As Roucayrol has predicted, his biggest problem is staying out of the dead zones while trying to stay ahead of Lemenchois. Right now, that's problematic, as Lemenchois has closed to within 54 miles and is cranking along at 14.5 knots while Roucayrol is doing 3.4 By morning tomorrow, it'll be all over save for the Fat Lady's song if Lalou doesn't find some wind and find it quickly.
Lemenchois is sailing like a man possessed as he has charged back through the fleet. It's probably fair to say that he is running sail area that is risky in order to get the boat speed he has been showing, but there's just no other way to catch-up, save for fortunate routing decisions, or extremely bad fortune for the opponent. Having watched the two other really fast boats (Actual and Crepes) meet that kind of bad fortune, Lemenchois is, no doubt, flush with the potential of catching Roucayrol and sailing into Pointe a Pitre as the fastest in the Multi 50 Class.
Unfortunately, for Lemenchois, he has just sailed into the near zero wind zone that has held Roucayrol for the past several hours and he, too, will see a big drop in boat speed. Below, you will see a group of three graphics showing the two sailor's locations relative to Guadeloupe with a meteo overlay showing the various wind patterns.
The graphics are of Now, +6 hours and +12 hours from now. On the RdR website, you can push the meteo out further, but I don't trust the prediction capability any further than 12 hours in these types of conditions. Even then, it's pretty much a shot in the dark the way that Hurricane Tomas has so totally screwed-up the normal wind patterns for the Caribbean right now.
Franck-Yves Escoffier, skipper of M50 Class trimaran, Crêpes Whaou! has decided to call it quits and find other methods than all-out racing to get his broken boat back to port for proper repairs. The announcement from RdR race HQ came this afternoon. It's sad scenario watching one of the best skippers on a very fast boat being forced to leave the RdR.
Escoffier officially retires.
"Three time winner of his class in the Route du Rhum-La Banque Postale, Franck-Yves Escoffier (Crêpes Whaou!) has made the difficult decision to retire from this edition of the race after fighting on for four days after damaging the bow of his central hull. Effectively left with a bluff bow, Escoffier’s Multi has been badly compromised, but particularly when the wind rises. The solo skipper from Saint-Malo would under most conceivable circumstances, rather carry on and fight in the fleet he is so passionate about and has championed for 12 years, but after having to use his engine going back for an hour to try and consolidate his repair, Escoffier decided that he should abandon. He announced his decision to race direction at 1555hrs (CET), this afternoon."
From the Crêpes Whaou! website, came this posting about the withdrawal:
Franck-Yves forced to abandon the Route du Rhum
"I leave room for those who are still in the race"
" The decision by Franck-Yves Escoffier, triple winner of the Route du Rhum Multi50, has not been easy. He had to steel himself to get to the obvious. The race is over for him since his damaged bow of four days ago, not allowing him to navigate properly when the wind gets up. Franck-Yves has been forced to drive the motor in reverse for one hour at a time to consolidate its repair. Under these conditions, he prefers to leave to others still racing, the media space they deserve and he has so often occupied in Multi50 for 12 years.
However, the skipper of Pancakes Wow! has not requested assistance and continues to sail to Guadeloupe. A large catamaran chartered jointly by Actual and Pancakes Wow! however, goes to the two trimarans injured. He left last night and Guadeloupe should be on area in three days to assist the two browsers if they wish.
The repair by Franck-Yves Tuesday allowed him to master the important waterway found yesterday. On board, the skipper Malo still has food but he is only 15 liters of diesel which forced him to save energy.
Franck-Yves conducted its fourth Route du Rhum in mind from the start and its southerly route presaged a nice shot on arrival in the manner of Idec also routed by Jean-Yves Bernot. Great disappointment especially as Franck-Yves has never resolved to abandon racing for 12 years, except in the 2004 Transat for drift damage. When we know the care he brings to the preparation of his races, this time the blow is only harder."
