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The Final Twists and Turns?

Published on 25/06/2019

The fleet of 46 Figaro Bénéteau 3s are making their approach to Barfleur and the West Saint Marcouf turning mark which is off Utah Beach. Eric Péron (French Touch) is still holding a lead of about 15 minutes.

The Barfleur ridge produces strong tides on this east side of the Cherbourg penisula just as the race of the raz de Blanchard does on the western tip. And so it has been important to take the tidal flow into account on the passage across the Channel from Owers. HIgh tide at Barfleur this afternoon is 1603hrs. The leader Péron has gone pretty much straight, Yann Eliès (St Michel) and Pierre Leboucher (Guyot Environnement) followed his wake while overall leader Yoann Richomme (HelloWork-Groupe Telegramme) has preferred to sail low in fourth place while Michel Desjoyeaux (Lumibird) has sailed a higher, more westerly course in 35th place. On flat seas and in a building 12knot west to northwesterly breeze, the skies have finally cleared and the tired skippers will be trying to maximise their rest knowing that the turn at the mark and the final 90 miles to the finish will be complicated tonight.

In fact this passage across the Channel has been quicker than expected, about ten hours so far from the Owers mark, and it is looking less unstable than expected. But that is the fifth passage across the Channel since the fleet left Nantes in early June.

The wind is forecast to go back to the northeast but it is unclear when and how. Opportunities are starting to run out on this epic 50th edition of La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro. But for sure there will be surprises left in store, but for the meantime Yoann Richomme is looking good in fourth, holding a 3hrs 56 mins lead on Péron, Eliès who is 7hr 35 mins behind and eighth place PIerre Leboucher who has a deficit of 3hrs 33 mins on Richomme.

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