In the Transat Quebec Saint Malo, handicapped by a serious damage to their bowsprit and unable to keep the pace of the competitors on the fast reaching tack towards Saint-Pierre, Class40 leaders Mare have lost the top position as the wind shifted to the south due to a small low pressure system passing over the area.
In his blog from the boat, American Ryan Breymaier explained that the crew had to make an offshore repair to the piece, by dismounting and gluing it together. As a consequence, Mare's direct adversaries have been able take advantage of the new breeze to overtake the red boat. The new leaders are Aurélien Ducroz, Thomas Le Breton and Eric Péron on Lattitude Neige/Longitude Mer, who already showed good speed and brilliant tactics on the very first part of the St Lawrence descent. Not only have the international crew on Mare lost their top sport, going down to sixth, but the rest of the fleet has compressed to a close pack with no less than 14 boats separated by just 20 miles from Aurélien Ducroz in first to Jacques Fournier Groupe Picoty in 14th. And anything can still happen on the long route to Saint Malo...
While the Class40 fleet is fighting close, overall leader FenêtréA Cardinal skippered by Erwan Le Roux at 17:45 yesterday rounded Saint Pierre, saluted by some hundreds fans who gathered on the island's coast despite the rain to watch the trimaran sail past. The rest of the monohull fleet is expected to reach Saint Pierre later today. Will Ducroz's team be able to contain the comeback from Fabrice Amédéo on Geodis who, over the last 24 hours has been steadily attacking him? Provisional leader will also need to watch out for Sébastien Rogues on Eole Génération - GDF SUEZ and Stéphane Le Diraison's IXBlue, who both made big gains and came back into the game. Benoit Parnaudeau too has informed the race direction to have suffered some damage to Transport Cohérence's right rudder that 'despite having been repaired is still moving.'
After more than 700 miles on the river and in the vast St Lawrence Bay anything can still happen and a re-start is most probable as the fleet approaches the Atlantic.
Transat Quebec St Malo website