Please select your home edition
Edition
Mackay Boats

Rolex Fastnet Race 2013 - Morning race update

by Peta Stuart-Hunt on 13 Aug 2013
Rolex Fastnet Race 2013 © Rolex/ Kurt Arrigo http://www.regattanews.com
The world's two fastest offshore racing trimarans had to endure the world's slowest finish in the early hours of this morning in the Rolex Fastnet Race.

Having jockeyed for the lead since leaving the Solent on Sunday, the Dona Bertarelli and Yann Guichard co-skippered Spindrift two was ahead past the Lizard in the early hours of this morning, only for the wind to switch off within two miles of the finish. Even the world's largest racing trimaran, with her 47m tall wingmast, was unable to find any wind when it counted.

As she parked, with Plymouth tantalisingly near, Armel le Cleac'h and the crew of the 31.5m trimaran Banque Populaire were able to ghost in. As the navigation lights on the French Vendée Globe hero's maxi-trimaran grew ever bigger, at one point closing to within half a mile, it looked like she might sail around Spindrift 2. However, at the last moment, the frontrunner found the lightest zephyr to ghost across the finish line at 02.53.58 BST.

Due to the upwind and light conditions this year, Spindrift 2's elapsed time of 38 hours 53 minutes and 58 seconds was more than six hours slower than the course record that this same boat managed in the race two years ago.

Despite being so close, it was another 22 minutes 41 seconds before Banque Populaire crossed the line.

For Dona Bertarelli this was her first ever offshore race, although the conditions at the finish were more akin to those she experienced when she won Switzerland's top yacht race, the Bol d'Or Mirabaud in 2010. 'We're very pleased, very happy to be here because the outcome was not certain,' she said, admitting that she had mentally prepared herself for a more gruelling race in more wind.

'We knew it would be difficult, especially with the light conditions, but we managed to manoeuvre well, keep up good speed and have the right sails up to stay ahead of Banque Populaire.'

Yann Guichard was relieved with the outcome, following the tense, albeit slow finish. 'We are so happy to win the first race for the team with this boat. It is not easy to manage 14 people on board, so it is great to win here.'

Guichard felt the only part which hadn't gone according to plan was when they had gone up the west side of the Traffic Separation Scheme off Land's End, while both Banque Populaire and the MOD70 Oman Air-Musandam had gone up the east side.

'We spent too much time on starboard tack and lost 10 miles there, but we were first around the Fastnet Rock and then downwind we had a battle with Banque Populaire, at the same speed, same angle - gybe, gybe, gybe...'

Armel le Cleac'h, who has finished second in the last two Vendée Globe solo round the world races, was pleased to have arrived so close to Spindrift 2, despite his maxi-trimaran being 8.5m shorter.

'Off Land's End we went with Oman Air in a good wind direction and were six miles ahead of Spindrift, so we were very close at the Fastnet Rock, just one or two minutes behind. After that, we had great speed in 20-24 knots, when we were doing 35 knots. We were very happy because we didn't lose distance to Spindrift. After that it was a better angle for them, but as we approached Plymouth we saw that Spindrift had no speed, and that really motivated us! To finish 20 minutes behind is very good for our team and for our crew: we thought Spindrift would be much faster than us.'

In the canting keel monohulls, Esimit Europa two was first monohull around the Fastnet Rock at 01:17 BST this morning, followed 38 minutes later by Mike Slade's ICAP Leopard. They are currently half way back to Bishop's Rock. However it is the Volvo Open 70s that lead the class. The mostly female crew on Team SCA rounded the Fastnet Rock at 03:19, 28 minutes ahead of the Ian Walker-skippered Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing. In addition to leading IRC Canting Keel, Team SCA is currently an impressive third overall under IRC.

With IRC One still en route for Fastnet Rock, they are seeing the first of the breeze backing into the southwest. As a result they are no long tacking and so the IRC One leader, still Nicolas Loday and Jean Claude Nicoleau's Grand Soleil 43, Codiam, has become the latest boat to take the overall lead under IRC rating.

Ahead of her, the 72ft Mini Maxis in IRC Zero have rounded Fastnet Rock with Hap Fauth's Bella Mente passing at 05:22 BST, 1 hour 5 minutes ahead of Niklas Zennström's Ran two. Bella Mente continues to lead the big monohull class on handicap. Johnny Vincent's 52ft Pace is expected to be the next IRC Zero arrival, just before lunchtime.

Most recently a deluge of IMOCA 60s have been rounding the Fastnet Rock. In the battle between the latest generation VPLP-Verdier designed sisterships, MACIF and Maître CoQ, the former regained the lead just before reaching the Fastnet Rock at 07:30 this morning. They remain locked in their own private match, with Alex Thomson and Spanish co-skippered Guillermo Altadill 3.5 miles astern in third, aboard Hugo Boss.

The Class 40s leaders are now three quarters of the way towards the Rock and it remains the brand new Spanish boat, Tales II, of Gonzalo Botin, that holds the lead. Race favourite, Sebastien Rogues' GDF Suez, is lying second, with another brand new boat, the Tom Humphreys-designed, Vaquita, in third.

Among the Figaros it comes as little surprise that Xavier Macaire and Yves Ravot's Maluel is ahead, as Macaire finished second in this year's Solitaire du Figaro. After spending most of the night heading on a long leg west from the Scilly Isles, the boats have just tacked north. With this Henry Bomby and Richard Tolkien on Rockfish, have moved up to second place.