Well, Lionel Lemenchois has caught and passed Lalou Roucayrol as both of them close on the finish line at Guadeloupe. Looking at the photos of Lemenchois' boat, it becomes immediately striking that while she is setup to sail with ama mounted daggerboards, there isn't a curved lifting foil in sight. Yet, this boat has made a spectacular charge back through the fleet, after suffering an early problem with the headboard on the mainsail. This means that really fast, blue water multihulls are not necessarily dependent on lifting foils for their speed. Curious. Here is Lemenchois' most recent post from his website:
Bubbles and Grains
"The stagecoach continues for Lemonchois and Trimaran Prince of Britain. At 16 hours, it does not return a delay of 54 miles on the current leader of the fleet Multi 50. But no question as to "count one's chickens," Lionel has clear ideas on this, the weather system complicated and twisted can be full of surprises and especially complicate the task of the skipper of the Prince of Brittany s is launched into a hunt for victory.
"Achieving my goal will depend on the speed at which we will finish the race. If it goes straight and fast, it will be possible to pass because I think my boat is a bit faster than that of Lalou. But if things are as complicated as the operation up to this point it will give me more work. "
At noon, Lionel explained very well the strange weather pattern that is meeting with the approach of the Antilles arc. "We are in a period of disruption of trade winds. There are some tropical depressions and wind system, normally scheduled for this season is completely disrupted. In short, a little anything: bubbles, grains, contrary winds and drizzle, almost Breton ', these are not ideal conditions to go fast. "
But the skipper of Prince de Bretagne is more motivated than ever to win the Route du Rhum 2010, boosted by encouragement and good vibes sent by producers Prince of Britain, who live for eleven days to the rhythm of scores of Route cold -La Banque Postale."
The freshest vegetable news this morning from Lionel Lemenchois, who has now cleared out a lead of 34 miles over Roucayrol.
The Time of Harvest
"That's eight days as Prince of Britain, taken from the hands of a master Lemonchois very inspired, run after the leading position of Muti50. And it's done this morning by a score of 8 hours, Lionel finally harvesting the fruits of his work, always in tune with decidedly Breton producers, partners.
Difficult to end
Prince of Britain grabbed the lead in the race early this morning after doubling Aquitaine Port Médoc. Lionel remains cautious and refuses to make predictions: "I'm still around. I try to get close to Guadeloupe, but it's complicated. At 40 degrees of the direct route, it is not moving, it's a bit long story. The boat types, it is a laborious finish. Time 'normal', ie with the trade winds established a Multi50 located this morning 400 miles of the line, as was Prince of Britain, could happen to Guadeloupe in 36 hours ... But this Route du Rhum-La Banque Postale, which proved terribly winding, is also hardworking and honest to the end, since it will probably wait until Monday to finally see the Prince of Brittany to the northern horizon Guadeloupe. Lionel joined this morning by his PC called earth: "It is what day? Friday? Ah yes, okay, so, no, sorry, but I probably will not happen this weekend. "
On land, the tension mounts
There is a delegation of vegetable producers from Britain to host their boat. Unaccustomed to idleness, the Princes of Britain impatient with good humor. "So it will not come, I will have the throat" said one, this morning, while his neighbor explained that he had not taken a vacation in 15 years, this is a bit a gift that makes us what Lionel stay in Guadeloupe "he explained, a little excited. From the sea, Lionel explained that if there was victory in Pointe a Pitre to Prince of Britain, it would be a revenge on destiny. But mistrust, all on land and sea, know that nothing is done, especially since Lionel spoke of his opponents who had gone south and could well benefit from better conditions and a more advantageous route to the finish. .."
Another bit of news from RdR race website. This time regarding Lalou Roucayrol, who is driving the second place boat, Region Aquitaine-Port Medoc.
