Route des Princes - MOD70’s and Prince de Bretagne pass Wolf Rock
by Sabina Mollart Rogerson on 30 Jun 2013
On their last leg of the Routes des Princes race multihull race around Europe the MOD70’s fleet and the Maxi Prince de Bretagne passed Wolf Rock, four miles SW of Land’s End at close to 0100hrs UTC (0200hrs local time, Plymouth) in thick mist, not seeing each other on a dark, chilly and wet night.
Route des Princes 2013 © Route des Princes
Less than two miles apart, from the front of the fleet to the back, the MOD70’s and Prince de Bretagne were left monitoring each others’ progress on AIS whilst some even confirmed that they had not even seen the light at Wolf Rock, so poor was the visibility.
Leader of the fleet this morning was Lionel Lemonchois’ race flagship Prince de Bretagne whilst the two main MOD70’s protagonists were locked together less than half a mile apart.
Edmond de Rothschild, Sébastien Josse’s crew, lead their rivals by a small distance at Wolf Rock but on the 0800hrs (UTC) ranking this morning Sidney Gavignet’s Oman Air-Musandam was credited with a lead of 0.68 of a mile. The MOD70’s had 106 miles to complete their full course to the Morlaix finish line and were making 19.5kts, but the breeze is expected to falter on the approach to North Brittany this morning. The head to head for the overall win could not be closer with the points bounty at La Roche Gautier just 40 miles ahead. Oman Air-Musandam need to take the points there to keep their overall chances alive.
The Multi50 duel for the overall victory is just as close. On the 0800hrs position report this morning with 46 miles to sail FenêtréA-Cardinal, Erwan Le Roux, was only just leading ahead of Arkéma - Aquitaine Region, Lalou Roucayrol by just three tenths of a mile with overall race leader Actual, Yves Le Blévec, in third with a deficit of 5 miles on the leaders. At the bonus points mark, NW Minquiers Arkéma - Aquitaine Region was four minutes ahead of FenêtréA-Cardinal, pocketing the valuable 1.5 points to move within half a point of Actual on the overall standings and so just needing to finish ahead of Le Blévec’s crew to secure overall victory.
On the early morning radio vacations Mayeul Riffet on Arkéma - Aquitaine Region reported that they had a short sea, drizzle and were racing upwind to the bonus mark.
Meantime the port of Roscoff awaits the arrival of the Routes des Princes fleet to welcome the crews to the Terre et Mer festival, four days of celebrating the best of regional culinary products, featuring chefs, sailing on traditional boat and music and cultural shows. The first boats to finish should arrive this afternoon. The Multi50’s had just over 60 miles to sail at 0600hrs UTC this morning.
Multi 50 at 0800hrs UTC (BST- one hour)
1- FenêtréA - Cardinal - Erwan Le Roux, 45.92 miles to finish
2- Arkéma - Region Aquitaine, Lalou Roucayrol, +0.27 miles
3- Actual, Yves Le Blevec, + 5.13 miles
4- Rennes Métropole - Saint Malo Agglomération, Gilles Lamiré + 27.62 miles
MOD70 at 0800hrs
1- Oman Air - Musandam, Sidney Gavignet, 106.7 miles to finish
2- Edmond de Rothschild, Sébastien Josse, + 0.68 miles
3- Virbac - Paprec 70, Jean-Pierre Dick + 9.18 miles
1- Maxi 80 Prince de Bretagne, Lionel Lemonchois, 104.69 miles to finish
Matthew Souben (Prince de Bretagne)
'It is cold and wet with very little visibility. At 0100hrs this morning we went around Wolf Rock and even 100 metres from the light we did not see it. And so we have had to be very vigilant as there are many fishermen and cargo ships in the area. The MOD70’s are behind. We are making about 20kts in 15kts of wind but the breeze will die a little as we get towards the French coast. Our ETA should be around 1500-1600hrs local time this afternoon.'
Sidney Gavignet (Oman Air - Musandam)
'The conditions are very cold, wet and foggy. We passed very close to a cargo ship due to the very poor visibility! We did not see the (Wolf Rock) lighthouse either. We cant see the other boats, but on AIS we see that we are behind Gitana as we passed to Wolf Rock, but we are downwind now.
We just gybed, the wind is a little light, 13/14 knots but we are going well.
Mayeul Riffet (Arkema - Aquitaine Region):
'We are upwind we have a short sea, the boat slams a bit, there are 15/18 knots of wind. It is drizzling and so we feel like we are back in Brittany already.
The boat went well downwind, that got us back to FenêtréA-Cardinal before we crossed them. A small shift to jibe on before we took advantage. Fortunately we are back in the game because we made a bad start, perhaps we were too cautious and suddenly we got stuck a bit We now have a little mile ahead and we will push so hard for the rest of the course. We have made a lot of manoeuvres. We still have a few to do.'