Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars - North Technology

Transat Jacques Vabre becomes more tactical for IMOCA Open 60 fleet

by Soazig Guého on 12 Nov 2013
IMOCA Safran Olivier Blanchet www.oceanracing.org
In the Transat Jacques Vabre, though five different boats revealed over the course of today (Monday) that they will make technical pit stops, the race for the IMOCA Open 60 fleet has become more tactical as they seek the best lanes of breeze, gybing downwind 150 miles north of Madeira and the pair of MOD70s, passing the latitude of the Canary Islands, are still making regular speeds of 23-25kts.

After capsizing in gusty, shifty tradewinds when they broached 220 miles west of Lisbon late on Sunday night, the French co-skippers of Arkema-Region Aquitaine, Lalou Roucayrol and Mayeul Riffet, dived under their upturned Multi 50 trimaran today to free their broken mast and tidy what they could with a view to being towed towards Lisbon.


The duo have returned inside the boat, are safe and well, taking turns to rest and eat and keep a careful watch to avoid other craft colliding with them. Their technical team arrive in Lisbon at 1800hrs UTC this Monday evening where they have a tug on standby, ready to leave at 1900hrs. They should arrive in the zone tomorrow morning.

Speaking by Iridium phone this morning co-skipper Riffet told Transat Jacques Vabre Race HQ in Paris: 'The wind was blowing at between 12 and 18 knots, and the boat broached with the rudders slipping and in three seconds the boat was upside down. We wanted to ease the sails but it was much too late. We were sailing under gennaker so it dug in. I was inside and tried to get out, but couldn’t. Lalou (Roucayrol) arrived by swimming underneath and came in through the little hatch. Everything is fine and we’re currently organising the towing arrangements to get us back to Lisbon. We don’t know whether the boat will be towed upside down or righted. We can suppose that the mast is broken. At the moment we have 15-17 knots of wind.'

Before they dived Roucayrol had added: 'We didn’t suffer physically and have enough water and food in the survival hatch. The structure of the boat (beams and floats) is intact, although we don’t know what’s going on under the water. We lost our masks and don’t know what’s happened to the rig.'

Express pit stops were signalled today by the class leaders in both the Multi 50 class and Class 40. The fact that both Actual (Yves Le Blévec and Kito de Pavant) and GDF SUEZ (Sébastien Rogues and Fabien Delahaye) extended their respective leads in the Multi 50 and Class 40 divisions will certainly help their challenge when they stop to make fast repairs. Actual which leads the Multi50 fleet now by 68.4 miles ahead of FenetreA-Cardinal (Erwan Le Roux and Yann Eliès) have said they plan to stop in Madeira and had less than 60 miles to the island on the 1500hrs UTC ranking this afternoon. They aim to replace their wind instruments at the top of their mast.

That is the same key repair that the Class 40 leaders aim to complete on the NW Spanish coast. They were about 60 miles off the coast on the same 1500hrs ranking but were making nine knots.


Three other Class 40’s announced during today that they will stop too. Alex Pella and Pablo Santurde on the Spanish designed and built Tales Santander 2014 in eighth place are heading into La Coruna with a rudder problem. They damaged the bearing of their starboard rudder when it took a shock. They are awaited tomorrow morning but can give no indication how long the repair might take.

The British-American duo on 11th Hour Racing Hannah Jenner and Rob Windsor are returning towards Lorient after their forestay failed dumping their Solent headsail into the water. Luckily they managed to save their rig.

'Our forestay has detached at the top of the mast dropping the Solent (headsail) into the water. We have recovered the sail and saved the rig.'

There were lucky escapes too for both BET1128 which also dropped their mast when their Solent hook failed, and also for the British duo on Caterham Challenge, Brian Thompson and Mike Gascoyne, who were racing close enough to the Italian-French duo Gaetano Mura and Sam Manuard that they had to alter course to avoid BET 1128 when the mast fell backwards.

BET 1128 re-set their mast using a combination of halyards and lines but will also make a halt to repair the failed swivelling hook and some damaged electrical cables inside the mast.

In second place the German-French duo on Mare, Jorg Riechers and Pierre Brasseur have a good chance to take the lead in the Class 40’s when GDF SUEZ stop. They were 21 miles behind the pacemakers this afternoon.

Thompson and Gascoyne were up to eighth today with a deficit of 56 miles while Ned Collier-Wakefield and Sam Goodchild lie 11th.

As expected it is the group of five newer boats which are well away from the second half of the fleet now. First to gybe to the south early this morning was Safran, Marc Guillemot and Pascal Bidégorry who gained a better heading and more wind pressure to lead this evening by 15 miles from PRB, Vincent Riou and Jean Le Cam. After their four hours pit stop in Peniche, Portugal to replace a damaged rudder blade on Sunday afternoon, Francois Gabart and Michel Desjoyeaux on Macif lie fifth, looking to make back the 56 miles they lie behind Safran.


The leaders of the MOD70 fleet had about 500 miles to race to pass the latitude of the Cape Verde Islands. Sébastien Josse and Charles Caudrelier on Edmond de Rothschild polled another profitable day’s run on 572 miles with a suggestion of an ETA to Itajaí of 20th November. Both duos had alread indicated they expected to take between 12 and 14 days. Although they were 87 miles behind their rivals Oman Air - Musamdam are fighting back: 'We have changed some settings of the boat during the last six hours and now we're a little faster. A few problems added together and made us lose a few more miles but we are doing well and we hope to catch up. There is still a long way to go!' skipper Sidney Gavignet reported this evening.

