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  #91  
Old 11-09-2010, 11:33 AM
cardsinplay cardsinplay is offline
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Congratulations to the entire crew and sponsors of Groupama 3 and especially to Franck Cammas for a well-sailed and strategized race.

Meanwhile, 944 miles still out to sea, Lalou Roucayrol aboard Regione Aquitaine is sitting atop another grand puzzle that is playing-out for the participants in the Class 50 multihull segment of the Route du Rhum. The two fastest boats, which have led most of the race up until yesterday, Group Actual and Crepes Whaou, have slowed considerably as they deal with damaged boats and are only looking to make it to port intact. As a result, Roucayrol has inherited the lead with shrewd routing and terrific seamanship.

Sitting second at present is Yves le Blevec on Actual some 123 miles distant. Closing fast on le Blevec is Prince de Bretagne with Lionel Lemenchois at the helm, now just 154 miles out of the lead. Early in the event Lemenchois had serious mechanical difficulty with his headboard lashing and very nearly dropped out of the race while affecting a repair. Now, he is charging up through the fleet and looking to close on the lead.

Le Blevec is limited as to how much power he can push through his boat with a cracked forward beam, so he appears to be a bit of a sitting duck with Lemenchois right on his tail. Previous fast guy on the water, Escoffier on Crepes Whaou has also slowed considerably as he lost a big section of the bow of his main hull and is experiencing problems trying to make some sort of temporary fix to keep him on the water.

Roucayrol has watched all this in front of his boat and now owns the lead. Even though Lemenchois is making a mad dash to get in front, Roucayrol is not going to let him just rush up and take it. He is pushing 14+ knots out of his boat right now and is sailing into stronger conditions while Lemenchois is still stuck in a bit of a wind hole. This fact will allow him to extend over his competitors. With the weirdness of conditions that hit the area around Guadeloupe for the Ultime Class boats, there's just no telling what the Class 50's will see when they get to within a day's sail of the finish line.

Whatever it is, it'll be exciting to watch and probably be a real sleep deprivation slog for the skippers as they keep the hammer down while seriously tired.
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  #92  
Old 11-09-2010, 12:48 PM
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RHP RHP is offline
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Y'know, its been a great race and thanks to one guy I've been kept perfectly up to date and I've not even needed to open my newspaper.

And some of you slag the guy off, regardless of who he is!

Guys, we're bigger than this, come on, charity begins at home.
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  #93  
Old 11-09-2010, 12:56 PM
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Closing stages, Grouparama just 10 miles out!
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  #94  
Old 11-09-2010, 03:43 PM
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The positions in Class 50 are essentially unchanged from this morning with Lalou Roucayrol still leading on Region Aquataine. Second place is being held for now by Philippe Laperche on La mer révèle nos sens with Yves le Blevec still hanging tough in third on a seriously wounded Groupe Actual.

Le Blevec, sailing at 6.2 knots, probably won't have that spot for long as Lionel Lemenchois is on his heels with Prince de Bretagne doing 11.4 knots and but 14 miles behind. While closing, Lemenchois is also falling further back of the leader who is sailing at 19.9 knots in stronger winds.

Just under 900 miles to go now, for Roucayrol. How the wind patterns hold up for him and how he plays the sporadic, shifting breezes will tell the story as night is approaching the Class 50 fleet.
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  #95  
Old 11-09-2010, 07:02 PM
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The most recent posting by Thomas Coville to the Sodeb'O website. In this post, Coville offers a most elegant message of heartfelt and personal congratulations to Franck Cammas with his victory in the 2010 running of the Route du Rhum. Coville knows a bit about this race in this fashion, having won the RdR back in 1998.

These two know each other well, as they sailed together on Groupama 3 when she set the new Jules Verne record for a Round the World journey on a crewed sailing vessel. It's truly great to see such competitors in this way as they offer congratulations to one another.

NEWS: Congratulations dear Franck

"The victory of the 9th Route du Rhum back to Franck Cammas who cut the finish line at Pointe-A-Pitre on Tuesday to 16 hours 16 minutes and 47 seconds (Paris time) after 9 days 3 hours 14 minutes and 47 seconds at sea He has traveled 4471 miles at an average speed of 20.39 knots.

