by Event media
British skipper Samantha Davies crossed the finish line off Port la Forêt, Brittany this Monday morning at 07 hours 38 minutes 46 seconds UTC, after 17 days 17 hours 38 minutes 46 seconds of racing.
Samantha Davies - photo Transat Ecover B to B
Roxy thus takes seventh place in the Transat Ecover-BtoB and was followed in by Yannick Bestaven (Cervin EnR) seven hours later, shortly before 1500 UTC.
Davies waited for daybreak to complete her first solo transatlantic race on a 60 foot Imoca and makes the most of it to validate her qualification for the next Vendée Globe.
The young British sailor is one of the only competitors not to have experienced any technical problems aboard the boat, which has twice won the single-handed round the world race without stopovers!
However, though this return transatlantic is a prime example of how to manage both material and trajectory, it is of note that the monohull built in 2000 doesn't have the potential of the latest generation of prototypes, particularly those upwind.
In addition, after the Doldrums, the chasing pack weren't able to benefit from the same climatic situation and the end of the course was considerably harder and longer. Roxy was thus forced to beat from the tip of Brittany to the Beg Meil signal station against light headwinds, which took Sam nearly a day to complete.
Not surprisingly... Sam also opted to round to the South of the Glénan islands in order to finish at fist light, making over 12 knots across the line!
Samantha Davies (Roxy):
'It was a fine race and I was surprised during the manoeuvres as I really got into it and it was fairly easy on deck: taking out a reef before was quite a long process, but now it’s fairly smooth and I am even able to go faster. My training sessions have born fruit! As a result I am now qualified for the Vendée Globe.
The last three days were hard and fortunately Yannick Bestaven was a long way back this morning: I looked at the positions and saw that I had a bit of leeway. I decided to stop tacking all the time and to go in close to the shore to take as much of a short cut as I could. I passed to the South of the Glénan islands and that way I didn’t have to tack. I simply finished off on a single tack at 12 knots.
I was already tired and would have had to have shifted all the sails over to the other side of the boat again, which was just unthinkable. I’m going to go and rest and recuperate from my accumulated fatigue now. The end of the Vendé Globe will be worse, but right now, I am exhausted!'
Yannick Bestaven, who followed Davis in also not only qualifies for the next Vendée Globe, but also rounds off a very fine first South-North transatlantic race aboard his Imoca monohull.
The ex-Aquitaine Innovations (Yves Parlier) was thirteenth into Salvador de Bahia in the company of Ronan Guérin, the Arcachon sailor has completed a great return race in solo configuration in this Transat Ecover-BtoB by crossing the finish line three days 15 hours 44 minutes and 23 seconds after the winner Loïck Peyron.
120 miles from Port la Forêt, Arnaud Boissières (Akena Vérandas) is the next solo sailor expected off the Beg Meil signal station tomorrow. Jean-Baptiste Dejeanty (Maisonneuve) should follow suit around ten hours later.
As for Canadian Derek Hatfield (Spirit of Canada), he'll have to wait until Wednesday evening or Thursday before he can see his family again who have come all the way from Canada to see him in.
British sailor Dee Caffari (Aviva) will have her Christmas on land after all, the first in seven years, and finally American, Rich Wilson (Great American III) will bring this Transat Ecover BtoB to a close, a day and a half after the Canadian, at the tail end of this week.