Karine Fauconnier and her team aboard Sergio Tacchini have pulled out a 39-mile lead in 60ft multihull class of the Transat Québec-Saint Malo
Karine Fauconnier and her team aboard Sergio Tacchini have pulled out a 39-mile lead in 60ft multihull class of the Transat Québec-Saint Malo which started last Sunday. Overnight Thomas Coville on Sodebo made a comeback and for a while secured second place but over the last few hours has been rolled over and is currently in fifth place. Interestingly Giovanni Soldini aboardTim Progetto Italia who took a track well north of the leading pack has picked up a stronger breeze and now lies in second position, 14 miles ahead of the next boat Gitana XI sailed by Frederic LePeutrec.
Fauconnier chatting from the boat early this morning commented: “We had a good day yesterday. It enabled us to get quickly away from the Banks of Newfoundland even though we’re still in this very thick fog. It’s very cold so we’re having to wear gloves, a hat and full foulies to go out on deck. We replace each other on the helm as soon as we’re too cold. The advantage is that the boat isn’t very wet for the moment.”
In the 50ft multihull fleet Franck-Yves Escoffier aboard Crêpes Whaou ! continues to pull out on Mike Birch’s Bonjour Québec and has now established a 62-mile lead.
The three-boat monohull fleet is led by Georges Leblanc’s Ciment Saint-Laurent. He is currently dipping south to clear the island of Newfoundland before heading into the Atlantic. Luc Coquelin on Marina Fort Louis Ile de Saint is neck and neck with Roger Langevin’s team aboard Branec III nearly 30 miles behind the leader.
Franck Cammas ‘ Groupama which hit an object and shattered its portside rudder on Tuesday has now been repaired. The team made a half-hour pitstop in Saint Pierre et Miquelon at around 0700 hours local time yesterday. They moored next to a fishing boat and quickly replaced the broken rudder with the onboard spare. A leak, which also appeared following the crash, was slightly more complicated to fix. The crew had to cut a hole in the skin of the aft port float to reach the centre of the damage with Sika (Sikaflex) before strapping it up to make the area watertight.
The weather synopsis is not set to change much in the coming days as the fleet crosses the Atlantic. The zone of high pressure (1024 hPa) is wedged between 45°N and 40°W and should shift slightly towards the east. Whatever happens there is not really going to be a choice of extreme tactical options possible: the only solution is to hang west and then north of the high pressure zone between 50° and 52° north. Currently the Orma multihulls are tracking down well established 15-20kt westerlies which should push the fleet fairly quickly towards Ireland.