The MOD70 Multi One Championship 2012-14 first event on the circuit, the Krys Ocean Race, is on day five of racing. Gains by the chasing duo Groupe Edmond de Rothschild and Foncia which were revealed when the leading MOD70 Spindrift Racing reappeared last night from undercover ‘ghost mode’ may continue through the first part of today but Spindrift’s Pascal Bidégorry seemed confident that their crew have enough in hand in an improving forecast to cross first at the Petit Minou finish line this afternoon.
On board Groupe Edmond de Rothschild - Krys Ocean Race 2012
But the finish of the first Krys Ocean Race will be closer than it was anticipated yesterday.
Before disappearing into ghost mode yesterday Spindrift racing had 69.2 miles of a lead over the second placed Groupe Edmond de Rothschild, but this morning that had been cut to just 35.9 miles.
As all three MOD70 teams passed the longitude of Fastnet Rock, off the southern tip of Ireland in the small hours of this morning - sailing roughly the same track - Yann Guichard and the Spindrift Racing crew had a lead of 1 hour and 25 min ahead of Seb Josse’s Groupe Edmond de Rothschild with Michel Desjoyeaux in third with his Foncia crew at only 30 minutes behind them.
Bidégorry, racing in the lightest wind since leaving New York Sunday, 12kts, said ' Once we round the Scilly Isles, we should pick up the southwest breeze that will come in stronger and be more stable for the approach to Ushant. Now we are just ahead of the low and had to get over a small ridge, which means the others have managed to catch up on us. For now we should be pretty much on a direct route from now on though.'
The leaders were around 50 miles from the Scilly Isles gate at 0630hrs UTC, after which they have around 120 miles to sail to the finish line.
This morning Spindrift Racing had temporarily outrun the leading edge of the front which has propelled them at high speeds all the way across the Atlantic, and so were in much lighter breezes when Bidégorry spoke to the early morning radio call with Krys Ocean Race. But after squeezing through a small light airs ridge, they should be caught again by the stronger winds for a high speed finale, close reaching to the finish.
After finishing the MOD70’s will remain offshore before making a grand entrance into the Tonnerres de Brest festival tomorrow afternoon.
Pascal Bidégorry, Spindrift Racing: 'The wind has dropped down to 12 knots over night. Once we round the Scilly Isles, we should pick up the southwest breeze that will come in stronger and be more stable for the approach to Ushant. Now we are just ahead of the low andhad to get over a small ridge, which means the others have managed to catch up on us. For now we should be pretty much on a direct route from now on though.
I look at the weather too with Yann as well as being at the helm, this is still a boat and we have to sail it! Sometimes you are at the helm on a one and a half hour watch and the last fifteen minutes can be really tough. It is not easy keeping your eyes open with the bucket loads of water constantly spaying in your face. My eyes are knackered!
There are not that many boats this size that can cross the Atlantic in so few days.
It is really nice to get the feeling of the old 60 footers, I think we had all forgotten just how wet it is on board and that we live end up living like dogs on board, there are not comforts. Now we are a bit drier, we all had to get changed after two days because it started to smell. It was like a mouldy smell, not just from the foul weather kit but also from the boat itself. Not very nice!
We should get to the finish this afternoon, hard to put a time on it because it is not until we get passed the Scilly Isles that we will know for sure, but anytime from 2pm onwards to say four in the afternoon. There should be a wind rotation and then there are a few rocks to deal with too.
It is dawn and not all that much to eat on board… we have really rummaged around and can’t find anything. But then we just get on with the sailing and grab whatever is going.'
Krys Ocean Race website