Laurent Pellecuer and Jean Paul Mouren cross finish line after almost 23 days at sea 14/5/08

After 22 days, 19 hours, 13 minutes and 56 seconds on the course, Jean-Paul Mouren and Laurent Pellecuer crossed the finish line of the Transat AG2R Concarneau-Saint Barthelemy at 03:13 local time Tuesday night. SNEF Cliptol Sport’s southern strategy paid off in the last few days, as trade winds finally took that portion of the Figaro Beneteau fleet into double digit speeds and surpassing those in the northern fleet, most notably Financo, which led for days. Tonight Financo (Nicolas Troussel/Christopher Pratt) is 180 miles out.

Even farther back (last place if one ignores four boats which were not polled at press time) are Phil Sharp and David Krizek on Atlantik FT, whose fall from third place has been brutal:

“Well the last couple of days have been mentally very tough for David and I as we have been stranded in ghostly light winds watching literally the whole of the rest of the fleet sail past us to the south. We have been trying to push south, along with Goupe Celeos, who went on a more extreme southerly diversion, which paid off to their advantage.

“When you’ve gone from being at the front of the fleet directly in touch with the leaders to the back it is extremely difficult to swallow and it is all too easy to slump into self pity over the situation. We feel robbed to a certain extent, and both firmly believe that a lot of bad luck has come our way to contribute to our currently rubbish position. However the last thing we’d ever want to do is end this race on such a downer.

“David and I have proven to ourselves that we can make a very competive team out there, have been pushing hard every inch of the way, and following this overturn my frustrations are being taken out into pushin! g this damned boat as hard as ever towards the finish. It is for sure not meant to end like it is now, it’s the last thing we deserve, so you can count that we’ll be fighting until the end, until we cross that line and smell the toxic white caribbean rum with our names on it.”

Top ten places at 13/05 1700 UTC:

1. SNEF et Cliptol Sport – Laurent Pellecuer / Jean Paul Mouren, finished 13/05/2008 09:13:55
2. Solar Inox – Ronan Guerin / Luc Poupon, finished 13/05/2008, 13:45:04
3. Concarneau St Barth – Eric Peron / Miguel Danet, finished at 13/05/2008, 14:09:26
4. Cercle Vert – Gildas Morvan / Jean Le Cam, finished at 13/05/2008, 15:31:45
5. Banque Populaire – Jeanne Gregoire / Nicolas Lunven, 2.8 nm to finish
6. Sopra Group – Antoine Koch / Gregory Gendron, 31.1
7. Sojasun – Liz Wardley / Nick Black, 40.5
8. Suzuki Automobiles – Thierry Chabagny / Corentin Douguet, 46.2
9. Sablieres Palvadeau – Aymeric Belloir / Pierre Dombre, 57.8
10. Financo – Nicolas Troussel / Christopher Pratt, 180.4

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