Sailors had to have nerves of steel last night at they approached the westerly turning mark of Chaussee de Sein! The head of the fleet Sébastien Simon (Brittany-Crédit Mutuel Performance) after having been in command since the start in Gijon on Saturday was dealt a bitter blow just 3nm from the mark. With the breeze dying, offshore speeds were back down to as little as 2 knots with a chasing pack very close behind.
Adrien Hardy (Agir Recouvrement) and Rookie Milan Kolacek (Czeching The Edge) found the pressure in the north of the course and took 11 miles out of the leaders allowing Hardy to move two places up the scoreboard at the mark. Sadly, for Kolacek a miss-timed tack for the mark has cost him dearly and this morning at the 7am rankings has slipped down to 27th place.
Turkish Trophy (Chasusee de Sein) Rounding order:
1: Erwan Tabarly (Armor Lux) at 0h23mn55s
2: Julien Pulvé (Team Vendée Formation) at 0h25mn24s
3: Pierre Quiroga (Skipper Espoir CEM-CS) at 0h26mn59s
4: Anthony Marchand (Ovimpex-Secours Populaire) at 0h28mn21s
5: Charlie Dalin (Macif 2015) at 0h30mn07s
7: Sébastien Simon (Brittany-Crédit Mutuel Performance) at 0h33mn07s
8: Justine Mettraux (Team Work) at 0h33mn50s 10 Adrien Hardy (Agir Recouvrement) to 0h36mn14s 11: Nicolas Lunven (Generali) to 0h37mn55s
19: Milan Kolacek (Czeching The Edge) 1h32mn53s 20: Hugh Brayshaw (The Offshore Academy) at 1h34mn02s
As the reshuffled top five Figaro’s make their way to the Island of Belle Ile (The last turning mark before heading northwest to Concarneau) only 1 mile separates 2nd – 6th position. Leading the fleet at this mornings rankings Pierre Quiroga (Skipper Espoir CEM) electing to take the most offshore route and the only one doing so may prove costly, currently sitting 6nm south of the chasing pack, only time will tell whether this strategy will succeed. The leaders are expected at Belle Il this afternoon and will turn northwest for home, with the suspense lasting until Concarneau to know the winner of stage 2 of this 48th edition of La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro.
Belle-Ile to port and heading for Concarneau!
The gaps are small between each of the groups that have re-formed after the reshuffle in the crazy night. These last three days at sea have taken their toll on the 43 sailors, the lucidity of the sailors will be the key to making the right choices. The current and local effects will dictate the final route to Concarneau. Already we have seen some lateral deviations in the fleet observing Charlie Dalin (Skipper Macif 2015) the most north, to Pierre Quiroga very southerly.
Pierre Quiroga (Espoir CEM-CS) leads the fleet with 91.5nm to the finish with Erwan Tabarly (Amor Lux) only 1.5nm behind but in a more northerly position. Having led the fleet for the entire leg 2 Sebastien Simon (Bretagne – Credit Mutuel Performance) slips back to 5th with Charlie Dalin (Macif 2015) just behind in 6th.
Justine Mettraux (Teamwork) continues to lead the International skippers holding 11th position whilst still battling with leg 1 winner Nicolas Lunven (Generali), Mattraux retains a small gap between her and 12th/13th position providing some consolation. Top amateur in leg 1 Hugh Brayshaw (The Offshore Academy) has a fight on his hands for 20th position with solo master and Vendee Globe skipper Jeremie Beyou (Charal) the seasoned solo sailor on his 16th Solitaire du Figaro vs Brayshaws 2nd race. Further back in the field Milan Kolacek (Czeching The Edge) settles in 27th place having dropped 15 places following a tough mark rounding. 23 miles adrift of the leaders Alan Roberts (Seacat Services) sits in 33rd with Mary Rook (Inspire +) a further 3 miles back in 36th.
Sébastien Simon – (Brittany-Crédit Mutuel Performance) – 5th in the 5am ranking
Speaking before the reshuffle on the race ahead “It’s a bit stressful because the power surge is coming and the wind is softening. What motivates me is that I think this is a step to putting time to my opponents. I’ll take 1h30 of counter current, I will not pass the Chaussée de Sein right away. I’ll leave with the current after the Western band. Afterwards on the road to Belle-Ile, I think there will not be much going on. Tomorrow it will be more complicated, I’m afraid of getting stuck with little wind between Belle-Ile and the coast, there may be a bit of spinnaker and afterwards just reaching. I am in good shape, but to lead the fleet from start to finish, it is quite usual, we look all the time behind, I do not want to let go. I want to fight to the end and it will not be easy. “
Xavier Macaire - Groupe Snef – 25th in the 5am ranking
“We see that it is the third night: the organisms begin to fatigue! We see there, there are some spots that I have not seen since the beginning. There is also the adaptation and refinement of directions that will have to be managed before arriving at Belle-Ile this afternoon. We were expecting movement of the wind after the Occidentale de Sein, We had a northwest wind and we had a northeast wind. We had to go along the coast to the level of Penmarc’h. As soon as we felt the rocking arrived we headed off and we were able to go on a direct route to the west. The most frustrating thing is to see the sailors who are far ahead. It was the stage of all the dangers at the start, I am 20 miles behind the leaders, I am unhappy to see them pass the western mark 1:30 or even 2 hours before me. This afternoon, it will be Belle-ile, Brittany will come to disrupt the normal wind and we will slow