Lalou's boat is an older design compared to the Prince de Bretagne being driven by Lionel Lemenchois and doesn't have some of the neat goodies that make for a more comfortable experience. But, good fortune and steady sailing have brought him to the place where, with 424 miles to go, he is likely to finish the RdR in second place among the M50 Class trimarans and that is great news for both Lalou and his sponsors.
Lalou Roucayrol (Région Aquitaine – Port Médoc):
“A bit of work today. last night I heard a loud noise, but I couldn't see as it was pitch dark. I'm trying to manage the water leaking. all ok, we should be reaching and going fast and... We will be finishing under the rain, the world is upside down but what can I do? It's not fun to position the boat as I have no automatic positioning system. With Eric Mas we focus on strategy. It's handicapping not being able to plan a clear strategy compared to the other boats."
Unfortunate news this morning regarding the multihull entry in the Rhum Class of the RdR. French born, US skipper, Etienne Giroire, aboard his 12 meter trimaran, ATNINC has capsized and is awaiting rescue, Here's the brief report from RdR's website:
ATNinc.com Capsizes, Skipper Safe and Well
"At 0900hrs (CET/Paris) the small 12.18m trimaram ATNinc.com capsized. Franco-American skipper Etienne Giroire is reported to be well. They were positioned 1500 miles from Guadeloupe and 900 miles from the Azores. The solo skipper has inflated his liferaft and is alongside his boat. Conditions are relatively fair, 10-15 knots of wind and small seas. MMCC Portugal are coordinating rescue, and a cargo is expected to be diverted in the coming hours."
Just In: Apparently, Etienne Giroire has been rescued by a container ship that is bound for... Point-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe
In other, less disturbing, RdR multihull news, Lionel Lemenchois on Prince de Bretagne, has slightly lengthened his lead over 2nd place boat, Region Aquitaine, driven by Lalou Roucayrol. He his now out front by 65 miles in light air with both boats doing just over 6 knots of speed.
Lionel Lemonchois, 270 miles to go: 'Days not hours!'
"Multi 50 class leader Lionel Lemonchois (Prince de Bretagne) has 64.8 miles of margin this morning: “Let’s say yesterday was interesting, plenty to do and as the wind turns, tactical choices. I get the impression I am putting the pieces of the puzzle together OK. But we will slow as we progress. It is certainly not straightforward or simple, but I do feel the end is in sight. There are light winds with gusts and shifts and we don’t go vey fast. Since yesterday afternoon I have probably an average of eight knots of wind. But normally at 270 miles you’d be under gennaker and flying along between 20 and 30 knots depending on the boat you have, counting down the hours before you finish. This one you are still counting the days.”
Lemenchois says something similar on his website:
"Normally, about 270 miles from Guadeloupe, we are downwind and as we advance gennaker to 20 or 30 knots as the boats," explained Lionel sessional earth with the PC tonight. He also added that at this distance of the West Indies, he should count the hours, while he is counting the days. Then, of course, if the placidity of Lemonchois is intact when he says, since the head race Multi50, it may be because the consciousness of work well done tempers some impatience. He is head since yesterday, and digs on Lalou Roucayrol in light air, upwind and not unhappy with his 'knit' the Atlantic. "It's not easy, the wind turns, there are a lot of maneuvers and tactics, but I feel I see the end anyway." The end, it will be Monday."
Having neglected to report the arrival in Point-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe, by Ultime Class finsiher, Yann Guichard aboard Gitana 11, I present to you this interesting wrap-up piece:
Guichard, a Deliverance at the End....