Symbol of the return race to freedom and "no limit", the skipper of Groupama 3 has lead solo with skill and foresight in this sized trimaran design for a crew of ten men. Thomas Coville knows something about him that was part of last winter's dream team winning the Jules Verne Trophy on board "the boat evil" as he calls it. Approaching the Guadeloupe, the skipper of Sodebo welcomes live performance of the winner.

Message from Thomas to the attention of the winner of the Route du Rhum:

"Dear Frank,

I can not be to your arrival as I had promised you. I am, indeed, withheld by the professional obligations that I can not escape me. You know my struggle and my desire to finish things I started. However, I wanted to congratulate you for this victory looks like to me the most beautiful. You've built the first night playing your card thoroughly. I opted for another solution myself but had the same philosophy: to win and nothing else!

The chain of circumstances of the race gives you reason and gives me wrong today. The win promotes the work of a very beautiful and great team that has adapted to you alone this great boat that we grow together this winter on the Jules Verne Trophy. What a great year for you and Groupama!

Greet them with my hand and sends them my admiration for this great history together.

Looking forward to find who knows one day on the water

Very sincerely,

Tom "

At 16 hours, Sodebo peak in third place at 216 miles from Pointe-A-Pitre. Thomas sailed at 16/17 knots in the north-east of Guadeloupe against a southerly wind of around fifteen knots, while Francis Joyon progresses through the East on one side across the wind favorable. Penalized in the option is there 36 hours, came back strong Idec. Now it is heading directly towards the head of the Englishman and is expected in second position during the night in Pointe-À-Pitre."
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  #96  
Old 11-09-2010, 09:21 PM
cardsinplay cardsinplay is offline
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News from RdR re: Yves le Blevec aboard Group Actual.

To put this in context so that we average sailors can get a grip as to what he is about to do. le Blevec is going to dive into the ocean about 1000 miles from land and attempt to make a satisfactory repair to his boat so that it will not take on water. Yeah, sure the water is warm where he is going overboard, but this is all about this one guy, working to fix a very high tech boat while in the water, with absolutely no margin for error, such as having the boat sail away from him. After that, he's going to use his spare sail battens to rig up some sort of epoxy saturated repair job that has the strength to handle the stress and strain on his 50 foot racing trimaran with the racked beams. And then he will look to rejoin the RdR so he can possibly gain a solid finish. This guy is incredible.


Repair solutions for Actual?

"After an essential rest period for Actual skipper Yves le Blévec, the skipper and his technical team have come to some conclusions about possible repairs to the Multi 50 tri. The plan is to use spare battens to attempt to strengthen the damaged cross beam and will dive to see the extent of a hole into a compartment in the central hull. Already in situ in Guadeloupe, the Acutal shore team are in constant contact with Le Blevec, and different solutions have been proposed. Said Le Blévec: “All is good on board. The sea is still a bit unsettled but it will flatten out in the next few hours. I have had some good rest but a busy day is ahead. I need to dive and see what the status is with the ‘bath-tub’ to try and reduce the ingress of water. And after I need to then try and make a repair to reinforce the cross beam.” I think it is a bit of a coincidence that the two leading boats suffered damage one after the other. Both of us had sailed many miles, the boat were well proven.”


And from le Blevec's site, something similar, but with a few extra comments:

November 9: "I take my pain with patience!"

"More than 24 hours after the damage occurred on board the Multi 50 Actual, Yves Blevec still points to second place in the standings. Despite a reduced speed for safety, it rose to 5 knots to Pointe-à-Pitre and remains in the race! Weather conditions are calmer and the rough seas should flatten in the coming hours. Yves is rested and has started today a complete check-up damage for repair of fortune.

Take time to repair: After resting for Yves essential, it is time to take stock of the full damage and attempt a repair. The spare slats could be used to strengthen the linkage arm and act as a splint. Regarding the compartment flooded the main hull, the bathtub, as the nickname Yves, it will dive with a mask to see the extent of the hole. On board, the skipper of Actual has enough food and water for another 10 days sailing. As the boat takes Yves remains in the race!

The support of a team: Already on the team in Guadeloupe Actual follows closely the evolution of the Multi 50 and remains in constant contact with Yves. Different solutions are proposed in case he should take urgent action. The executive director of Actual, Samuel Tual said Yves as anonymous supporters who are likely to send messages of encouragement.

