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Route des Princes - Un petit souci technique arbitre un grand match

by Fanny Evenat on 28 Jun 2013
Départ off-shore Dublin-Plymouth - 2013 Route des Princes © Marcel Mochet
Au terme de la 3è étape de la Route des Princes, seules quelques courtes étraves séparent encore le Maxi80 Prince de Bretagne de son plus proche concurrent.

Cette fois, sur ce parcours côtier entre la baie de Dublin et les eaux de Plymouth sur les côtes Sud de l'Angleterre de 650 milles environ, Lionel Lemonchois et ses hommes, toujours aux prises avec des soucis de voiles, n'en ont pas moins ferraillé au meilleur niveau pour s'accrocher aux tableaux arrières de Groupe Edmond de Rothschild, et tirer leur sillage du sillage du jeu au gré des vents évanescents et des courants survoltés. A 20h 14 mn et 50 sec mercredi, ils terminent six minutes derrière le deuxième trimaran monotype ce parcours côtier entre la Mer d'Irlande et la Manche en passant par la Mer Celtique, ponctué par le passage de trois phares emblématiques (Le Fastnet, Bishop Rock et Eddystone) donnant autant de nouveaux départs.

Quelles conditions avez vous rencontré sur cette 3è étape marquée par du petit temps ?

Lionel Lemonchois : 'Nous n'avons pas eu beaucoup de vent, c'est le moins que l'on dire. Après Bishop Rock et les Scilly, le vent s'est écroulé. Du courant, de la pétole, de bruine, et de la grisaille, c'était une drôle d'ambiance. Dans ce cas là, il faut improviser, être opportuniste pour attraper la bonne risée au bon moment. Il faut faire avancer le bateau pour faire un peu de vent apparent. Mais ce n'était vraiment pas rapide, nous avons même battu nos records de lenteur. Plusieurs fois, le speedo était à zéro, nous étions stoppés. Heureusement que nous avions toujours un filet d'air au plus fort des courants contraires. Ces bateaux quand ils s'arrêtent, c'est quand même assez exceptionnel.'

Quel souci technique avez-vous rencontré avec votre grand gennaker ?

L.L. : 'Le hook de la drisse de grand gennaker a cassé. C'est dommage et frustrant, car c'était la toile du temps pour toute la partie Sud Irlande avant le Fastnet. Finalement, nous nous en sommes pas trop mal sortis. Nous avons bien tricoté, puisque nous passons deuxièmes au Fastnet, derrière Oman Air Musandam qui a fait un joli coup avec son option près des côtes irlandaises. Nous aurions eu cette précieuse voile d'avant, cela aurait été tout de même beaucoup mieux. Dans la descente jusqu'aux Scilly aussi, elle nous a manqué. Edmond de Rothschild nous a remis 30 milles. Nous avons dû faire deux empannages alors que lui pouvait filer tout droit.'

Pourtant, en fin d'étape, vous avez réussi à reprendre du terrain...

L.L : 'Dans l'après-midi par mer plate, je suis monté en haut, et j'ai fait un brêlage pour mettre la drisse et ainsi pouvoir réutiliser cette grande voile d'avant. Quand nous avons renvoyé le grand gennak, ça allait tout de suite beaucoup mieux. Nous avons gagné deux nœuds et recollé Groupe Edmond de Rothschild. Nous sommes donc un peu frustrés de ne pas avoir pu faire mieux, mais nous restons satisfaits d'avoir pu rester si proches alors que nous avons dû composer sans cette voile adaptée aux conditions de petit temps qui ont dominé sur cette troisième étape. En dépit de ce souci technique sans gravité puisqu'il s'agit juste de remplacer une pièce, nous sommes contents d'être vraiment dans le match.'

www.prince-de-bretagne.com

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