"Yann Guichard brought a frustrating final four days of his first ever solo ocean race to an end when he brought the course record holding Gitana 11 across the finish line just before 1am (CET) this morning. Having made his approach from the east, the final half circumnavigation of the island of Guadeloupe proved painfully slow, especially when the evening breeze dies after nightfall and the giant tri was left crawling along the final miles. Guichard said the last four days of the race had been disappointing and frustrating having worked so hard to try and keep pace with the bigger, more powerful rivals, sailed by skippers with more solo miles. He paid tribute in turn to Cammas, Joyon and Coville but was only too happy to have deliverance from the slow, difficult going of the last few days. A measure of just how much slower this race is than 2006 is that the extended Groupama finished 4 days, 4 hours, 38 minutes and 32 seconds, slower than the record, not least due to the slack and shifting winds over the final four or five days. (See Quotes Below)
Yann Guichard, on the Dockside:
“The finishing line was a deliverance. There was nothing left for me to eat other than a couple of days of freeze dried. It was time that I got here. I want to rest a bit now because I am very tired. But I am happy to have arrived.
It was a beautiful Rhum but an especially difficult Rhum.”
“ These last four days were a bit too long, but there is a deliverance to get across the line and to find myself here in front of all these people. They are so cool. When you are disappointed with a race like after a time it is good to be able see things like that.
I was a little out of step with the weather files. It seemed to be good to be in the south compared to Francis (Joyon) but as it happened I was slowed for six hours and then just could not ever get back to him.”
“Three days of calms, and this a very light boat, it was a real test these three days. Several times I failed to get to the front. It was always vital to attack to try and stay in contact with them. And that was not easy.”
“ The final sail round the island was tough, becalmed. There were bits where I did not have any wind under the island. After the Canal des Saintes I had no wind. I just had some small puffs to get here.”
Missing the Podium
"There are three ahead of me who were better. Franck made a fantastic race on Groupama 3. Francis and Thomas too. I suffered as we were through the front of the Azores and there was no means to come back. It is a bit of a disappointment, for sure, but there are positive things too. It was a difficult Transatlantic race on this boat. In the Bay of Biscay it was important that I did not press too hard. There was wind but especially seas. It is low in the water especially on the floats and I had already damaged it driving too hard. So I had to modulate the attack and raise my foot a little. But it is true it’s a boat you have to push. It is light you have to changes sails many times, as soon as the wind goes up or drops. That made for many operations for me."
"The last three days in the calms, I only slept and ate. But before that I had four nights without sleeping. Physically that was hard."
First Solo Race?
"It was full on for sure, this first solo race. It was great to race against them. Franck (Cammas) left quickly and I quickly realized that he was untouchable. But with Francis it was close and we had some fun to race together. But as a soon as we had started I saw that Groupama 3 was as fast and faster than Gitana 11, I had to ask what the strengths of the boat would be against them. That does not exactly come as a blow to your morale, but it does mean you do feel you know how hard it is going to be. But I knew the potential of Groupama 3. They made a fantastic route and a great race"
"It makes me happy. I thought that arriving fourth, two days after the winner, I was going to arrive all alone but to see so many people turn out, it is brilliant. It really is a great adventure."
"I never saw as many storm clouds in my life on an ocean race. In total there must have been 50 or 50. And it was often really difficult because there was no moon. One night I found myself in a storm cloud with 40 knots and the boat flying away with itself. And then you don’t really know what to do."
"The lasting memory of this Route du Rhum-La Banque Postale will be the start. With all those boats. I even looked back on the web site when I was in the race. It was so great to see all these boats, and the giants in among them, it was a beautiful image. I want to come back to that. I certainly think it feels like unfinished business, I took such pleasure from the start, even if the end was tough,"
What Would You Need to Win?
"For this Rhum I think you needed to have 30 metres under you. I saw some imges of Thomas with one reef and a large gennaker in 30-35 knots of wind. For me that is two reefs and a small gennaker and even then you are holding on. We did not have boats all of the same concept."
"Breaking the finish line off Point-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe at 00hrs 58mins 38secs today (Friday, CET/Paris) (Thursday23hrs 58mins 38secs GMT/ Thursday 19hrs 58mins 38secs local time (CET -4hrs)) Yann Guichard on the 23.5metres trimaran Gitana 11 took fourth place in the 9th Route du Rhum-La Banque Postale solo Transatlantic race which started from Saint-Malo, France at 1302hrs (CET) Sunday 31st October.
