Please select your home edition
Edition
InSunSport - International - Tough

Transat B to B - Safran crosses finish line

by Soazig Guého on 16 Dec 2011
Safran - Skipper: Marc Guillemot (FRA) - Transat B to B 2011 © Christophe Launay
Transat B to B was shortened to finish at the safety gate, between the Azores and Portugal, which was set up 48 hours ago. Safran crossed the finishing line at 1133 GMT (1233 CET) this Thursday lunchtime, taking fifth place.

The winds that are forecast to blow throughout today and into tomorrow up to 60 or even 70 knots (130 km/h…) led the Race Director, Jacques Caraës to take this decision and position the finish between the Azores and Portugal, some 700 miles south west of the original finishing line in Lorient. Marc Guillemot took fifth place in this solo race, which proved to be an excellent preparation for the Vendée Globe. He can now head for Lorient on Saturday evening or Sunday, if possible behind the worst of the storm, Joachim. Marc Guillemot looks back at the race.

Marc, coming fifth in this Transat BToB is not a bad result, but you were hoping to do better…
'Of course. When I set sail it is always to win. But at the same time I gave it my all and I really don’t feel like I sailed poorly. My first thoughts would be that the standard is now much higher with everyone close to the same level, just as we can see in the Figaro class, where if you end up in eighth place, you really haven’t done too badly. That’s a good thing, as it means that it’s not always the same people winning. Of course, I had hoped for a place on the podium, but it’s all part of the game.'

Are the conditions rough yet?
'Yes, I’ve got south-westerly winds averaging 36 knots gusting to 40 and the seas you would expect. Safran is making headway at 17 knots and is heeled over. So, very lively conditions. To be honest, the conditions are far from being simple. The good news is that I haven’t broken anything on board.'

How do you feel about the course being shortened?
'It was an excellent decision, the wise thing to do. There’s no way were they going to send the fleet into such boat-breaking weather with less than a year to go to the Vendée Globe. Looking at the race itself, I was hoping to grab fourth place from Mike Golding… I fully support this decision, which is very wise and I think the same goes for all the other competitors too. You really have to understand what is going on here. The storm, Joachim is very heavy: gusts of 50-60 knots… and maybe more. And as the continental shelf is so steep, the seas would be horrendous in the Bay of Biscay. This very wise decision means we can weather out the storm. I’ll be contacting Sylvain Mondon to see how we can get back to Lorient. In any case, one thing for sure is I won’t be taking any risks with the boat.'

When are you likely to arrive back in Lorient?
'I don’t know and for the moment that is not my priority… Saturday evening, maybe Sunday. It doesn’t really matter. What counts now is taking care of the boat as much as possible, slowing her right down, taking in four reefs in the mainsail to let the worst of the front pass over and then follow it home. Knowing that the conditions are likely to be very rough in any case and the seas will be huge in the Bay of Biscay. But I’ll be working on that in the next few hours.'

Your first reaction to this result?
'This transatlantic race offered a lot, with a wide range of conditions. It also allowed me to feel more relaxed about one particular detail: my confidence in the boat and the autopilot. That’s very, very important… If you’re scared of an incident happening, when you leave her on autopilot, you simply cannot win a race, as any incident can cost you a lot. That’s not just a little extra, it’s something that is vital. When you know that you can go and grab some rest and rely totally on your autopilot, that changes everything. I feel confident and simply for that reason, it was well worth taking part in this race.'

The first five in the 2011 Transat B to B

1. François Gabart (Macif) finished at 2311 GMT (0011 CET) last night after 9 days 9 hours 11 minutes and 30 seconds, at an average speed of 11.63 knots on the Great Circle Route (theoretical route) of 2620 miles and 14.7 knots on the 3168 miles actually sailed.

2. Armel Le Cléac'h (Banque Populaire) in 9 days 13 hours 8 minutes and 10 seconds, at an average speed of 11.43 knots on the Great Circle Route.

3. Vincent Riou (PRB) in 9 days 15 hours 30 minutes and 20 seconds, at an average speed of 11.31 knots on the Great Circle Route.

4. Mike Golding (Gamesa) in 9 days 18 hours 58 minutes 20 seconds at an average speed of 11.15 knots on the Great Circle Route.

