Transat Quebec St-Malo.
Québec flagged Bleu skippered by Eric Tabardel crosses the line in Saint Malo - Transat Quebec St-Malo
It's Québec's day today in Saint Malo. With the finish of Eric Tabardel on Bleu, in the early hours and the expected arrival in a few hours of the Open class 65' monohull Océan Phénix skippered by Georges Leblanc, the Quebeckers make the news.
Three boats are still racing after the finish of Louis Duc's Avis Immobilier. Once they finish, one of the most intense and exciting editions of the classic West to East fully-crewed transatlantic race will conclude.
The first monohull flying the Québec flag crossed the line in the early hours of the day, at 7:20:08 Eric Tabardel's Bleu draw to an end their transatlantic voyage after 13 days, 14 hours and 8 seconds of racing in very testing conditions.
Bleu is sixteenth on the overall scoreboard, before EDF Energies Nouvelles skippered by David Augeix and Benoit Parnaudeau's Transport Cohérence. By arriving ahead of Georges Leblanc on Océan Phénix and Robert Patenaude on Persévérance Eric Tabardel is first Quebecker to get to Saint Malo. A performance that pays back Tabardel and his crew of the huge disappointment of the 2008 edition, when they dismasted in the Atlantic.
'The race was intense and very demanding, we never had the chance to race so close with other Class40 so I'm very happy with our performance. I was lucky too because my crew Damien, Philippe and Alain really did a great job. Obviously one would always want to do better, but we needed better sails and unfortunately we lost our gennaker and solent beside having some issues with the spinnaker.
'But our goal was to finish with the boat and the crew in good form, so I believe that we accomplished our mission. I'm happy to see that the boat, that was launched in 2007 could keep the pace of the newer generation boats and that her performance was excellent. I didn't know what to expect and the level of the competition was very high' said Eric Tabardel dockside at Quai Duguay Trouin in Saint-Malo.
Georges Leblanc and his 12 crew are expected later today. They are sailing just off the Côtes d’Armor avec Saint-Malo and the 65 footer will get in fifth in the Open Class division.
It was during the daily radio vac session that Louis Duc skippering Avis Immobilier crossed the finish line after 13 days, 18 hours, 57 minutes and 11 seconds in 18th place overall.
The next two Class40 are expected to reach Saint Malo tomorrow. The ETA for Denis Van Weynbergh's Proximedia is set for around 1am while the last boat of the fleet, Persévérance skippered by Quebecker Robert Patenaude will get to Brittany by the early afternoon.
Georges Leblanc 65' footer Océan Phénix - Transat Quebec St-Malo