Published on 14/09/2018
After the Rochebonne mark the fleet are hard on the wind on starboard tack in 8-12kts of persistent NE'ly breeze and the long tack is definitely starboard. The breeze was forecast to go left and head them but not much sign of that so far. New leader is Benjamin Dutreux (Team Vendée Formation) who has managed to get slightly to windward of Charlie Dalin (Skipper Macif 2015).
At 1100hrs CEST/French time there are 14 nautical miles to make Ile d’Yeu. Sébastien Simon, overall race leader, is still 14th but is just two nautical miles behind the leader, so still well within his 35 minutes leading margin if conditions turn out as forecast. Nick Cherry is 13th, just ahead of Simon.
There have just been no options for a comeback for Alan Roberts and Hugh Brayshaw who gybed offshore in line with their weather strategy, expecting the NW’ly to come in stronger from offshore. But in fact the breeze stayed NE all night and they lost too much.
Speaking this morning Simon explained he had a collision at the start which is the reason he is relatively deep in the pack:
Sébastien Simon - Bretagne CMB Performance ” I made a bad start because I had a collision at the start. Why make things easy when you can make them hard? I had set myself up for a clean start, looking to get away safely, not necessarily first, to not break the boat, but to get away calmly. And that, unfortunately, is not what happened. I’m off to an OK start and am not too concerned. I run the times at each mark and the deltas are not growing so but for now it is all good and the course is still quite long. There are 30 miles still to go to the Ile d’Yeu and if the winds fall in line with the forecasts and the routing, the wind should go NW after the island and there should be a bit more wind than expected which would suit me just fine. The race start was not in the breeze we expected. We should have gone off in the NW’ly after the front passed but in fact the first leg was in a NE’ly. That is why the group went offshore and lost out. They were expecting the NW’ly and it to be stronger offshore. In the end it was a NE’ly breeze we had all night, a little bit unexpected but it is what it is. I’m hanging on because I don’t want to end up regreting anythting. I have to give it everything right now and will rest later.”
Anthony Marchand, (Groupe Royer-Secours Populaire): “Right now I am chasing Dahu (a mythical French-Swiss mountain animal) or Dalin if you prefer. I am just trying to not let him get away too much. He is a bit in front but it is under control. He has been going quick. I got trapped a bit betwen two boats off the line. But it is not over. We will catch a bit. We have been under spinnaker from the start. The wind is more NE’ly and so we will drop the kites and it will be a tight reach. It should be a fairly straight turn up to Ile d’Yeu I don’t know how it is going to go.
Meantimes Sebastien (Simon) is not at all in my thoughts, the win is out of reach unless something happened to him and I don’t ever wish that on anyone. We are on schedule but there are four different options according to the different routing models. For now the wind is more right than expected, it will drop a little and so we have to be aware. I know how and when I want to get back at Charlie but I can also imagine how he will defend himself.”
Pierre Quiroga (Skipper Espoir CEM CS) has had to slow and climb his rigging to repair his damaged D2 shroud, not the present he wanted on his birthday.
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