Please select your home edition
Edition
T Clewring One Design

Transat Québec Saint-Malo - Mare takes Class40 lead

by Soazig Guého on 25 Jul 2012
Crowds greet Mare passing at La Malbaie Xavier Dachez / VIQ © http://www.xdachez.com
In the eighth edition of the Transat Quebec Saint Malo, Mare, skippered by Germany’s Jorg Riechers, has taken a firm hold of the lead in the Class40 fleet racing. The Sam Manuard designed boat, no doubt one of the race favourites, has demonstrated good performance and Riechers together with an expert crew made up of Sam Manuard, Rémy Aubrun and American Ryan Breymayer, has been setting a rhythm in the fresh southerly winds coming down the Gaspé region.

Just four have managed to maintain the pace, making further gains on the approach to the two final marks on the St. Lawrence River: Gaspé and Percé, that they should reach later today before reaching the open Atlantic. Two more opportunities for the huge crowds who since the start in Québec have been gathering on the river banks of la Malbaie, Rimouski, Matane and Sainte-Anne des Monts to greet the sailors. Meanwhile the monohulls continue to struggle in the tricky river conditions. Just Erwan Le Roux, skippering the trimaran FenêtréA Cardinal has reached the ocean’s open waters and heads in a upwind tack to the next course mark at Madeleine Island.

Jörg Riechers has succeeded in approaching Gaspé as the frontrunner, no doubt the position he likes most to be in. 'At St. Anne, a quick peel to the Code 0 allowed us to squeak past Comiris about 100 metres from the buoy for our first city win!' exclaimed the jubilant new race leader.

As the wind continues to build, with a strong southwesterly breeze of over 20 knots, and the protection of the Gaspésie hills is left behind, conditions on the river waters become less manageable for the crews as they approach their second to last compulsory mark rounding in the Bay of Gaspé. An upwind track that puts an end to the exciting first part of the course, sailed close to the coast where fans and spectators crowded the banks to greet the fleet, marked by lead changes, gybing duels, close racing that required the best of the crews’ focus and skills.

The front pack is made of five boats that have all traded the lead place and who now prepare for 'offshore mode': Jörg Riechers’ Mare, Thierry Bouchard’s Comiris, Sébastien Rogues’ Generation Eole GDF Suez, Fabrice Amédéo’s Geodis and Aurélien Ducroz’s Latitude Neige / Longitude Montagne. Yet, behind this group the rest of the fleet is still pushing hard for a possible compression in the bay of Gaspé. Stéphane Le Diraison on IX Blue is in sixth position at less than 30 miles, David Augeix on his Akilaria EDF-Energies nouvelles is in 12th 40 miles behind the leaders and everything can still happen before the fleet heads on the long reaching tack towards Saint-Pierre et Miquelon. Luckily no issues or damage has been reported so far from the 25 boats who are about to leave the St Lawrence.


After flying past the Saint-Anne des Monts course mark last night, Gaspé and Percé today Erwan Leroux’s 50’ trimaran is bound for île de La Madeleine. Yet sailing has not been that comfortable on the leading multihull, going upwind in 25 knots and with more expected at the river mouth, in an area already influenced by the open ocean; the foul weather gear is now ready for wear. Erwan Leroux and his crew now face a further challenge after the complex river navigation; attempting to keep ahead of a low pressure system to propel them across the Atlantic in favourable conditions. Erik Nigon on Vers un Monde sans Sida is surprisingly in second position, 63 miles behind, as last night Gilles Lamiré on was forced to take an unexpected u-turn to go round the mark at Saint-Anne des Monts.

Could it have been the strong current or was it a mistake by the crew? In any case it was a change of course that cost dearly to the 60’ multihull and Défi Saint-Malo Agglo went from leading Italy’s 50’ Vento di Sardegna by 17 miles and Erik Nigon’s Vers un Monde sans Sida by 21 miles, to being fourth 90 miles behind FenêtréA Cardinal. After some technical issues on the opening hours, this new setback surely is a bad blow to the Saint Malo based crew. Canadian Georges Leblanc on Océan Phénix is 160 miles behind the leader.


'We have switched to a three hours watch system. I’m at the nav station, my eyes fixed on the computer screen, our track is nothing but depressing… it’s crazy, we are going round in circles. It looks like the Olympic logo. The weather is good, it’s warm at night, but so disappointing because what we see at sunrise it not that different from what we saw at sunset. If the wind is not going to show this pain will go on forever…'

Having awarded five prizes of the total six, the new 'Six town, six marks' circuit has proven to be a huge success, with local fans coming in droves to the river banks to encourage the fleet. 'Last night at 1am, we passed the small village of Saint-Anne de Monts, the mark was just 50 metres off the lock but still there were people there, their car lights on, clapping their hands and shouting. Amazing. It was a bit of a surreal moment, and it happened at each mark!' enthused Armel Tripon during this morning radio vac.

