Please select your home edition
Edition
Insun - AC Program

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.'
Mariners Museum 660x82North Technology - Southern SparsZhik AkzoNobelb 660x82

Related Articles

Tasar World Championship in Gamagori
As Libby said after the first race day of three races and five hours on the water, it was one of their toughest days The five race day event saw the outstanding North American crew from Seattle YC, former gold and bronze medal Olympians in the Flying Dutchman and 49’er Classes, Jonathan and Libby Johnson McKee, take out their fourth World Tasar Title
Posted today at 11:56 am
A Pacific Yankee Doodle Dandy opening day at Melges 20 Nationals
On a traditional sunny, summer day, Newport is known for giving sailors a headfake with a weak On a traditional sunny, summer day, Newport is known for giving sailors a headfake with a weak, northerly, morning breeze, only to have that fade into a solid, southwest seabreeze. Knowing the conditions well and despite the solid northerly morning gradient, PRO Anderson Reggio wisely postponed the 2017 Melges 20 U.S. National Championship fleet, and settled on a 2 o'clock
Posted today at 4:11 am
2017 U.S. National Championship - Newport Pow Wow
Summer sailing and racing in Newport is at its seasonal high point and smack dab in the middle of it all Summer sailing and racing in Newport is at its seasonal high point and smack dab in the middle of it all, is the 2017 Melges 20 U.S. National Championship hosted by Sail Newport happening on August 17-19. Three days of competitive sailing will take place under the careful management of PRO Anderson Reggio and his legion of local sailing and race committee volunteers.
Posted on 17 Aug
Step two for Kialoa II
Kialoa II has completed the Rolex Fastnet Race and will soon hoist sails and head to Sydney, Australia Kialoa II has completed the Rolex Fastnet Race and will soon hoist sails and head to Sydney, Australia, and the second major goal for the owners Patrick and Keith Broughton, the Rolex Sydney Hobart starting from Sydney Harbour on December 26, 2017.
Posted on 17 Aug
MAPFRE set the Volvo Ocean Race bar with overall Leg Zero victory
Newer teams know they have more work to do, but there are still plenty of positives to take from the progress they made Charlie Enright’s Vestas 11th Hour Racing became the third team to grab a victory from four stages in Leg Zero – a series of pre-race qualifying stages for the next edition of the round-the-world race – as they sneaked ahead of MAPFRE in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Posted on 16 Aug
Volvo Ocean Race – MAPFRE seal overall Leg Zero victory
ast-improving Vestas 11th Hour Racing took the stage win with the shortest Distance to Finish at 0430 UTC. The decision to call a halt to the racing came late on Tuesday night as the stage had become a drifting contest, with the teams making a series of expensive gybes in a bid to find some wind, and latest ETAs predicting that the boats would not reach Lisbon until well into Thursday.
Posted on 16 Aug
Volvo Ocean Race – What the skippers say
What a start to 2017-18 Leg Zero has given us! It's been exciting, intense, frustrating – and a great form guide We had an email a couple of hours ago from Race Control saying that the forecast was no wind at all and they decided to shorten the race which I think is a good decision because this Leg Zero was already becoming quite long and we are looking forward to finish and have a good rest.
Posted on 16 Aug
U.S. Match Racing Championship Qualifier - Chris Nesbitt in action
Chris Nesbitt of San Diego Yacht Club and his team won World Sailing Grade 3 U.S. Match Racing Championship Qualifier Chris Nesbitt of San Diego Yacht Club and his team won the World Sailing Grade 3 2017 U.S. Match Racing Championship Qualifier Sunday, thus earning a qualification spot to the big dance at the 2017 U.S. Match Racing Championship, Oct. 13-15, at Oakcliff Sailing on the Long Island Sound in New York State.
Posted on 16 Aug
Volvo Ocean Race - MAPFRE invest in west – and it's looking best
With the exception of Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag, fleet remained close together to the east of front throughout the night With the exception of Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag, the fleet remained close together to the east of the front throughout the night, experiencing light northeasterly winds as they sailed down wind towards Cape Finisterre.
Posted on 16 Aug
France annihilates Rolex Fastnet Race competition for a third time
The Royal Ocean Racing's biennial flagship event attracted another record-sized fleet of 362 boats, six more than 2015. As ever the course took the giant fleet west down the English Channel, either side of the prohibited 'traffic separation scheme' zone between Land's End and the Scilly Isles, across the Celtic Sea to the Fastnet Rock, four miles off southwest Ireland, back south leaving Bishop Rock and the Scilly Isles to port and then, on past the Lizard, to the finish off Plymouth - in total 605 nautical miles.
Posted on 15 Aug