Mirabaud duo, Dominique Wavre and Michele Paret crossed the Transat Jacques Vabre finish line at 03:39:26 local time this morning to take eighth place in their class. They crossed the Atlantic in 17 days, 19 hours and 39 minutes at an average speed of 12.29 knots.
After 17 days at sea and very little sleep, the co-skippers were looking weathered and tired; they were delighted to step onto terra firma in Puerto Limon. 'We are very happy to be here in Costa Rica after such a difficult crossing and we are also pleased to have had this time to iron out any remaining questions we had about our new rig package,' said Dominique Wavre.
The Atlantic crossing was a great opportunity for the Mirabaud duo to fine tune the new rig and reaffirm their choice ahead of the Vendee Globe, which starts next November 2012. 'The boat went very well indeed. We were a little bit conservative at the beginning of the race until we were absolutely sure of our rig, but once we had complete confidence we were able to speed up and give our competitors a run for their money.'
The Transat Jacques Vabre was particularly challenging this year with conditions that forced four IMOCAs, four 50ft multihulls and seven Class 40s to abandon the race due to major damage. The French duo, Jean-Pierre Dick and Jeremie Beyou with Virbac Paprec 3, were among the fleet that did make it to Costa Rica – they won this year’s edition.
'The conditions were particularly difficult for the first 10 days of the race, making it a very physically challenging first half of the competition,' said Michele Paret. 'It was almost impossible to sleep and our bodies suffered a bit as a consequence. We managed the situation well though and although there were a few close shaves, we were masters of our own destinies the whole way across.'
Dominique Wavre and Michele Paret stood out for their unfailing good humour and their obvious joy at sailing together and being at sea. While most of the crews saw the finish in Puerto Limon as a moment of liberation, the Mirabaud duo saw it as the end of an amazing adventure.
Dominique Wavre will cross the Vendee Globe start line next November 2012 flying the Mirabaud colours for an around the world race, alone and without stops.
Transat Jacques Vabre 2011 - Dominique Wavre and Michele Paret - Mirabaud - © Alexis Courcoux / Transat Jacques Vabre
Dominique Wavre's website