La Malbaie: First overall – FenêtréA Cardinal d’Erwan Leroux
Rimouski: First monohull overall - Latitude Neige – Longitude Mer d’Aurélien Ducroz
Matane: first Class40 – Eole Generation GDF Suez de Sébastien Rogues
Saint-Anne des Monts: first monohull overall – Mare de Jörg Riechers
Gaspé: First Class40 – En attente
Percé: First multihull overall - FenêtréA Cardinal d’Erwan Leroux

The only prize still to be awarded is the one for the first Class40 to pass Gaspé.
Transat Quebec Saint Malo website

Zhik Warehouse Sale 660x82upffront 660x82Southern Spars - 100

Related Articles

Zhik sailors win 17 sailing medals at 2016 Olympic Regatta
The 2016 Olympic games are over and what a Games they have been - Zhik sailors dominated Zhik sailors won almost 60% of the medals contested at Rio de Janeiro. It was a regatta which tested sailors and gear - with one day being the most severe conditions ever experienced at an Olympic regatta. For the Zhik team riders on the waters of Rio, four years and more of hard work and dedication have paid off for many.
Posted on 29 Aug
Zhik sailors win 17 sailing medals at 2016 Olympic Regatta
The 2016 Olympic games are over and what a Games they have been - Zhik sailors dominated Zhik sailors won almost 60% of the medals contested at Rio de Janeiro. It was a regatta which tested sailors and gear - with one day being the most severe conditions ever experienced at an Olympic regatta. For the Zhik team riders on the waters of Rio, four years and more of hard work and dedication have paid off for many.
Posted on 29 Aug
Etchells Europeans - Kiwis on top after Day 1 after long day in Cowes
For the first day of the 2016 Etchells Open Europeans, PRO Phil Lawrence, prophesied that it might be a long day The top Etchells team today was Feng Shui, from the Royal Akarana Yacht Club, Auckland, NZ. Helmed by Andrew Wills and owned by Anatole Masfen, Matthew Kelway completes the line up. The team has won several New Zealand National Titles and Wills was on Jud Smith's winning team for the 2006 Etchells Worlds.
Posted on 29 Aug
Hollandia wins 8 Metre World Cup
After nine race series, Netherlands' Hollandia wins it with eight points. The racing took place in a range of conditions After a five day, nine race series, Hollandia of the Netherlands wins it with eight points. The racing took place in a range of conditions and Hollandia managed to win every race.
Posted on 29 Aug
Volvo Ocean Race - Enright and Towill ready to go again in 2017/18
Team Alvimedica skipper Charlie Enright and his long-time buddy Mark Towill are eager to put their experience to use. Team Alvimedica were the youngest team in the race last edition, and now skipper Charlie Enright and his long-time buddy Mark Towill are eager to put that experience to use. Volvo Ocean race's Jonno Turner caught up with Mark and Charlie to chat about everything from the transition back into 'real life', their reflections on the 2014-15 campaign - and the future.
Posted on 29 Aug
Noroton Yacht Club takes the NYYC Grandmasters Team Race Trophy again
The yacht club from Darien, Connecticut, still out sailed every other club on the water. Every August the biggest question for the NYYC Grandmasters Team Race Regatta is whether this will be the year that Noroton Yacht Club's winning streak ends. Yet even after the age minimums were raised by five years and the event was expanded to 10 teams and three days to stiffen the competition, the yacht club from Darien, Connecticut, still out sailed every other club on the water.
Posted on 29 Aug
The door’s been flung open – again
Now whether it was the Champagne or something far more ethereal, there is the chance that sailing gets sexier for Tokyo Now whether it was the Champagne or something far more ethereal, there is the chance that sailing may get sexier for Tokyo 2020. Yes, the proverbial door has been cast ajar before, often to much fanfare, and not that much has been achieved.
Posted on 28 Aug
Michael Illbruck crowned 2016 Melges 20 World Champion
Although not a simple task, Freides aimed to keep Illbruck behind him, or at minimum out of top nine ranking. Hosted by Marina di Scarlino/Club Nautico Scarlino, the World Championship was the most successful to date featuring four days of incredible sportboat racing.
Posted on 28 Aug
Freides defends leadership at Melges 20 World Championship
The one and only race that was able to take place at the 2016 Melges 20 World Championship was a difficult one at best 2016 Melges 20 World Championship - The one and only race that was able to take place at the 2016 Melges 20 World Championship hosted by Marina di Scarlino/Club Nautico Scarlino was a difficult one at best, however managed to present some nice new faces at the front of the fleet.
Posted on 28 Aug
Marshack wins first U.S. Multihull Championship
The 2016 U.S. Multihull Championship for the Hobie Alter Trophy wrapped up a full week’s worth of racing on Friday. Catamaran sailing is alive and well on Carlyle Lake. The 2016 U.S. Multihull Championship for the Hobie Alter Trophy, hosted by Carlyle Sailing Association, wrapped up a full week’s worth of racing on Friday.
Posted on 27 Aug