'We were quite slow for the first part of the night but we managed to get back into it,' said Bomby. 'We are tracking, while it looks like others aren't.

'All of yesterday we were within 100m of Sam [Matson] and Robin [Elsey]. They kept on attacking us and we just managed to hold them off. But it was really pleasant with lots of sunshine and really flat sea.'

Bomby, whose sponsor, Mitch Tonks, has just opened a restaurant in Plymouth, is expecting to reach the finish on Thursday afternoon. Compared to the Figaro class' singlehanded three-week-long La Solitaire, which he sailed in June, being doublehanded has been a big change. 'I've had more sleep and more to eat than I did in the entire Solitaire!'

As the big multis were finishing, so backmarker, Gerard Jonker's Nicholson 43, Emily, racing in IRC 4, had only just passed Plymouth, still outbound towards the Rock.

At breakfast time they had just reached the Lizard. 'It was a long first night, but we stayed offshore a bit when a lot of our competitors stayed inshore,' Jonker reported. 'The crew is in good spirits, especially as we have scrambled eggs this morning for breakfast. As we approach Land's End, the wind looks to be going light again, so at the moment it looks like we could take a week to finish the Fastnet Race website
Bakewell-White Yacht DesignAncasta Ker 33 660x82Mackay Boats

Related Articles

Extreme Sailing Series™ to go down to the wire after penultimate day
The battle for the ESS™ title took a new twist today as Red Bull Sailing Team squeezed in between Alinghi and Oman Air The battle for the Extreme Sailing Series™ title took a new twist today as Red Bull Sailing Team squeezed in between Act 8 leaders Alinghi and overall table toppers Oman Air on the penultimate day of the 2016 season finale in Sydney.
Posted on 10 Dec
All to do on final day of Extreme Sailing Series for Team Oman Air
Points proved elusive for Team Oman Air on the third day of racing in Sydney as the Act 8 leaderboard was rejigged ahead Points proved elusive for Team Oman Air on the third day of racing in Sydney as the Act 8 leaderboard was dramatically rejigged ahead of the crucial final day of the 2016 Extreme Sailing Series.
Posted on 10 Dec
Vipers using SWC Melbourne as World Championship preparation
Jack Challands is skippering a Viper multihull in preparation for 2017 Viper Worlds across Port Phillip Bay at Geelong. Young gun Jack Challands started sailing at four years of age and at the Sailing World Cup Final Melbourne, December 4-11, the now 14 year-old is skippering a Viper multihull in preparation for the 2017 Viper Worlds across Port Phillip Bay at Geelong.
Posted on 10 Dec
ESS Sydney - second day images from Beth Morley
The Open Water session due for 4pm to 6pm today but it was cancelled due to the wind Beth Morley was back out on the water to capture the second day of Act Eight of the Extreme Sailing Series. An Open Water session was due for 4pm to 6pm today but it was cancelled due to the wind, so these are from the Stadium race. Enjoy!
Posted on 9 Dec
Solo round-the-world record attempt – Thomas Coville rounds Cape Horn
The skipper of Sodebo Ultim’ sets a new solo reference time between Ushant and Cape Horn. With an average speed over the ground of 25.33 knots, the skipper of Sodebo Ultim’ sets a new solo reference time between Ushant and Cape Horn.
Posted on 8 Dec
Capsize on the Harbour - including Beth Morley images
In race three of Act 8 of the Extreme Sailing Series™ in Sydney, Land Rover BAR Academy and Visit Madeira capsized In race three of the first day of Act 8 of the Extreme Sailing Series™ in Sydney, Land Rover BAR Academy and Visit Madeira capsized at around 1500 local time. At the time of the capsizes the wind was around 22 knots. The Extreme Sailing Series' safety protocol was immediately initiated and the event's Safety Team was immediately on site to provide assistance, as were the teams' support boats.
Posted on 8 Dec
Great Barrier Reef managers and industry prepare for summer
Marine park managers, scientists and experts recently met for the annual pre-summer workshop Marine park managers, scientists and experts recently met for the annual pre-summer workshop to assess climate-related risks to the Great Barrier Reef over the coming months. Current predictions by the Bureau of Meteorology and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are for a summer of average sea temperatures across the Great Barrier Reef.
Posted on 7 Dec
Hyde Sails Distributor in Denmark places 1000th order!
Congratulations to Kjeld Larsen, Hyde Sails distributor in Denmark, on placing his 1000th order with the loft! Congratulations to Kjeld Larsen, Hyde Sails distributor in Denmark, on placing his 1000th order with the loft! Kjeld has been working with Hyde Sails as a distributor since placing his first order in March 2008.
Posted on 7 Dec
America’s Cup Endeavour Junior Hobie Wave Race to be held in Bermuda
Teams from the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Japan, New Zealand and Sweden will race in Bermuda. Hobie has provided Waves for the use of school-aged kids in Bermuda, New York, Chicago, and Toulon. The kids see the America’s Cup boats and then the Hobie Wave and instantly get the connection.
Posted on 5 Dec
Extreme GC32's training action-shots by Beth Morley
Beth Morley provided this gallery of images from Extreme GC32's training and out on the Harbour yesterday Beth Morley provided this gallery of images from Extreme GC32's training and out on Harbour yesterday.
Posted on 5 Dec