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Sam Goodchild and Aymeric Chapellier start the TJV on Leyton

by Andi Robertson 7 Nov 2021 12:52 PST 7 November 2021
The Transat Jacques Vabre starts from Le Havre, France © Vincent Curutchet / Alea

Sam Goodchild and Aymeric Chapellier on the Pro Sailing Tour championship winning Leyton were playing catch up as the Transat Jacques Vabre's Ocean Fifty leaders were approaching Jersey on what looks like a challenging exit from the Channel.

A fast reaching passage from the start line to the Etretat rounding mark 17 miles after the fleet was sent on its way at 1327hrs local time under sunny skies and perfect 15-20kts NW'ly winds saw the Leyton duo climb to second but the winds were dropping quickly due to a big ridge of high pressure sitting in the western Channel. Closest in to the French coast they lost miles in the shifty breeze but were pressing hard. Admitting they have struggled slightly to get into the race rhythm, Goodchild - who was second on the last race in Class 40 - was upbeat as he reported from Leyton...

"We are just passing Cherbourg and coming up to Cap de l'Hague and there is quite strong tide and the wind is dropping quite fast. We are getting another sail ready to go up and to be honest it is getting a bit messy. We are only going about four of five knots and the boats in front have been going 20kts. It has been a bit of a difficult day. We have not really got off to the best start. We have made a few silly errors both of us, we have maybe not got into the swing of things quite as quickly as we wanted to, but it is getting better and better. We are getting into the Jacques Vabre way of things. We are not worried. We have obviously lost a few miles on Arkema and the rest of the fleet but we are not down about it. It is a long, long race. And we found a few reasons why we were not as fast as we should have been so that is always good. And we are not letting go to catch up on the others."

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