Route du Rhum Underway
The 2010 Route du Rhum is underway and here is the first report as the Class Ultime (big maxi-tris) head down course to Guadeloupe.
Right now, Thomas Coville is out ahead of the fleet with Sodeb'O sistership, Oman Air Majan running a very close second, just 3.2 nautical miles behind. Franck Cammas, aboard Groupama 3, is just 14.4 miles behind.
Coville should be able to leg it out in F4/F5 conditions as the fleet leaders emerge into the Atlantic. With a little luck, he could blow right past the pending low pressure ridge and get into free air while the rest of the fleet is getting banged around.
The big multis have the potential to outrun a lot of the weather that will slam the slower boats, but it's the North Atlantic in the early stages of winter front movement and anything goes.
Sodeb'O has stretched its lead even further today. It currently stands at 46.8 miles in front of Oman, IDEC and Groupama3, who are clustered closely together. At 120+ miles behind, are the big, Open 60 IMOCA boats, with Kito De Pavant skippering Group Bel. The exciting Multi 50 Class is being led by Franck-Yves Escoffier, driving Crepes Whaou and sitting 72 miles behind Sodeb'O. 214 miles back is the leader in Class 40, Bernard Stamm, aboard Cheminées Poujoulat.
What class are the stock Pogo 40s ?
Four Pogo 40 S2s driven by Nicolas Troussel, Régis Guillemot, Damien Grimont and Jean-Edouard Criquioche, all are in the Class 40 division.
Right now, Troussel is 4th, Criquioche is 10th, Grimont is 11th and Guillemot is sitting 17th.
To some, Groupama appears to be in the lead because her position is quite a bit South of that held by Sodeb'O. While this looks convincing on a 2D map on the Internet, it is actually, a big misreading of the map as it pertains to the physical realities of a globe and not an, as shown, flat surface. The globe is simply further around at the middle.
To get to Guadeloupe, Groupama will have to sail further the more she trends Southerly. Sodeb'O is taking a different route that deals with weather patterns and what would be closer to the shortest distance from St. Malo to Guadeloupe, as all the boats look for a fast way around the pressure zone that currently sits above the Azores. Each sailor has their own tactical understanding of the conditions and help from their team weather routers as they play this fast-paced game of chess.
Only time will tell as to which team is getting this more correct; weather routing being one of the more interesting black arts of big, blue water sailing races.
So, if this follows historical trends, 5/10 multis will DNF for every 3/10 monos that DNF. Of course, this could be a rare year that favors multis. we will see.
when you look at the entry list this years event is very French...why no y Americans ? Is sponsorship so difficult ? Certainly there must be Americans with the skill and fantasy .
I find your analytical reasoning to be somewhat suspect. Right now, you have eight examples of an event that is run every four years over a very wide range of technological weather standards with wildly fluctuating material choices and build regimes and you are making grand pronouncements as to DNF cycles. It would seem to me that a prudent scientist would like to see a goodly higher number of results before jumping from such a lofty cliff.
To draw such conclusions with such little data from which to make sound judgement, indicates a serious bent for perceived data that fits your preferences.
The statistics speak for themselves. Averaging 15 knots is much more dangerous to your health than averaging 8 knots.
Unless you think that being at sea is dangerous, and being in port is safe
If so, then the less time you spend at sea the safer you are :D
Richard Woods of Woods Designs
Be careful of data
I think that Jehardiman is doing a bit of data mining. I talked to Nigel Irens who designed Band Q, Sodebo and Idec and also some of the tris that were in the carnage of the 2002 RDR. I hope he won't mind me condensing the interview here.
The new boats are not built like the 2002 tris. Irens doesn't really find the ORMA 60s all that seaworthy as they were supposed to do fully crewed short races, crewed long races and singlehanded ocean races. A bit much for a single design. Boats like B and Q and then Sodebo were derived from what could be done to make an ORMA faster but more seaworthy.
The 2002 tris were one branch of the multi evolutionary tree that ended up as a dead end. Many had carbon honeycomb and carbon skins. When a crack started there was no crack stopping in the laminate. Nowadays the big tris have crack stopping as an engineering requirement.
So are these tris all like the 2002 boats? Not at all. As such they should be able to cover the course faster and safer.
I must admit - although I love the original Apricot and Irens ORMA tris - Fleury Michon, Fujicolor and Laterie St Michel - I lost interest a bit with the huge amount of money required after 1984. Oh for the days of 1978 when Mike Birch won in a wooden 35 footer. You could have built a boat in your backyard and raced it like Nick Keig did.
Well, it didn't take long for Cammas to take over a slight lead in the RdR at this point. He was running at 25 knots all night and Sodeb'O was trotting along at 17.5, so the result was inevitable.
Ports and harbors have probably ruined more sailors and ships than have been lost at sea judging by the local derelicts. Maybe the sponsors would allow an environment/economy class where the best performance for the dollar is the rule. It is sad that sailboat racing in the USA has such lousy media coverage. Was Cammas in better conditions or did he push harder?
Better conditions, but further from the rhum line.
Something like that, but also better routing and bigger chances taken early. Remains to be seen if the gamble will payoff.
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