Going under 20 miles to the finish for Lilti. Imagine this; You came across the sea and to get it all home you have to navigate unknown waters in a high performance boat with no rudders. Remarkable stuff and he's really fortunate to be doing this in daylight.
The little pink boat at the top of the screen is the leading Class 40 machine with Thomas Ruyant at the helm.
Jean-François Lilti, aboard CitoyensduMonde.net has successfully reached the finish line in Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe, after making an heroic effort to steer his boat around Guadeloupe without either of his two rudders.
We heard and read all the spectular compliments regarding the powerful effort by Lionel Lemenchois to win his second Route du Rhum title. However, while the merriment was going on, Jean-Francois was quietly dealing with one bad break after another, finally culminating in the loss of both of his rudders, leaving him without his designed steering components as he approached Guadeloupe with his catamaran, CitoyensduMonde.net.
That he is safe, that his boat is otherwise whole and that his sponsors can now breath a sigh of relief is one of the more moving stories of seamanship and courage of this Route du Rhum for 2010.
My most sincere congratulations to Jean-François Lilti and the entire CitoyensduMonde.net team for working together to produce such a wonderful epic adventure in this historic solo race across the Atlantic Ocean.
While the mass of closely spaced Class 40 boats come streaming into Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe, led by an outstanding effort by Thomas Ruyant, there is one single Class 50 multihull on the map, making its way to the finish line; Groupe Actual being driven by Yves le Blevec.
Actual, if you remember, experienced some serious damage to it's forward beam which le Blevec had to repair at sea by fabricating a fix with his spare, main sail battens and epoxy. He also had a crack develop in the main hull that allowed 4 tons of seawater into the boat, endangering the entire structure. He got that crack fixed as well, pumped-out the water and essentially declared the boat as a retirement.
Both the Actual and Crepes Whaou teams then chartered a boat out of Guadeloupe to get out and help with repairs so that the boats could complete the trip to Guadeloupe.
Now, here he is, rolling in well after the last finisher in the class, Jean-François Lilti who also limped home after losing his two rudders. I hope that we will see Crepes Whaou sometime soon, as well.
There are still a few multihulls left out on the course, mostly in the Rhum Class, but the real news on the docks of Pointe-à-Pitre is the arrival of Class 40 winner Thomas Ruyant and the flood tide of other Class 40 competitors as they pound there way down into the finish line.
Thomas Ruyant. on Destination Dunkerque has won the Class 40 division of the 2010 Route du Rhum. Second place will go to Nicolas Truessel on Crédit Mutuel de Bretagne. Two other boats are in a heated battle for the third and final podium spot, with but a few hundred yards separating their positions. Samuel Manuard, driving Vecteur Plus and Yvan Noblet, skippering Appart City, are as close as can be after 3500 miles of sailing and neither one wants to give an inch.
The RdR News had this to say about the Class 40 boats:
Here come the roaring 40's!
A long, and busy night in Pointe-à-Pitre saw more and more finishers completing the Route du Rhum La Banque Postale, and it is only set to get more hectic when the Class 40 fleet start arriving late Wednesday or Thursday depending on how cruel or kind the winds on the approach to Guadeloupe turn out to be.
It is the Class 40 race which has race watchers twitching with anticipation as Thomas Ruyant closes to within 380 miles of the finish on Destination Dunkerque, with a lead now of only 59.8 miles ahead of Nico Troussel (Crédit Mutuel de Bretagne) who has closed back around 20 miles on the leader over the last two days, but the leading trio – Germany’s Jorg Riecher on Mare.de, are now filing in a line towards the NW corner of the island, all knowing what the possibility of an overnight shut down of the breeze might do.
Britain’s Pete Goss holds 13th position, approaching Guadeloupe from his more southerly routing reported light winds today, and looks set to suffer slightly less wind on his course in to the island, but the Cornish skipper admitted he is delighted with his race so far:
“ In my particular circumstances I was parachuted into the race out of the blue, and jumped on the boat and went. At the start of the race in Saint Malo I had done four days of single-handed sailing in 14 years. I had not really sailed the boat much. The boat is immaculate, I am not criticising the boat, and Tom Gall the boat captain, Tony Lawson and Team Concise have been great, but it is about building a relationship, and as I said then, (at the start) I now feel ready to start the Route du Rhum. If you look beyond this race, then this is effectively a training race. I was a bit rusty at the beginning, but I have a bit of experience and so I did not break anything. I am loving it.”