Reached by phone this morning at 11:40 French time, Yves explained: "Everything is going well on board. The sea is still a bit rough but should calm down in the coming hours. I am well rested but a busy day awaits. I have to go for a ride in my bathtub to control the damage and after I will try to cobble together a reinforcement for the linker ... Briefly, I take my pain with patience. This is really no chance that the two leaders of the class have been damaged a few hours apart. It should not be any question so far, boats are proven, they have sailed a lot before hitting the Route du Rhum. Multi Class 50 must live, it's worth it! "

Great sailor, Yves has sailed a lot with a crew aboard maxi multihulls in Records as the Jules Verne Trophy. Faced with the victory of Franck Cammas (Groupama 3), it remains an admirer: "I'm impressed! Before departure, I found the project very swollen and I watched it carefully, one man on this ship ... But he managed his race perfectly. It deserved the success of a person who combines talent, work and professionalism. He can summon the capacity to win. Competitors in the next Volvo Ocean Race have nothing to be worried! "
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  #97  
Old 11-10-2010, 10:10 AM
cardsinplay cardsinplay is offline
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FLASH! If you are online right now, Sodeb'O is running a live video feed of Coville's arrival in Guadeloupe
http://www.sodebo-voile.com/carnet-medias/le-live.html


From the website of Sodeb'O very early this morning:

IN BRIEF: Sodebo on approach to the finish!

At a speed of ten knots, Thomas Coville and Sodebo approaching the island of Guadeloupe.

Tonight, the team embarked on a Sodebo "cigarette" means a motorboat Caribbean to reach out to the maxi-trimaran and her skipper. It was under the escort and a light wind from South-East Thomas Coville will scan its last legs. After a long tack out to sea, spent Sodebo buoy Basse-Terre, very close to the shore at 1:18 p.m. (8:18 in the Caribbean). In a light wind, it will still pass through the channel of Saintes, before crossing the finish line off Pointe-à-Pitre.

Tonight at 2:52 on the mainland, Francis Joyon took second place in the Route du Rhum after a transatlantic 9 days 13 hours 50 minutes and 48 seconds.
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  #98  
Old 11-10-2010, 11:46 AM
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Class 50 Multihull News from RdR website:

Repair time for Yves, a repair/supply boat in case.

"Yves le Blévec has carried out some of his repairs to his damaged Multi 50 Actual. Yesterday he took time to reinforce the cracked cross-beam using spare main battens but so far the seas remain too boisterous for him to attempt other repairs. And today a boat which is chartered jointly between Actual and Crêpes Whaou! sets off from Guadeloupe with back up repair materials, water and extra diesel.

“Yesterday I worked long and hard on the boat. With some mainsail battens I made a spiders web type reinforcement to support the beam. It is not a repair as such, but it does help reduce the movement, stabilizing the crack and I think it reduces the risk of it spreading further. But it is still a bit disconcerting, the grinding and creaking, but it does not crack any further. But phase 2 is emptying the four tonne of water in the hull in the front of the boat. Initially I need to plug the hole. I dived with the mask and got inside the hull to see what was required.” said Yves le Blevec"
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  #99  
Old 11-10-2010, 04:06 PM
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This is a nicely drawn piece about Thomas Coville and his search for victory in this year's RdR.

Only Victory is Beautiful, Third Hurts

"Drained, disappointed, visibly hurting but far from broken Thomas Coville secured third place in this high stakes, winner takes all ninth edition of the Route du Rhum-La Banque Postale finishing 23hrs 58min 24secs behind Franck Cammas (Groupama 3). More than the two first skippers, the last few days of the race were cruel to Coville, losing out second to Joyon only yesterday morning, suffering from his northerly approach and some long spells in light winds over the previous 36 hours.

Drained, disappointed, visibly hurting but far from broken, Thomas Coville secured third place in this high stakes, winner takes all, ninth edition of the Route du Rhum-La Banque Postale finishing 23hrs 58min 24secs behind Franck Cammas (Groupama 3).

After crossing the line Coville said that he had spent some hours during the final few days of this race, once he realised victory was out of his reach, replaying and re-runnng his choices and options through the race.

But, the Sodebo solo skipper was clear that his northerly routing, the opposite to that of Cammas and Joyon, was the more aggressive option which would either pay out for him or lose by a bigger margin. He admitted that two days ago when he and his routing team, with a 200 miles deficit on Cammas, saw an outside chance to attack again but the stake on the table was the second position. It did not pay.

“I was always looking to win.” might be the mental epitaph ascribed to this difficult, multi levelled clash of the titans when Coville files the positives to the memory banks after finishing third best today.