The elapsed time for Gitana 11 is 11 days, 11 hours, 56 minutes, 38 seconds
His average speed is 15.79 kts for the distance he sailed of 4356 miles.
Over the theoretical course distance of 3539 miles Yann Guichard’s average speed is 12.83 knots
Guichard finished 2 days, 8 hours, 41 minutes, 51 seconds behind Franck Cammas (Groupama 3) the race winner
Cammas finished 16h 16min 47secs (CET) Tuesday 09th November"
All photos used to illustrate posts for this entire thread are courtesy of the skipper's websites, sponsor websites and all the great photographers who go out on the water to capture this inspirational imagery. Thank You.
Here's the RdR follow-up to the status of Etienne Giroire and his capsized trimaran in the Rhum Class:
Etienne Giroire Safely on Board a Ship
"Etienne Giroire, whose small 18.5 metres trimaran ATNinc.com capsized this morning around 0900hrs (CET/Paris) some 1500 miles from Guadeloupe and 900 miles from the Azores, was picked up a little after 1730hrs (CET/Paris) by the cargo ship CMA CGM. The Franco-American skipper is now on board and heading for Point-à-Pitre, expected next Tuesday at around 1030hrs (CET/Paris, 0530hrs local). The rescue operation was a collaboration between the Cross Griz-Nez and the MRCC, Norfolk, USA who should be credited for their efficiency."
A really interesting report this afternoon from Lionel Lemenchois, Multi 50 Class race leader, aboard Prince de Bretagne:
"Lionel Lemonchois (Prince de Bretagne): “It is complicated. The wind is going in all directions. To find the right shift you need to be patient. We (Lalou Roucayrol) are not that close, not really in the same conditions, like we were sailing against each other but I am trying to get close to him so that I can keep myself between him and Guadeloupe, to control him. Anything can happen. It is not going too badly. There is still a bit of a margin. 300 miles still to go should not offer too many big surprises. We can make it. Yesterday the boats were hurting a bit with cross seas and since then it has been really quiet, but now there is a big sun, I check the boat regularly and I cant see anything to worry about, no cracks and that is a good sign."
While a lot of the interest in Multi 50 Class is directed at the two front running boats, Phillipe Laperche in third, is staging a quiet revolt of his own. With the two guys up front in very light air and doing five and three knots in nearly dead air close to the finish, Laperche is flying along at 12.3 knots and closing the distance to second (46 miles) quite rapidly. His wind should hold for another day, if you believe the meteo predictions at the RdR site, and that could carry him right into the thick of it with Roucayrol for second.
I don't know if he can catch Lemenchois in the lead without also bringing down the fresh breeze, but it makes for an interesting finish for all three boats, however it shakes-out.
Looking at the position map below with the meteo overlay, you can see why Laperche is moving along at a better clip than are the two other boats. He came into Guadeloupe from a much different angle and has been fortunate with the wind on that side of the island.
Lemenchois has said he will cover Roucayrol and stay between him and the finish line, which is a good race tactic for two boats. If it turns out to be three boats, though, the scene is ripe for one of the trailing boats to take a bit of a flyer in hopes of hitting it big with wind outside the Lemenchois track and then blow past both of the game players and take the whole thing.
Very interesting stuff and we'll just have to wait to see how it unfolds.
Well, there have been some very interesting changes overnight in the Class 50 multihull division. As expected, third place skipper, Philippe Laperche has moved right up within 33 miles of the leading boat, driven by Lionel Lemenchois and to within 17 miles of Lalou Roucayrol in second. He is still coming in from the north while the other two boats are sailing in from the northeast.
