Please select your home edition
Edition
Pantaenius AUS 40 Years 728x90

Transat Jacques Vabre memories and preview from GryphonSolo2

by Joe Harris on 15 Nov 2013
11th Hour Racing Transat Jacques Vabre http://www.jacques-vabre.com/en/s01_home/s01p01_home.php
I have been watching the Transat Jacques Vabre race develop with interest and wanted to provide a quick update and further comparisons to the 2005 race. My focus will be on the Class 40's, who are mostly now solidly into the trade winds, with the leaders flying along at 14 knots in 25 knots of Northeasterly breeze. After the pitstop in Roscoff to let a low pressure system go through, the rich seem to have gotten richer, as the two leaders- GDF Suez and Mare- (Mach 40 sisterships from the design board of Sam Manuard) seem to be moving extremely well.

Next up are my friends Halvard and Miranda on Compagne deFrance, who are also blasting along in rough seas and wet conditions, about 127 miles back from the leader, as the move past the Azores to the West and Madeira to the East. The new Ker-designed Concise 8 with Ned Collier-Wakefield and Sam Goodchild have had to drop out with a broken port rudder that was evidently ripped off by an unidentified submerged object. The new Akilaria RC-3 Caterham Challenge sits in 11th place, about 218 miles back from the leader and going slightly slower in less breeze. Finally, 11th Hour Racing is back in the race after breaking their headstay and returning to Lorient, France to get it repaired. They are now 671 miles back from the leader but they are back in the race and bound and determined to catch up.

This situation reminds me very much of the 2005 race. Aboard my Open 50 'Wells Fargo- American Pioneer' with co-skipper Josh Hall, we were match racing fellow Open 50 class competitors Artforms and Brehat across the Bay of Biscay when suddenly Artforms turned back to Lorient to repair a torn mainsail. We were ahead of Brehat, but they elected to take a more Easterly course through the Canary Islands and also through the Cape Verde islands further south. While our routing showed that a more westerly path was faster, we were reluctant to let Brehat go on their more Easterly path alone, not knowing whether Artforms was going to get back in the game. After much discussion, we elected to cover Brehat to the East and then -sure enough- Artforms came roaring back into the trade winds 200 miles west of us and quickly began clawing back the 500 mile deficit their pitstop had created. We sailed into some very light winds near the Cape Verde Islands and were freaking out as Artforms gained on every scheduled report and our lead evaporated. Luckily, we finally found some wind and made it to the Doldrums first and then had a fast passage through the Doldrums while Artforms and Brehat struggled. We got into the South Atlantic trade winds first and were off to the races towards Brazil, with our lead now growing at every report.

So for Team 11th Hour Racing I would say 'hang in there!!' as you never know what might happen with over 4,000 miles still to go. The very fast downwind trade wind sailing under spinnakers that most of the Class 40 fleet is now experiencing can lead to some spectacular wipe-outs as either auto-pilots fail or skippers get tired at the tiller, so skippers will need to be particularly vigilant and not carry too much sail in big breeze. If a spinnaker is lost (shredded beyond repair or lost overboard), it can definitely make the boat uncompetitive for the rest of the race, as each sail in the eight sail limited inventory is critical for the boat to deliver maximum performance.

It will be fun to watch the race tracker and leaderboard change in the coming days as skippers choose different routing options as they set up for passing the Canaries and Cape Verde islands and also beginning to think about their entry waypoint for the doldrums and crossing of the equator. More to GryphonSolo2 website
RS Sailing 660x82Insun - AC ProgramHarken AUS HL Snatch Block 660x82