And Marco Nannini, the London based banker racing UniCredit, who has built a following of thousands for his unmissable blog (marconannini.com), said on today’s radio vacation:
“This for me is about me being an office worker who one week before the race I was sitting behind a desk in the office. I am not a French pro and I did not come here expecting to perform as a French pro. I held my own, especially in the first part of the race and I was very proud of what I was achieving, then of course experience comes in and I made a bad mistake, but here I am, still racing absolutely enjoying every minute of it, in this adventure. I have seen things I have never seen before. I was caught in an electric storm last night, which scared the hell out of me. It is for me a great adventure, and so the blogs, sharing it with others, makes it so much more enjoyable. I receive many, many messages on the boat, reading my blogs – and I am talking thousands and thousands –every time, it is fantastic.”
Gee whiz, guys!
The RdR has apparently let go a whole pile of great support workers in the past few days as a cost saving process. The result... one of the most exciting finishes in the whole race, the Class 40 rush for the flag, is being pitifully covered by the very website that is putting on the race.
The first two boats are in as noted above, but there is a real dog fight out in the bay on the approach to the finish line between Samuel Manuard, driving Vecteur Plus and Yvan Noblet, skippering Appart City. Thes guys are neck and neck and it's all about a podium position for themselves and their sponsors. Where is the on the spot coverage, other than some very weak positoining spot every five minutes. No personal write-ups as this thing rages down to the wire, nothing.
Manuard's site has this to say:
A race in the racePosted November 18, 2010
"Many of you followed the last edges of Sam's game with Yvan is breathless, stressful, amazing when you think about what they have behind in the wake ...
Whatever the winners, the podium will be nice and 4th place as well, we will remember."
Yvan Noblet's site has this:
"Ranked third in Class 40 Wednesday night with about ten miles ahead, Yvan Noblet has been in disfavor of the night a grain violent.
For two hours, Yvan had to change course to avoid any breakage. Sam Manuard, He has missed the grain. Yvan saw tumble down to the bow on the direct route. Since then, the protracted war of nerves.
A dense cloud and black stands sentinel over the Soufriere Hills volcano, bringing a lot of erratic winds, and grains. Appart'City and Vector Plus in match racing since daybreak. The first to crack lost ... unless it is a cloud that puts everyone agrees once more ...
Yvan not sleeping, not eating, at the helm of a hand, tapping each other. Sometimes the water bottle to keep a clear head.
The third place is cursed on this edition of the Route du Rhum. Imoca monohull, Guillemot has brilliantly stolen the march to Dick in Multi'50, c'en was the same between Fequet and Laperche. In Class 40, is even worse as the two boats are actually in contact.
After the buoy Basse-Terre, the channel is a kind of Holy treadmill in which the wind blows like a windsock. The release marks the entrance to the bay of Pointe-à-Pitre. Sometimes the wind is right, sometimes left, but the passage of the line still requires a small contrebord.
Whatever happens on paper, Appart'City will not give up until the end. Disabled for a couple of hours by the loss of his stay on Saturday, he managed to repair alone, unattended and make 100% of its potential to Appart'City. Yvan proves in this race how much he is a full browser. He has total control over his boat, he held his run perfectly from a standpoint of weather analysis, he has managed only small technical problems and his mental strength allowed him not to succumb to declining morale inevitable. It is part of the great leaders of the Route du Rhum in Class 40."
Come on, gentlemen of the RdR. Get it together.
Over the next 6 hours, or so, we're going to see the last of the M50 class boats ease itself over the finish line in Guadeloupe when Gilles Buekenhout on Nootka completes the trip across the Atlantic, from France to the Caribbean.
Nootka is a Nigle Irens design that was first launched in 1989, so she is not a state of the art racing machine. Consider this though... against the very best of the current crop of truly fast M50 designs, Gilles Buekenhout has pushed his older Nootka across the Atlantic and finshed only four days after Lionel Lemenchois; this after a 3,500 mile race. A 21 year old boat, well past its prime and Gilles accomplishes such a wonderful feat.
Some of these guys just knock me out with the sailing skills they possess.
Well, Gilles Buekenhout on the Class 50 trimaran, Nootka, now has about 12 miles to go to the finish. He's currently doing 8.5 knots, so the math here is pretty easy. His position is shown below. With his docking, the Class 50 multihull division of the 2010 Route du Rhum will have concluded.
There are still two multihulls out on the course in the Rhum Class. Charlie Capelle and Jean-Paul Froc, both driving a 12 meter Walter Green designed trimarans, will conclude the multihull participants in the Route du Rhum this time around. Capelle is still 630 miles out and Froc is a good bit behind him, so it'll be some time before we see them.