Ordinarily, this would put huge pressure on Lemenchois for the reasons suggested yesterday, but SURPRISE, the winds have shifted, once again. Now, Laperche is in the doldrums of 0-2 knots of breeze while the typical Trades have picked up and the two leading boats are in fairly steady 8 knot winds. Lemenchois is doing 13.6 knots and Roucayrol is banging out 10.3.
Lemenchois still has 194 miles to go to win this thing and with Roucayrol right on his transom (relatively speaking) at just 16.5 miles aft, he has pretty much no margin for error with which to play.
The Class 50 win is still open for discussion as the boats and skipper come down to the conclusion of their RdR.
Even though I have been covering this race from the Multihullers perspective, I would be deeply remiss if I ignored the winners in the monohull classes. The 2010 Route du Rhum Champion in the IMOCA 60 Class is Roland Jourdain who sailed a masterful race aboard his fast boat, Veolia Environment.
From RdR Flash News:
Roland Jourdain (FRA) (Veolia Environnement) wins IMOCA Open 60 Class in the 9th Route du Rhum-La Banque Postale
"Jourdain enters the Route du Rhum-La Banque Postale history books as first skipper to win the Monohull class in successive editions, after triumphing in 2006. Breaking the finish line off Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe at 06hrs 12mins 56secs today (Sunday, CET/Paris) (Sunday 05 hrs 12mins 56secs GMT/ Sunday 01hrs 12 mins 56secs local time (CET -4hrs)) Roland Jourdain on the IMOCA 60 Veolia Environnement took first place in the IMOCA Class overall in the 9th Route du Rhum-La Banque Postale solo Transatlantic race which started from Saint-Malo, France at 1302hrs (CET) Sunday 31st October. The elapsed time for Veolia Environnement is 13 days, 17 hours, 10 minutes and 56 seconds His average speed is 12.02kts for the distance he sailed of 3957miles. Over the theoretical course distance of 3539 miles Roland Jourdain’s average speed is 10.75 knots"
From RdR Regular News :
Two in a Row
"The familiar megawatt smile lit up the darkness on a still Caribbean night as Roland Jourdain and his Veolia Environnement finally ghosted to a halt in Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe as the charismatic skipper wrote himself further into the history of the Route du Rhum as the first sailor to win the monoholl division twice in consecutive editions.
Over an ocean racing career already spanning 25 years Jourdain has felt the depths of disappointment – having to abandon in two successive Vendée Globe races and the last Barcelona World Race – but the Finistèrian skipper who grew up sailing with and against Michel Desjoyeaux, Jean Le Cam, and raced with Eric Tabarly in 1985 in the Whitbread Round the World Race - matched his greatest solo success to date with a hard earned win in a race which had many meteorological twists and turns from start to finish.
He confirmed that he had a message of warm congratulations from long time sparring partner and close friend Desjoyeaux, who lies 7th with more than 350 miles to the finish.
Other than starting on the back foot in Saint Malo after making a late sail selection he was never out of the top three throughout the 3539 miles course and took the lead on Wednesday 3rd November when he punched further north and gained as the leading pack went around the north of the Azores high.
Four different skippers lead in the early stages of the race, but Jourdain’s strategy underlined his vast experience and this time, as the charismatic skipper noted on the dockside this morning, he proved to be consistently in phase with the meteo, with his boat, with his strategy and fleet management tactics.
2006 was a very different race, when he beat Le Cam by just 28 minutes at the end of a gruelling, high octane race. Jourdain sailed smartly through the transition areas and pushed hardest when he knew he could gain valuable miles. His routing through the final four days of light, unstable winds, down to Guadeloupe was an object lesson, while both of his main rivals suffered more either side of his.
Jourdain paid tribute to the winning boat, the three year old Farr designed Véolia Environnement 2, formerly Seb Josse’s BT, which has consistently proven quick in previous but never yet delivered a major race victory. Their relationship – matching a skipper whose recent big races have been ill fated, with a boat which has been badly damaged and retired from last year’s Transat Jacques Vabre and the 2008-9 Vendée Globe – may have seemed like an odd couple, but it is one which clearly bore fruit.
