clipper Race turns 20!
Throughout the race, tales of crew celebrating birthdays on board filter back and they are always a special occasion Throughout the race, tales of Clipper Race crew celebrating their birthdays on board filter back and they are always a special occasion, likely to remain a completely unique event in their lifetime.
Posted on 23 Aug
AHIRW - Day 2 - Ichi Ban and Concubine in the Tavern
Another gorgeous day on Hamilton Island, but breeze was not entirely on board with keeping the on-water action up to par 2016 Audi Hamilton Island Race Week - Another gorgeous day on Hamilton Island, but the breeze was not entirely on board with keeping the on-water action up to par with the off-water activities!
Posted on 23 Aug
Infiniti 46 features Doyle Sails BR0 - Blast Reaching Zero - Video
Video of the Infiniti 46 at speed using Doyle Sails including a fore-sail that measures as a jib and is used for blast r Video of the Infiniti 46 at speed using Doyle Sails including a fore-sail that measures as a jib and is used for blast reaching. Designed by DSS-creator Hugh Welbourn the Infiniti 46 is 14.10m LOA, with a beam of 3.90m and a 3.35m draft. Her displacement is listed at 5300kg. She is full carbon construction.
Posted on 22 Aug
A magnificent fleet gathers in Cowes for Etchells World Championship
58 teams from all over the world have entered the championship, hosted by the Royal London Yacht Club. Twenty teams are from Great Britain and a dozen each from Australia and the United States of America. Four entries are from Hong Kong and as far afield as: Bermuda, Ireland, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates.
Posted on 22 Aug
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2016 - Day 1 Downwind Racing
With a backdrop of dark rain clouds, the fleet raced downwind from Lindeman Island to the finish in Dent Passage With a backdrop of dark rain clouds, the fleet raced downwind from Lindeman Island to the finish in Dent Passage getting a good soaking shortly after the video was shot.
Posted on 22 Aug
Time and tide on Day 2 of the Audi Hamilton Island Race Week
A light breeze and cloudy skies saw 12 of the 14 divisions scheduled for many island courses starting from Dent Passage. The Trailables Division led the vanguard at the first start gun, but it soon became apparent that plugging a strong south going current in such light breeze was going to make for a very slow and congested start to the day.
Posted on 22 Aug
AHIRW - Day 1 - 'Pillow Talk' and Scallywag's Honeymooners
A record-breaking fleet of 252 boats and catching up with so many of my sailing mates from around the world Amazing to be back on Hamilton Island for Audi Hamilton Island Race Week. A record-breaking fleet of 252 boats, a stunning location, and catching up with so many of my sailing mates from around the world, what could be better?
Posted on 22 Aug