The final Class 50 multihull, Nootka, driven by Gilles Buekenhout has reached the quay in Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe. This ends the Route du Rhum for this exciting class of fast, 50' multihulls, pointing the way to the future of more energized races from these boats and very talented skippers.
The last two remaining multihulls out to sea (see pictures below) are now 600 miles (Charlie Capelle) and 850 miles (Jean-Paul Froc) from the finish line, making 8 knots and 7.5 knots respectively. It's going to take them a while to get their boats home.
This is the message posted yesterday by Jean-Paul Froc from his website. He sounds very upbeat and looking forward to his downhill run to Guadeloupe.
November 18 10:51
I locked into place.
Passage of large storm clouds all night, and I had to reduce the wing with 2 times.
As in Britain: salute grains and rounded tips.
The tropical depression sticks to my shoes. Instead of drain toward the NE as expected and as someone, a good company that does leave, she goes down south ...
I'll suffer the SW flow all day, with slack between the grains and a shift in the NE end of the day can be ..
Message of 18/11/10 7:19 p.m.
I managed to overcome depression, I go down under spinnaker to Guadeloupe
Arrival on 22 or 23. It's gonna be hot to beat the record of Mike."
On the Class 40 front of the RdR, the second wave of boats is about to bombard the counter-clockwise route around Guadeloupe as they scramble for better finishing positions. My own favorite in the event, Pete Goss, has improved his position in the fleet the past couple of days from 17th, to currently hanging tough at 14th out of 41 boats still in the running. Not bad stuff for a guy who basically got handed a brand new boat and told to go for it. Of course, Pete is no stranger to solo, blue water racing.
Below are a couple of graphics showing the boats as they stream into the finish line. Goss's boat is shown in red on the first map on the left.
And the relentless stream of Class 40 boats just keep on coming. The maps are absolutely fascinating to watch with all the targets steaming straight for the end of the race.
Pete Goss is only 160 miles out now and holding in 14th place, having made no mileage gain on the 13th place boat of Axel Strauss. It looks like being able to hold speed in this dash is going to come down to how much sleep and proper eating the sailors got in the last couple of days.
Skipper Charlie Capelle, the other multihull driver in the Rhum Class who is still out on the ocean, had this posting at his website. Working with his sponsors, Sidaction, Charlie is going to take the opportunity, once in port, to conduct a raffle-fundraiser that will benefit AIDS work on Guadeloupe. The prize offered in the raffle... a sailing day with Charlie aboard his trimaran. That's a very cool involvement with the fans and citizens of Guadeloupe and the whole thing is for a very good cause.
Charlie Capelle and Trimaran Acapella wear the colors of Sidaction
"In a good position to get among the first of his kind in the Route du Rhum, Charlie Capelle will continue his engagement with Sidaction after his arrival in Guadeloupe. At the World Day against AIDS, he would move to a dozen people in precarious situations or exclusion in Guadeloupe, to do a boat trip on his boat.
A raffle on the 1st of December, World Day of fight against AIDS
Sidaction is holding a raffle at the finish of the Route du Rhum. The selling price of tickets is 2 € minimum. 500 tickets are to be sold. Fifty lots are planned. Tickets will be sold in the village stand the Route du Rhum by associations from 13 November. The draw will take place on Wednesday, the 1st of December at 16hours.
This action will be organized in partnership with local associations in Guadeloupe supported by Sidaction: Mutual Gwadloup ', PAS and Eco Initiative.
Mutual Gwadloup 'supports people living with HIV and their families. The association operates throughout the territory in Guadeloupe in the social and development programs towards different audiences (schools, sex workers ...).
Around words of Health (PAS) is mobilized for health promotion. It operates in areas such as prevention and socio-cultural issues. The association has set up a prevention program on the Internet in the direction of MSM (men who have sex with men).
Eco Initiative fight against the exclusion of those in need. It offers support of disadvantaged, including women and youth, and a hotline (toll free). She has an apartment relay for women victims of domestic violence and service assistance to victims.
Sidaction and associations involved in these actions gratefully acknowledge the support of Charlie Capelle."
Having sailed across the Atlantic, it has come down to match racing tactics for two Class 40 competitors as they scratch and claw for 12th and 13th placings in the RdR.
Marc Lepesqueux (1st two photos) driving Marie Toit - Caen La Mer is but a couple of hundred yards ahead of Axel Strauss (second two photos) on Tzu Hang and is working frantically to cover his every move as they sail the last 13 miles to the finish line. Just 9.5 miles aft of those two is Pete Goss (last photo) who has, over the last 12 hours, done some serious closing on the pair just ahead.
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