Related Articles

Extreme Sailing Series - Team Extreme on a mission
Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 3, Madeira Islands will see regular fleet joined by Portuguese-flagged wildcard Team Extreme Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 3, Madeira Islands will see the regular fleet joined by Portuguese-flagged wildcard Team Extreme, which is supported by The Magenta Project. The crew is unique in that it features four female sailors, who are on a mission to prove that females have a place in high-performance sailing regattas.
Posted today at 7:10 am
Volvo Ocean Race - Seventh team announced with returning sponsor
Volvo Ocean Race ‘obsessive’ Bouwe Bekking with Team Brunel is back for an eighth shot the Volvo Ocean Race Bouwe Bekking, the most experienced sailor in Volvo Ocean Race history, will return to skipper the seventh confirmed team in the 2017-18 edition – and give himself another chance at claiming an elusive first victory at the eighth attempt. No one has sailed more miles in the Volvo Ocean Race than Bekking, who made his first appearance as a crewmember on Philips Innovator back in 1985-86.
Posted on 28 Jun
The Bridge Centennial Transat – British sailor reveals change of tack
Samantha revealed that the race between the Queen Mary 2 and four of the greatest trimarans will be unforgettable As the crowds lined the harbour walls of St Nazaire – and the decks of the QM2, to see the boats cross the start line, Davies, the navigator on board the 30 metre-long trimaran, Actual, and the four other crew, had to perform a last minute manoeuvre to avoid being run over by their vast rival.
Posted on 28 Jun
Big Wednesday stops play at GC32 Villasimius Cup
The second stage is a very different venue to the flat-water of Lake Garda where the first round took place last month The Marina di Villasimius is situated on a peninsula that lies in a north-south axis, with Capo Carbonara being the south-eastern corner of Sardinia.
Posted on 28 Jun
HotelPlanner.com to debut in Clipper Round the World Yacht Race
The HotelPlanner.com yacht will be one of twelve teams participating in the eleventh edition of the unique 40,000nm race As an Official Team Partner, HotelPlanner.com will use the global reach of the Clipper Race to increase brand awareness, particularly in key destinations across the six continents visited on the eleven-month duration race route.
Posted on 28 Jun
SuperFoilers Are Go!
SuperFoilers represent many things. Whilst those components are disparate and virtually from different planets SuperFoilers represent many things. Whilst those components are disparate and virtually from different planets in the great scheme of things, they come together in the one form as harmoniously as a Rolls Royce, and also deliver intense energy way past the sum of their parts, just like some amazing band.
Posted on 28 Jun
ChartCo back on board as official supplier for Clipper 2017-18 Race
The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race welcomes ChartCo back as Official Supplier for its fifth consecutive edition. The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race welcomes ChartCo, a leading global supplier of maritime digital data and compliance services, back as Official Supplier for its fifth consecutive edition.
Posted on 28 Jun
Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Yacht Race announcement. It’s on!
The RMYC Broken Bay in association with the Coffs Harbour Yacht Club is excited to announce a new partnership and race The RMYC Broken Bay in association with the Coffs Harbour Yacht Club is excited to announce a new partnership, and can confirm that the Pantaenius Newport to Coffs Coast Yacht Race will start in Pittwater on 27th December 2017. This much-loved annual coastal event is now secure and event planning is well underway.
Posted on 28 Jun
Less than one week to start of 2017 Transpac
The first wave of three starts to the 49th edition of 2017 biennial Transpac Race starts next Monday, July 3rd The first wave of three starts to the 49th edition of 2017 biennial Transpac Race starts next Monday, July 3rd, when 17 yachts in three monohull divisions will cross the start line at Point Fermin in Los Angeles to race to the finish at Diamond Head in Honolulu 2225 miles away. In addition, one yacht in the multihull division - Jerzy Poprawski's catamaran Kastor Pollux - will make start this day
Posted on 28 Jun
Trimarans begin to fly as Queen Mary 2 passes rescue point
Queen Mary 2 looks unbeatable at front of The Bridge-Centennial Transat but during Day 2 she was finally being outpaced The Queen Mary 2 looks unbeatable at the front of The Bridge - Centennial Transat but during the second day of racing on Tuesday she was finally being outpaced as the “Ultime” class trimarans behind her spread their wings and began to fly.
Posted on 28 Jun