sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Video Gallery Photo Gallery

 

Sail-World.com : A four part course between Quebec and Saint Malo

A four part course between Quebec and Saint Malo

'All in readiness for Transat Quebec St Malo. Photo: X Dachez ®'    Xavier Dachez / VIQ ©
It is an ocean race with a very special profile, which will begin on Sunday in the shade of the Abraham plains and the Frontenac castle in Quebec. A West to East race across the North Atlantic, the Transat Quebec Saint Malo provides the intrepid sailors that attempt it with a vast range of points of sail, wind and sea patterns and marine landscapes, strategic and tactical openings and beyond all that perhaps, some good ground for wonderment and contemplation…

The magical, mysterious, and formidably majestic Saint Lawrence River
An element of bravery is required in this transatlantic, the first phase of a four part waltz, the 353 mile downriver passage between the ramparts of Quebec and the town of Percé, combine a fluvial riot and some unpredictable traps. 353 miles on a direct route, a figure which bears no relation to the reality of beating between the islands, in a wind with a capricious physiognomy, which evolves to the rhythm of the river, from its more or less brutal steep-sidedness and its islands, and its more or less protected islets. 'We had to perform over 80 changes of tack in 2004' recalls Pierre Antoine (Imagine). His high performance 50 foot trimaran with the wind on the tail was forced to hunt down more efficient wind angles, and often saw itself pushed close to the banks where the shallows and currents were being dished up. The latter constituted the main difficulty of this first quarter of the race. At 1100 hours (1500 UT) on Sunday, at the point where the start is given upriver of the Vieux Quebec, the current was to push the yachts at around 3 knots! Later on, as they rounded the famous and pastoral island of Orléans, they kicked up their heels and got 4 knots of boatspeed in current alone vitually! It proved to be a great way to sprint off from the start zone. At that point though, they also had to watch out for the change in the tide. And though the river also owes its majestic nature to the beauty of the countryside it irrigates, the sailors must be careful not to let themselves be sent off to sleep with the backdrop of the beautiful wild landscape. Added to this, the river still carries along a thousand and one objects that it has picked up in the spring with its numerous tributaries. 'To hit an object is the racers’ obsession' admits Jean Edouard Criquioche (Class 40 'Esprit large') 'It is certain that as far as Percé, we won’t be able to get much sleep.'

Time for the islands
The immense Saint Lawrence estuary emerges on the second part of the course, a veritable anti-chamber prior to the open ocean and the Atlantic. After the compulsory passage marks of Rimouski at the edge of the river, 142 miles from Quebec, then the Percé (350 miles), the sailors have to leave the island of Miquelon to port and Saint Pierre to starboard. Situated 690 miles from Quebec, this original and colourful course mark will also influence a route close to Newfoundland, and a possible regrouping of the fleet. The wind will likely kick back in after Percé in a more regular fashion and the foulies will now be part and parcel of life onboard, the racers living in them until they get to the European continental shelf.

Grand banks and grand spaces…
Past the archipelago of Saint Pierre et Miquelon, the legendary route to the Grands Terre Neuvas of the past century, opens out before the racing yachts. Slipping along under Cape Race, at the southern tip of Newfoundland, the crew are in maximum surveillance mode, particularly, as is often the case, if the fog born from the thermal contrast between the continent and the ocean, is in evidence…We then hit the random phase of the race, since the most direct course towards Europe crosses a zone prone to drifting icebergs. Race management is of course particularly vigilant as to the evolution of this field of ice and reserves the possibility of positioning virtual ‘gates’ here, forcing the racers to round to the south of a dangerous zone.

Welcome to the Atlantic
Nearly 2,000 miles of Atlantic Ocean open up before the competitors from Cape Race. The classic conflict of the lows dropping down from Labrador and the Azores High will supply (or not…) the fuel for their sails needed to push the yachts towards the English Channel, Bréhat and then Saint Malo. The power of one or the other of these two phenomena will dictate the comfort and performance of the yachts, whether they receive the wind from the lows astern, or the affects of the zone of high pressure directly on their route.

Final sprint, final dangers
In the past, the Channel has sounded the death knell for the hopes of a number of pretenders to victory in Saint Malo… Marc Guillemot in 2000 and Giovanni Soldini aboard his monohull the same year, both had to swallow the bitter pill of seeing their at times considerable lead melt off the Breton coast, thanks to a final unfortunate tack dissolving any promise of victory. The competitors en route towards the Banchenou Mark just 7 miles from the finish will have to have to have conserved their freshness and lucidity in order to negotiate what is often a lazy English Channel at this time of year.

