Please select your home edition
Edition
Newport Boat Show 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.'
upffront 660x82Southern Spars - 100T Clewring Cruising

Related Articles

52 Super Series- Puerto Portals Sailing Week – Day 3 action shots
Photographer Max Ranchi has provided this gallery of images from day three Photographer Max Ranchi has provided this gallery of images from day three
Posted on 27 Jul
Chile’s Clemente Seguel wins Youth North American Championship
Chile's Clemente Seguel on top with four bullets in four races. The wind didn't come in on Tuesday, leaving the results as they were after Monday: Chile's Clemente Seguel on top with four bullets in four races.
Posted on 27 Jul
Kinetic V wins 2016 Vic-Maui Yacht Race
Kinetic V Wins Vic-Maui 2016, Valkyrie wins Line Honours and second overall, Longboard takes third overall. 2016 Vic-Maui Yacht Race - Kinetic V Wins Vic-Maui 2016, Valkyrie wins Line Honours and second overall, Longboard takes third overall.
Posted on 27 Jul
52 Super Series – Puerto Portals Sailing Week – Azzurra strikes back
Azzurra delivered their best day of the season so far on the Bay of Palma waters where they won the World Champion title The team of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda scored two second places from the pair of windward-leeward races which were sailed in relatively steady sea breeze conditions. Super sharp starting was the launch pad for race victories today. Prime position on the pin mark of the start line at the gun was key to the wins of Bronenosec and Provezza.
Posted on 26 Jul
New French leader on Day 3 of Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup
Breakfast time today saw some furious adding up to resolve the winning team in the high scoring offshore race Initially France Blue, overall leaders after day one, looked strong with their two big boats, Eric de Turkheim's A13, Teasing Machine, and the Prietz family's JND 39, GOA, in front. As boats started finishing the Flanders North Sea team edged ahead.
Posted on 26 Jul
52 Super Series – Puerto Portals Sailing Week – Races 3 and 4 images
Photographer Max Ranchi has provided this gallery of images from races three and four Photographer Max Ranchi has provided this gallery of images from races three and four
Posted on 26 Jul
Gstaad Yacht Club's Racing Team trio for Rio 2016
Pre-Olympic Brunch at the GYC clubhouse – members, guests and friends gave a Brazilian farewell to the GYC Racing Team. The Gstaad Yacht Clubs sport members are: the Nacra 17 team with Matías Bühler and Nathalie Brugger who qualified for Switzerland, the 470 sailor Will Ryan, who starts with his helmsman Matthew Belcher for Australia and Billy Besson, who starts in the Nacra 17 class too, together with his crew Marie Riou for France.
Posted on 26 Jul
Reducing weight aloft with composite backstays
Reducing weight aloft is one of the most cost effective ways of increasing your boat speed and performance. Reducing weight aloft is one of the most cost effective ways of increasing your boat speed and performance. Every kilogram you take out of the rig is roughly equivalent to 4kg added to the bottom of your keel!
Posted on 26 Jul
America's Cup World Series - Ian Roman's Images from Portsmouth
Ian Roman was in Portsmouth for the America's Cup World Series and provided this first of two galleries from the event Top international photographer, Ian Roman was in Portsmouth for the America's Cup World Series and provided this first of two galleries of the racing across the three days of the regatta.
Posted on 26 Jul
Owners work together on new 52fter project to kick-start SoCal fleet
Manouch Moshayedi owner and skipper of the Bakewell-White 100 Rio100 is behind establishing a 52fter fleet in California The 52fters will be based on the latest design by Judel/Vrolijk. “There are some improvements over the boats in the SuperSeries in the Med that we have made specifically for California sailing, including taller masts, larger mains, larger jibs, larger spinnakers and lighter displacement,” explains Manouch Moshayedi.
Posted on 26 Jul