As Veolia Environnement crossed the finish line, second placed Armel Le Cléac’h was at the NW corner of the island on Brit Air and expected this morning."
Roland Jourdain, Quotes on the Dockside
"It is beautiful, it’s amazing and I’m really happy. I won’t say it was easy but it went well on balance. There was definitely a kind of winning aura with me. The little advance I had on Armel and the others helped me finish the race really nicely. It was different from four years ago as Jean [le Cam] was not hot on my heels. More....
All the time I was telling myself, this one I need it, I take it ; I’ll let the next ones to the others.
I should not have talked badly about the boat believe that the boat and I, we did understand each other. We tamed each other. I gained confidence in her at the start, after a bad start I was sailing behind and caught the fleet back.I realised I was at ease with the boat.I gave it all for 15 days of racing.
When you are in a three month race you manage yourself for three months. At 45 years old you do not have the physical strength that you have at 25 so you are dealing with things differently. You are trying to be smarter in your efforts. What I still do not understand is how I could manage to do so many things in the race that are so painful when I am training.
Sometimes you feel like you’re Hulk.
Our careers as sailors are different from other sports. We do not have a match every Saturday. As ocean racer we have an important race a year, our projects are big and our careers fragile. We’re less paid that a football player but our careers last longer ! I really think we all did a good job.
The boat is in a very good state, nothing broke and that is because she was well prepared by the team. That’s beautiful to be able to take all this to the first place.
My best memory is a sum of things. At the end what stays is when you’re in phase with the elements. I don’t get this feeling all the time but on this race I reached this state when you understand how the small air molecules and the small water molecules work and that’s what made me win."
Lemenchois Nears the End
Some very big changes in the M50 Class just now from the report. Lionel Lemenchois, moving at 5.6 knots, has opened-up a lead of 43 miles on Roucayrol who is sailing at 1.6 knots and 58 miles over Laperche who is also nearly becalmed at 1.5 knots. With only 161 miles to go to the finish, it’s looking a whole lot tougher for anyone to beat the skipper of the very fast, Prince de Bretagne as he drives hard to the win.
For the Prince de Bretagne sponsors, this must be just a bit of an opportunity to catch their breath after things had gotten so close over night. Fresh vegetables being delivered quickly to market, indeed.
To a Thrilling Finish
"Finally, the wind in its sails again in Prince of Britain, which is now moving at 13.6 knots but was slowly slipping away from Guadeloupe. Last 24 hours in light winds were not a sinecure for the skipper, appetite for speed.
Yet the pressure is not down with this entry in a wind zone as Lalou Rocayrol threat in its wake just 16.5 miles behind. Lionel, it does not let anything, the next few hours are critical, they are now sneaking into mouse holes and avoid the highest sounds of Deventer, before embarking on the traditional and sometimes fatal turn of the island.
A beautiful finish that in perspective, this time, is straining the nerves of producers Prince of Britain, which vibrate to the rhythm of the rankings and differences of distances."
This post came in this afternoon regarding the plight of Lalou Roucayrol and his pursuit of Lionel Lemenchois.
Down to Russian Roulette
"In the Multi 50’s Lionel Lemonchois (Prince de Bretagne) has 160 miles to sail with a lead of 43 miles over second placed Lalou Roucayrol (Région Aquitaine – Port Médoc)
Lalou said, “You just need be under the right cloud and make the most of it, more than your rival will do, but in fact that is the Russian Roulette. There is a lot of rain so you can get a shower, the wind is blowing and under the squalls up to 17 knots. I am in a kind of corridor of wind, there is nothing at all in front of me and at the moment I am sailing in between 0.2 and 3 knots of wind. I don’t even have the pilot on. I have the helm locked off since 3am. You have made such long, hard efforts through the race and it will all be down to the final hours. We were at the right place but now it is Russian Roulette in these final hours."
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