5. Marc Guillemot (Safran) in 9 days 21 hours 33 minutes 0 seconds at an average speed of 11.2 knots on the Great Circle Route. He actually sailed 3260 miles at an average speed of 13.72 knots.
upffront 660x82Barz Optics - FloatersNewport Boat Show 2016 660x82

Related Articles

Edgartown Race Week - Overall report
Four races were held today, in nine - twelve knots from the southwest for the IRC fleet. This is the third leg of the east coast IRC summer series. Four races were held today, in nine - twelve knots from the southwest for the IRC fleet. The three TP52’s had hard fought battles as usual.
Posted today at 6:35 am
Conch Republic Cup - More than just a race to Cuba
When relations between U.S. and Cuba were restored in 2015, Conch Republic Cup was resurrected after a 13-year hiatus. When diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba were restored in 2015, the Conch Republic Cup was resurrected after a forced 13-year hiatus.
Posted today at 6:02 am
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - Lone bullets for the Brits
Despite three more inshore races being held on day five France Blue leads with a similar 11.5 point margin to yesterday 2016 Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - Despite three more inshore races being held on day five of the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup, the Royal Ocean Racing Club's biennial flagship event for three boat teams with Corinthian crews, France Blue leads with a similar 11.5 point margin to yesterday, but Flanders North Sea is now the team that has relieved France White of second place overall.
Posted today at 2:10 am
Supermaxi Scallywag has her first outing on Sydney Harbour
Scallywag is a 100' Super Maxi Yacht (ex Ragamuffin 100) owned by a HongKong Business man. Scallywag is a 100' Super Maxi Yacht (ex Ragamuffin 100) owned by a HongKong Business man. Yesterday the boat took it first sail on Sydney Harbour in preparation for this weekend's start of the CYCA Land Rover Sydney to Gold Coast Yacht Race
Posted on 28 Jul
Extreme Sailing Series– Oman Air sneak early lead despite bump on nose
Hamburg’s River Elbe in the HafenCity area was transformed into the ultimate test in Stadium Racing today Hamburg’s River Elbe in the HafenCity area was transformed into the ultimate test in Stadium Racing today, with the narrow river, passing traffic, high walls, shifty light winds and strong currents challenging the fleet on the opening day
Posted on 28 Jul
52 Super Series – Puerto Portals Week – Quantum Racing top of the pops
Quantum Racing stand on the threshold of their third regatta win of the season after sailing to their fourth win today. The Bay of Palma lived up to its one way traffic reputation for most of the time. The risk-reward equation for those pressing for the pin end launch was high. But significantly both of today’s race winners – Quantum Racing and Bronenosec– favoured the lower risk mid line starts where they had a better chance of coming away from the gun at maximum speed by staying clear of the jousting and jostling
Posted on 28 Jul
Debriefing the 2015-16 Clipper Round The World Race with Huw Fernie
Sail-World talked with Huw Fernie of Visit Seattle to learn more about a Clipper Round The World Race skipper’s life. Skipper Huw Fernie and his Visit Seattle crew took top honors in the Den Helder Northern Seas Challenge, marking their second podium finish during the 2015/16 Clipper Round The World Race. I recently caught up with Fernie to learn more about Visit Seattle’s success in the Den Helder Northern Seas Challenge, and to learn more about the life of a Clipper Round The World Race skipper.
Posted on 28 Jul
Oman Air quick to master light airs on Day 1 of Extreme Sailing Series
Last year’s wild and gusty winds gave way to light simmering airs but the Oman Sail was quick to master the conditions. The compact River Elbe race course, bordered on all sides by cargo containers and all the handling equipment associated with one of the busiest ports in the world, was expected to be tricky for the GC32 fleet even though the race area had been expanded.
Posted on 28 Jul
Finale of Clipper Race global series starts in The Netherlands
The 198nm race to London is going to be one of the most nail-biting yet with just six points separating the top teams After a Departure Ceremony from Willemsoord Marina and a Parade of Sail in the presence of Dutch Royal Navy ship ZrMs Luymes, the fleet started the final short sprint to London off the Dutch coast.
Posted on 28 Jul
Thousands of spectators expected to welcome home Clipper Race fleet
Hurricane winds, giant waves, freezing conditions, battered boats and tragedy fail to quell fighting spirit of the crew. The tenth edition of the famous biennial race for novice sailors led by professional skippers is regarded as the most challenging on record after the event endured the most extreme conditions it has ever faced in its 20-year history.
Posted on 28 Jul