Sébastien Rogues skipper of GDF SUEZ (Class40): 'Today we are approaching Cape Finisterre with speed and strategy key. The situation is complicated because the W’ly wind begins to ease. There may be a slowdown in the fleet and so we need to really focus and concentrate. We look forwards to getting into the Portuguese trade winds. In the meantime we rest a little. It is all going well with Fabien (Delahaye). I keep going like this for another hour and then we change. We both look at the weather and speak about it when we change watches.'

François Gabart skipper MACIF (IMOCA) 'We are going downwind fast. We try to catch up with our rivals. They didn’t hang about and wait for us while we made our short stop in Portugal and they were right. Our damage happened when we were off Cape Finisterre in slightly lighter conditions. Our starboard rudder broke. Both rudders are identical aboard MACIF so we swapped them over. And then we made the technical stop in Peniche to fit the spare one. It would not have been very great to go to across to Brazil with one rudder ...'

Pascal Bidégorry, co- skipper of Safran (IMOCA) 'We have a wind of around twenty knots with less swell and now with a little sun. We are leading because we gybed a bit earlier than our rivals and we now a good angle. I'm happy. But we are not getting get carried away. The course is long. We will leave Madeira port. I do not know when we’ll reach the latitude of that beautiful island. We are 200 miles off and we are making almost 17 knots, you can do the Transat Jacques Vabre

Mackay BoatsInsun - AC ProgramAncasta Botin Fast40 660x82

Related Articles

Oracle Team USA opens 35th America's Cup with a convincing win
Oracle Team USA opened its quest for a three-peat with a win over Groupama Team France on Saturday afternoon in Bermuda. In picture perfect conditions, skipper Jimmy Spithill won the first start of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup Qualifiers with a timed run to the starting line.
Posted today at 6:46 pm
Thrilling races during tropical 33rd Delta Lloyd Regatta
The organisation was testing new formats for 49er, 49erFX and RS:X. It was a great success and made the finals exciting Medemblik welcomed a lot of talent, including those preparing for World Championships and World Cups, and some starting new Olympic campaigns. There were also many Olympic Rio sailors who’ve just started their season again.
Posted today at 5:22 pm
Onboard Phaedo^3's Transpacific Course World Record run across Pacific
The past few years we have had a good share of success with at least one wrong turn in our racing program. When Brian Thompson and I were planning the Phaedo3 program we had a wish list of races and records which would be nice to attempt if we had a MOD70.
Posted today at 5:10 pm
Riva Cup – Some more action shots by Elena Giolai
Photographer Elena Giolai has provided this gallery of images of Dyas, 5O5, Korsar Int. 14' classes Photographer Elena Giolai has provided this gallery of images of Dyas, 5O5, Korsar Int. 14' classes
Posted today at 4:26 pm
Riva Cup images by Elena Giolai
Photographer Elena Giolai has provided this gallery of images of Dyas, 5O5, Korsar Int. 14' classes Photographer Elena Giolai has provided this gallery of images of Dyas, 5O5, Korsar Int. 14' classes
Posted today at 4:11 pm
A Few Rays – Hypo-allergenic sunscreens, a must have for some
Allergic reaction to sunscreen can be avoided if you know what to use Allergic reaction to sunscreen can be avoided if you know what to use A standard hypo-allergenic sunscreen will be designed to reduce the chance of allergic reaction by limiting ingredients in the formulation that cause the irritation.
Posted today at 2:14 am
Delta Lloyd Regatta – Medal race time for 470 and Laser
The wind was a bit tricky but Laser and 470 were able to start as scheduled giving them some time before the medal races An exciting Friday saw the last of the races before the medal races are sailed. The wind was a bit tricky in the morning, but Laser and 470 were able to start their races as scheduled, giving them some time before the medal races to prepare.
Posted on 26 May
Glasgow delivered for Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust Round Britain crew
On May 20, a bright blue 44ft yacht, Moonspray, surrounded by a flotilla of local boats, sailed out of Largs Yacht Haven Over the course of the summer the Round Britain 2017 voyage will involve over 100 young people in recovery from cancer in this national relay visiting over 60 towns and cities – with Glasgow being the crew's first main stop.
Posted on 26 May
Offshore Academy arrives in Pauillac for La Solitaire URGO le Figaro
With a busy schedule of pre-race build up in central Bordeaux the Solitaire Race Village will be a hive of activity Today will see the 43 boat Solitaire fleet take part in a prologue sail down the Gironde river, passing under the Pont Jacques Chaban Delmas Bridge into the centre of Bordeaux to an anticipated crowd of 100,000 enjoying the festival atmosphere, unseasonably hot Bordeaux evening and fireworks.
Posted on 26 May
Perfect conditions for RCIYC Spring Regatta
What a weekend! Blazing sunshine and fair breezes that made both days of the regatta, held in St Aubin’s Bay Saturday dawned bright with slight seas and a gentle to moderate southwesterly breeze that stayed put throughout the day even as a front moved in later in the afternoon to produce the only cloud cover and spot of rain experienced over the weekend.
Posted on 25 May