Please select your home edition
Edition
Wildwind 2016 728x90

Transat AG2R La Mondiale - Safran-Guy Cotten keeping up the pressure

by Safran Sailing Team on 26 Apr 2014
© Jean Marie Liot / DPPI
With three days to the finish of the Transat AG2R La Mondiale in St Barts, the Figaro Safran-Guy Cotten is keeping up the pressure in second place. At 1300hrs (French time), just 8.9 miles separated Gwénolé Gahinet and Paul Meilhat from the leader Skipper Macif. After 19 days of a great racing, the confident young crew of Safran-Guy Cotten are dreaming of a victory and know it will go down the finish. How the thriller ends should be known by Monday evening.

'We will not give up,' Gahinet said on Friday morning. 'We just had a great night. We sailed on the same tack and that suited our strategy. We haven’t slept as well as that since the start. So, yes, we are in good shape to keep attacking until the end.' The tone was clear, calm and focused, it was not the voice of the rookie of the Figaro Bénéteau circuit that spoke this morning, but rather that of a hardened competitor and skipper of the Figaro Safran-Guy Cotten. With the end in sight, the duo will make every effort to be first at the finish line off the port of Gustavia in St Barts.

As the night passed the trade winds weakened over the Atlantic, but with 15-20 knots of wind, the Figaro Safran-Guy Cotten was still gliding along at nine knots. With 640 miles to the finish, the four leading boats are engaged in an intense battle. At the moment Fabien Delahaye and Yoann Richomme on Skipper Macif, are leading by just 8.9 miles and slightly to the north of Safran-Guy Cotten, followed by Generali (Lunven- Péron) and La Cornouaille (Jourdain-Le Pape). 'We are in a better position than Skipper Macif,' Gahinet said. 'I think they will have to readjust a bit and gybe. That’s going to be a thorny dilemma for them. For us? We positioned ourselves to the south on a tack and we will make a decision based on what they do. We managed to take some miles from them after we passed La Palma, so we are confident in terms of speed. Mentally, that’s an advantage.'

Arriving in the Caribbean can be full of surprises but the weather files seem to be pretty clear on what is coming. 'The routing we have done takes us to windward of la Désirade and Barbuda which will allow us to avoid the wind shadow of the islands,' Gahinet said. 'The wind will continue to ease off a bit but in theory there are no traps. So we just have to focus on the speed and smooth running of the boat. It is close to the perfect scenario. I am savouring every moment of this transat, it's still a bit chilly at night, sometimes it's wet, but the sun is really strong,' Gahinet added admitting he is looking forward to getting back on land and enjoying a few local specialties. But before the fritters and the famous ti-punch, there are still three days of racing before the winner of the 12th edition of the Transat AG2R La Mondiale will be decided. The game is on.

Between two training sessions on Safran in La Trinité-sur-Mer, Marc Guillemot is avidly following Safran-Guy Cotten’s Figaro race. 'Paul and Gwénolé have had a magnificent race,' Guillemot said. 'We are seeing a great contest at the front. I found their small shift in latitude compared to Skipper Macif very interesting. The race is not over and we shouldn’t underestimate anyone at this stage. But whatever happens, being on the podium will be beautiful and the crew that crosses the line first in St Barts will deserve their victory.'
Zhik AkzoNobelb 660x82North Technology - Southern SparsInsun - AC Program

Related Articles

The world of sailing comes to Antigua Sailing Week
A staggering number of sailors from worldwide are descending on the Caribbean Antigua island to celebrate 50th edition. About 1,500 competitors from 32 countries will enjoy five days of world class racing, preceded by the Guadeloupe to Antigua Race and the Peters and May Round Antigua Race.
Posted today at 10:09 am
Ida Lewis Distance Race - Popular sailboat race set for August
The 13th edition of the Ida Lewis Distance Race is scheduled to start on Friday, August 18, 2017 The 13th edition of the Ida Lewis Distance Race is scheduled to start on Friday, August 18, 2017, promising once again to deliver an exciting late-season topper to a busy summer of competitive racing on Narragansett Bay. Classes for IRC, PHRF, One Design, Multihull and Double-Handed insure that everyone (with a qualifying boat of 28 feet or longer) has a place to fit in.
Posted today at 7:21 am
Sperry Charleston Race Week 2017 in review
The underlying goal for every race organizer – even those staging benefit regattas – is to provide safe, fair sailing The underlying goal for every race organizer – even those staging benefit regattas – is to provide safe, fair, competitive sailing. When you have your hands on the helm of a mega regatta such as Sperry Charleston Race Week, that doesn’t change. But it does become more complicated.
Posted today at 2:19 am
New faces in town with RC44 Sotogrande Cup set to begin
This event follows from last season's RC44 World Championship also held off this magnificent development Of the eight teams competing off Sotogrande, favourite is Igor Lah's Team CEEREF. Not only is the cockpit on the Slovenian RC44 adorned with the overall championship leader's 'golden wheels', but Lah's team also won the World Championship here in 2016.
Posted on 26 Apr
Sailing World Cup Hyères –Day 2– Zegers and van Veen show how its done
Afrodite Zegers and Anneloes van Veen were unstoppable on day two, winning both Women's 470 races in convincing style Out of the 534 competitors from 52 nations racing across ten Olympic events, Open Kiteboarding and 2.4 Norlin OD, the Dutch team were the standout performers.
Posted on 26 Apr
Women’s Sailing Conference slated for June 3 Marblehead, MA
The event, which features hands-on land and water-based workshops and seminars, offers women a fantastic opportunity The event, which features hands-on land and water-based workshops and seminars, offers women a fantastic opportunity to learn or hone sailing skills, network with other women sailors from all over the United States and gain the confidence necessary to become a valuable crew member or knowledgeable skipper
Posted on 26 Apr
GC32 Racing Tour Owner-Driver Championship heats up
Unique aspect of GC32 is that compared to other foiling catamarans, it is simpler to sail and logistically easier to run Team Argo is sailing with the same crew as it had for February’s GC32 Championship in Oman, including leading American Moth and big boat sailor Anthony Kotoun and British former Olympic and America’s Cup sailor Alister Richardson.
Posted on 26 Apr
RORC Season's Points Championship and Cervantes Trophy Race preview
Over 5000 sailors from all over the world will race in the biggest offshore sailing competition in the world. Over 5000 sailors from all over the world will race in the biggest offshore sailing competition in the world. While this year the 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race is the showcase event, there are fourteen testing races that make up the championship, and every race has its own coveted prize for the overall winner and for class honours.
Posted on 26 Apr
Biggest Round the World Ocean Race returns to Liverpool
The biggest round-the-world ocean race is to return to Liverpool with start and finish of this unique global challenge The biggest round-the-world ocean race is to return to Liverpool with the start and finish of this unique global challenge moving from the capital back to the River Mersey on the tenth anniversary of its last partnership with the region.
Posted on 26 Apr
2018 BVI Spring Regatta adds new race to Sailing Festival
On the heels of the 2017 BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival, preparations have already begun for 2018. On the heels of the 2017 BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival, preparations have already begun for 2018. The week of March 27 - April 1 will offer the unique opportunity to race under a full moon. With that illumination, we will run the inaugural 'Full Moon Race, 64 Islands ~One Brilliant Night'.
Posted on 26 Apr