Qué bec!
The late Paul Vatine, a true Norman if there is such a thing, adored the Transat Quebec Saint Malo which he won in 1988 on Jet Services, prior to racking up two third places in 1992 and 1996. The word 'Québec' had a special significance according to his father: Before the immensity of the estuary, a Norman sailor arriving during the first voyages of exploration of the New World, was heard to exclaim 'Qué bec!' or, in his strong local dialect, 'Quelle Baie!' (What a bay). The word 'Bec' is said to have its roots in the language of the founding Vikings of the Duchy of Normandy and indeed designate a bay (reference to the towns of Caudebec, Bolbec on the banks of the Seine). This version which undoubtedly requires the caution of ad hoc experts, certainly appealed to Paulo (Vatine) in any case, a friend to the inhabitants of Quebec.


Les concurrents de la 7ème transat Québec Saint-Malo - X Dachez ® -  Xavier Dachez?nid=46653_- VIQ ©


http://www.quebecsaintmalo.com/




by Kate Jennings - Expression

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=46653

12:26 PM Sat 19 Jul 2008 GMT






Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
North American News

Related News Stories:

21 Jan 2010  Key West 2010: Kilroy standing firm to lead the Melges 32 fleet
30 Oct 2009  See the Worlds without leaving Annapolis - Melges 24 Worlds + video
03 Jul 2009  Laser builder appointed to the Order of Canada
28 Jun 2009  Day 2 Acura presents Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week
25 Jun 2009  Long Beach Race Week celebrates 25 years
25 Jun 2009  Annual Report to US Sailing Members now available
25 Jun 2009  Block Island Race Week day three breeze helps tightens results
24 Jun 2009  Storm Trysail Club’s Block Island Race Week images
23 Jun 2009  Kieler Woche comes up with another blank
23 Jun 2009  Block Island Race Week - Fleet starts in raging winds
MORE STORIES ...

News - USA and the World

Rolex China Sea Race 2014 - nip and tuck for IRC honours by RHKYC and Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia, Hong Kong


America's Cup Book Review: Winging It - Oracle Team USA's comeback *Feature by Richard Gladwell Sail-World.com/nz,


























HUD Vision: An interview with Afterguard Marine’s Alex Moret *Feature by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor, Seattle














America's Cup: Expected de Ridder penalty should be reduced *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz, Auckland, NZ
















Congressional Cup - Victory for Taylor Canfield and crew by Rich Roberts (As Amended by ISAF),




2014 Halifax – Saint-Pierre Ocean Race by Patricia Nelder, Nova Scotia




WWA Pro Card Qualifier - Pro Cards earned at Freedom Wake Park
Christmas Caribbean Rally - Top class sailors to compete
Earth Day boater tips
Anna Tunnicliffe - from CrossFit to Extreme 40's
Charleston Race Week - Photos by Chris Howell
Image Gallery: Stratis SL33 flies on the Waitemata
Audi Melges 20- Sperry Topsider Charleston Race Week - Light final day
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - PSP Logistics prepares for USA
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères - Crème of the crop to compete
Congressional Cup: Luna Rossa makes podium in first event
Int 14 World Championships 2015 launch new event website
International Optimist Regatta Clinic and Team Race - Register now!
Congressional Cup: World top rankers finish that way in Long Beach
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week Day 3 finale
America's Cup: Gino Morrelli outlines the new AC62 design
Doyle Sails New Zealand signs Andrew Brown as One Design Manager
America's Cup: Dean Barker's Blog - A sail with the Duke and Duchess *Feature
29er World Youth Sailing Week Easter regatta - Day 1 and 2 overall
C Thomas Clagett Jr Memorial Clinic/Regatta - Entries start to roll in
50th Congressional Cup: See the delayed coverage and media conferences
Clipper Race 10 Day 27: Closing stages - Qingdao to San Francisco   
Canfield, Williams, Bruni, Swinton in Congressional Cup final four   
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week - Day 2   
Audi Melges 20 Charleston Race Week - Perfect conditions in Charleston   
Oyster Regatta Antigua - Full on ocean conditions for day 3   
PWA World Tour - A taste of things to come at La Torche + Video   
Women's International Match Racing Series kicks off in June   
Melges 32 Audi Tron Sailing Series - Action shots by Max Ranchi   
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Frustrating conditions   
Man rescued after falling overboard in Pacific taken to hospital   
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week 2014 - Youth leading Melges 20   
Congressional Cup - Canfield leads toward Congressional Cup sailoffs   
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week 2014 - Perfection for Day 1   
America's Cup: Coutts claims ISAF Jury on a crusade, backs Kiwi report *Feature   
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Will light winds hamper progress?   
Les Voiles de St. Barth - Preparing to rock Saint Barthélemy waters   
Clipper Round the World Race - OneDLL and Qingdao now in San Francisco   
America's Cup: Emirates Team NZ up against funding hurdle for year *Feature   
Melges 32 Sailing Series Napoli - Day 1 images by Stefano Gattini   
50th Congressional Cup: View the Live racing here   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
X6XL NEW US