This week’s racing news is being driven by two world-class distance races, the singlehanded Mini Transat and the double-handed Transat Jacques Vabre (TJV). Both races saw rough and lumpy weather and damage-borne attrition and competition that remained serious, despite the stiff objective challenges that were thrown at the crews by Mother Nature. According to the latest reports, the first of these TJV competitions has been settled, as Sébastien Josse and Charles Caudrelier, aboard the MOD70 trimaran, 'Edmond de Rothschild', beat co-skippers Sidney Gavignet and Damian Foxall across the finishing line aboard their MOD70, 'Oman Air-Musandam', on the 5,450-mile push from Le Havre, France to Itajaí, Brazil.
Oman Air-Musandam in Transat Jacques Vabre
'We are helming a lot and our hands are suffering for it, not quite bleeding yet, but not far off-we’ve been on this tack almost exclusively since Cape Finisterre,' reported Gavignet a day or so ago. 'Right now we are doing 21-knots of boatspeed downwind. There are still some challenges to come before Itajaii; we have to get through a small front with very little wind behind it, there will be a little from the north and a little from the south. It will be pretty tricky for both boats.'
Despite the tricky driving conditions, Josse and Caudrelier managed to sail a faster race than their rivals, reeling off all 5,450 miles in just 11 days, five hours, three minutes and 54 seconds. Inside, get the full report on how this tactically demanding race was won, and be sure to also get the full TJV download from the other classes that are still deep into their races.
Also racing across the Atlantic but aboard considerably smaller raceboats, the singlehanded Mini Transat Race is also throwing plenty of weather-related challenges as the fleet of 21-foot speedsters literally had to battle their way out of Sada, Spain before punching out on the 3,600 mile nonstop route to Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe. Upon exiting the coast of Lanzarote, skippers had to face the tough choice of routing, namely to take the southerly route or to sail the rumbline.
According to the latest reports, Giancarlo Pedote ('Prysmian') is leading the prototype class, followed by Benoit Marie and Bertrand Delesne, while the action in the production class is being driven by Aymeric Belloir ('Tout le Monde chante contre le Cancer'), followed by Benoit Marie and Bertrand Delesne. Inside, get the full scoop on routing choices, racecourse conditions and the greater tactical battle that’s setting up as the boats sprint towards Pointe-a-Pitre.
Meanwhile, in inshore racing news, 'The Wave, Muscat' claimed top honors at the 2013 Extreme Sailing Series in Florianopolis, snatching victory away from the 'Alinghi' squad after a long tug-of-war contest. 'This is exactly how I thought the end result would go!' said Leigh McMillan, skipper of 'The Wave, Muscat'. We haven't been able to shake 'Alinghi' all year, they haven't really put a foot wrong!'
'We knew they were going to do everything possible, the last few days they've been absolutely hammering us around the racecourse,' continued McMillan. 'They did an exceptional job in that last race getting in front and we were just lucky we just got the right corner of the course and the shift was big enough that we were able to keep in the game! It's a massive relief for what has been a couple of emotional days!'
Get the full Extreme Sailing Series news, inside this issue.
Also inside, be sure to check out the news from the upcoming RC44 Championship, the Monson Cup, as well as an update from the ongoing Clipper Round the World Yacht Race and the Laser Worlds. Enjoy!
May the four winds blow you safely home,