Transat Québec Saint-Malo - Le Roux leads the way

Class 40 under spinnaker on the St Lawrence - Transat Québec Saint-Malo 2012
XDachez.com
Transat Québec Saint-Malo eighth edition is currently underway. All 25 boats taking part have rounded the last mark at Pierre Percée, leaving behind the tricky waters of the St Lawrence River, and are now faced with a new challenge.

While overall leader Erwan Le Roux on trimaran FenêtréA Cardinal is bound for the îles de la Madeleine, that he is expected to sail past over the coming hours, the Class40 and Open monohull fleet will have to navigate carefully and skillfully among islands, islets and rocks that scatter the area in a strong breeze, to reach their final waypoint between Langlade and Saint-Pierre. Yet another action packed 24 hours for the 103 sailors, before finally heading out to the open ocean and to the 2,000 plus miles to the finish in Saint Malo.

Light wind and flat waters on the St Lawrence - Transat Québec Saint-Malo 2012
XDachez.com

Despite a wind shift from north-west to south-east that slowed down the German flagged boat for a few hours, Joerg Riechers and his crew on Mare continue to lead the Class40 fleet, following their move into the top spot at Sainte-Anne des Monts mark on Monday night. With the help of his 'dream team' formed by Rémi Aubrun, Sam Manuard and Ryan Breymaier, Richers has been pushing hard to maintain the advantage, as much as 44 miles at one point, on the four boats that have been trying to catch up. First among the hunting pack is Fabrice Amédéo on Geodis, who over the last hours has gained some ten miles on Thierry Bouchard on Comiris-Elior and Sébastien Rogues on Generation Eole- GDF Suez, whilst Aurélien Ducroz's Latitude Neige-Longitude Mer, despite showing a remarkable performance after the start, is struggling to keep up and at the same time keeping Stéphane Lediraison on IXBlue at bay. Once the boats reach the St. Lawrence Bay they will be able to make the best of a strong northwesterly wind to sail fast towards their next point of passage. The Canadian skipper Robert Patenaude on Persévérance is currently trailing at the back of the fleet but could profit from this fresh breeze to claw back some miles on the bulk of the competitors that could well compress at Saint-Pierre.

Erwan Le Roux skippering his trimaran FenêtréA Cardinal has expertly managed to keep his advantage on Erik Nigon's Vers un Monde sans Sida, that trails by 80 miles and it still looks like they will be able to pass north of Miquelon before heading down to Saint-Pierre. Behind the pair the Italian crew on Vento di Sardegna led by Andrea Mura, are sticking to their original plan to try and get the monohull leadership and be up with the leading Class40, Mare.

Contrary to its tradition, the big river has showed his most benign face to the fleet and only one boat reported a minor damage. Last night Christophe Coatnoan skipper on Partouche informed the race director Jean-Claude Maltais that he was being forced to make a technical pit-stop in Gaspé to repair the boat's bowsprit. With the help of a local welder, the French team was able to work out a solution and to re-start shortly after 6am.

Top 3 position report on July 25th at 14:30 GMT
Class40

1 - Jorg Riechers – Mare – Distance to finish 2355,5 nm
2 - Fabrice Amedeo – Geodis – 23,4 nm to leader
3 - Sébastien Rogues - Eole Generation - GDF SUEZ – 31,7 nm to leader

Open Class
1 - Erwan Le Roux - FenêtréA Cardinal 3 – Distance to finish 2240,3 nm
2 - Erik Nigon - Vers un Monde sans SIDA – 84,2 nm to leader
3 - Andrea Mura – Vento di Sardegna – 132 nm to leader (Monohull)

Transat Québec Saint-Malo website
http://www.sail-world.com/100148