Certainly he said it is a result which it will take him some time to feel good about.

Coville is no stranger to the race.

He was first monohull to finish in 1998 as a late replacement for Yves Parlier on Aquitaine Innovations, and had an eighth and an ABD as his Route du Rhum history.

But his choice of the northern routing rather than fighting head to head down the southerly routing against Cammas – who he sailed with as part of the ten man crew on Groupama 3’s Jules Verne round the world record triumph - was directly influenced by the need to do something different, knowing the strengths of Cammas and his tri, the most powerful in the race.

Many of the memories, especially towards the end will be bitter-sweet, but Coville will treasure the days after the Azores, sluicing downwind absolutely on the egde, making 32-33 knots for sustained spells. Climbing the mast three times to try and effect a repair to a main halyard break – once when his head-torch failed 25 metres up and he was left in pitch darkness, are among the incidents best forgotten, if you can.

‘Only victory is beautiful’ concluded Coville quoting Michel Malinosky, the skipper who contributed so much to the legend of the Rhum legend when finished second in the first edition, 98 seconds behind Mike Birch after 23 days at sea."
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  #100  
Old 11-10-2010, 07:25 PM
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M50 Class Running on Eggshells

For the M50 Class, as the leaders approach the finish line at Point a Pitre, it's beginning to look like déjà vu all over again. The same wildly fluky winds, with next to no wind, gaping dead zones, sit right in the path of the leaders as they wind their way into the arms of the Caribbean.

Lalou Roucayrol is still in the lead on Region Aquitaine and as of the last check with race control, he's doing 7.5 knots with 728 miles to go. Having closed a bit overnight to within 97.5 miles, Lionel Lemenchois is making his presence felt, but he's only doing 4 knots in truly wimpy wind conditions. So in spite of Roucayrol's weak boat speed, Lionel's is even worse and he will lose ground to the leader.

Back in third, Philiipe Laperche is cracking off 8.75 knots, but he's 130 miles distant and will have to do a lot better in order to become a real threat. The next two boats, Actual and Crepes Whaou, are back in the mid-200 mile range behind and are having their hands full simply staying in the game, both with broken boats that must be handled with real care.

So, it's still Roucayrol's game to lose at this point and if it continues like this as they draw closer to Guadeloupe, Roucayrol will sit in the driver's seat. His every move will need to be shrewdly reasoned with close support from his routing team so that he does not fall into a hole while Lemenchois is in full make it, or break it mode.

This is exciting to see with all the drama, busted high-tech trimarans and wildly fluctuating weather that one could want in a major, International boat race.

Stay tuned.
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  #101  
Old 11-10-2010, 11:51 PM
Gary Baigent Gary Baigent is online now
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Chris, had an email from Fred Monsonnec, who has the Foilers site, sent me some jpegs and pointed out that Philippe Laperche's La mer revele nos sens, (in third place at the moment) is none other than the very first foil trimaran (same time as Eric Tabaly's Paul Ricard), the 13+ metre Hydrofolie designed by Xavier Joubert, launched in 1979 for the very first Route du Rhum. Although altered and modernised, it is still the basic design ... pretty hot for a golden oldie.
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  #102  
Old 11-11-2010, 12:10 AM
Gary Baigent Gary Baigent is online now
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No, no, I got that completely wrong, apologies ... although Laperche DOES own Hydrofolie, the tri he is sailing in the RdR is Escoffier's original boat Crepes Whaou !, now named La mer revele nos sens. Still an old design but able to hang in there with the new 50's.
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  #103  
Old 11-11-2010, 10:08 AM
Marvout Marvout is offline
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Can anyone tell me why everyone so far is going around the island and coming in from the west? Why didn't IDEC head a bit further south and come in from the east? Wouldn't it have been faster?

Marvin
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  #104  
Old 11-11-2010, 10:11 AM
cardsinplay cardsinplay is offline
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Having been brutally shunned by the sailing journalism community, Baigent scuttled off, muttering to himself that, in the future, he would dig for better research with dual source attributions. ;-)

All kidding aside, that's very good background, Gary. Thank you.
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  #105  
Old 11-11-2010, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvout View Post
Can anyone tell me why everyone so far is going around the island and coming in from the west? Why didn't IDEC head a bit further south and come in from the east? Wouldn't it have been faster?
From all that I have read, the western route is a requirement of the race.
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