Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik Isotak Ocean

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 Yachting 660x82Bakewell-White Yacht DesignBarz Optics - Kids range

Related Articles

Vendée Globe – Alan Roura takes twelfth place
Race rookie Roura’s elapsed time for the 27,700 mile course is 105 days, 20 hours 10 mins and 32 seconds. Roura’s finish reflects his exceptional drive and tenacity and belies the very tight budget which the young sailor ran his programme on.
Posted today at 9:16 am
Vendee Globe - From Conrad Colman this evening
I might not be going very fast but I'm certainly keeping busy here on Foresight Natural Energy. I might not be going very fast but I'm certainly keeping busy here on Foresight Natural Energy. Indeed, never have I worked so hard to go so slowly! The problem is that I am sailing upwind in light winds which is never a recipe for breathless speed and certainly not now! Going downwind on a slow boat, the wind pushes against the windward side of the sail
Posted today at 4:34 am
SCYA Midwinter Regatta - Sam Heck and Robert Marcus in action
Sam Heck and Merry Cheers decided that just having bought a new Farr 40 race boat, Viva La Vida, wasn’t quite enough. Sam Heck and Merry Cheers decided that just having bought a new Farr 40 race boat, Viva La Vida, wasn’t quite enough. They wanted to race it, right away. So they entered the 2017 SCYA Midwinter Regatta through Long Beach Yacht Club, which hosted their class, and won in the first racing sailboat that they have ever owned.
Posted today at 4:05 am
Overall winner crowned at Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta in St. Petersburg
The first event of 2017 Helly Hansen National Offshore One Design (NOOD) Regatta wrapped in St. Petersburg on Sunday. The first event of the 2017 Helly Hansen National Offshore One Design (NOOD) Regatta wrapped in St. Petersburg on Sunday. After a weekend of close competition in the Lightning division, the class winner — Steve Hayden, 49, of Lake Mary, Fla. — was awarded the regatta’s overall prize.
Posted today at 2:41 am
The Bay Regatta 2017 wraps with a picture postcard final day
The fourth and final day of The Bay Regatta, Chang Beer Race Day, saw all fleet sail a short loop around islands The fourth and final day of The Bay Regatta, the Chang Beer Race Day, saw all the fleet sail a short loop around islands off Krabi’s Railay Beach before heading out for a straight shot back to the southern end of Koh Yao Yai with the racing boats doing a slightly longer course than the cruisers.
Posted on 19 Feb
The Bay Regatta 2017 wraps with a picture postcard final day
The fourth and final day of The Bay Regatta, Chang Beer Race Day, saw all fleet sail a short loop around islands The fourth and final day of The Bay Regatta, the Chang Beer Race Day, saw all the fleet sail a short loop around islands off Krabi’s Railay Beach before heading out for a straight shot back to the southern end of Koh Yao Yai with the racing boats doing a slightly longer course than the cruisers.
Posted on 19 Feb
RORC Caribbean 600 race kicks off tomorrow
The light air forecast is not good news for the Italian ocean racing trimaran which is designed for much stronger winds. Soldini’s men have been monitoring the weather situation closely after the formation of a low-pressure storm system far to the north of Antigua disrupted the normal strong trade wind conditions.
Posted on 19 Feb
Vendée Globe – Roura to finish Monday morning with Super Superbigou
Eleven skippers have already finished and eleven were forced to abandon their race. Seven solo racers were still at sea this Sunday afternoon. Eleven skippers have already finished and eleven were forced to abandon their race.
Posted on 19 Feb
Spectacular opening for the 2017 RORC Caribbean 600
The highly acclaimed Antigua Band 1761 took to the stage and lit the blue touch paper. Sailors enjoyed a traditional Caribbean welcome with the Panache Steel Orchestra opening the musical entertainment, complimentary drinks and fine Caribbean fayre.
Posted on 19 Feb
Have you tried foiling yet? Top tips from Marko at Wildwind
Wildwind invested in foiling kits for some of their Laser fleet, converting the standard Laser in to a flying machine. In 2016 Wildwind invested in foiling kits for some of their Laser fleet, converting the standard everyday Laser in to a flying machine. ‘Can it be that easy?’ we here you cry, well you’re right but fortunately the Wildwind staff are not ones for turning down a challenge and have put a lot of time in to finding the optimum techniques so that you can be flying as soon as possible.
Posted on 19 Feb