Charles Caudrelier on Bostik Findley has won both legs of offshore race in the Route du Ponant and now leads the series
Charles Caudrelier on Bostik Findley has won both legs of offshore race in the Route du Ponant and now leads the series.
British Sam Davies crossed the line on Skandia in 14th place on the first 290-mile leg from St Gilles Croix de Vie and took 12th place on the second leg. This now puts her in 13th place just behind Solitaire prologue and leg winner Yann Elies but ahead of top Rookie Yves Le Blevec.
The race started with the first leg on Friday and finished in Guernsey on Sunday night. The second leg commenced at 0910 on Monday morning to the French port of Perros Guirec on the north coast of France . There is now a layday to prepare for the start of the final inshore regatta tomorrow. Six short inshore races will be run over three days.
Davies commented: “It has been a pretty hard offshore race and really, really tiring? Overall I really enjoyed it and had some good boat speed which is encouraging and made most of the right choices.
“On the first leg from St Gilles, I had a really good start and Skandia was fifth round the windward mark. We had very light winds to start with but then overnight we had up 27 knots. Some of the skippers changed down to the solent (headsail) but I kept the genoa up so kept a good place off the islands of Ille d’Yeu, Ille Groix up to Penmarch along the north-west coast of France.
“Then I took a risk and went offshore, so contrary to my normal tactics that I played during the Solitaire of staying conservative and not doing anything radical – I did! The other boats I was with at the time went inshore at Penmarch. I didn’t want to tack in because the wind was predicted to go left (offshore) so I followed my instincts and stayed out. Luckily for me, two hours later and still completely on my own, I saw two little sails on the horizon who were offshore as well. I converged with them and it was was Gildas Morvan and Eric Drouglazet – two of the best guys on the circuit! That was a good time and we sailed into the point of Raz de Seine and converged with the others. Then we were against the current and there was a massive current – about 8 knots! We had to short tack to get round the corner and I counted that Skandia did 23 tacks. It was like going through rapids – waves breaking and swirling all around. After that the wind went light again and I had some seaweed round the keel which slowed me up for a while. Also I was getting tired and I knew I was not trimming the spinnaker as well as I could be. We were expecting a big low pressure to hit us – the forecast said we might get gusts of 50 knots. With the spinnaker up this could have been exciting and I prepared everything on the boat for this breeze, lashing everything down but it never arrived. So we just drifted along French coast to Guernsey. Once I was passed by the others when I slowed up there was no chance to overtake again on the spinnaker reach to Guernsey. A bit frustrating when you’ve been ahead and then you lose places but, I guess, it shows signs of how I have improved. Now I can get ahead and mix it with the top guys which was something I was not doing in the earlier events of the Figaro season.
“The second leg was a lot shorter, of course, but with lack of sleep, little food and already tired it was a tough one. Basically, it was a one tack, eight-hour beat to Perros Guirec. We had one big wind shift early on in the race when the wind went to the right because a front was coming through. I knew it was going to happen so went under the fleet to get right but it paid off because I managed to overtake five boats. I knew I was physically very tired and my arms were really tired – at one point I was with Gildas Morvan and Christoph Artaud then they just disappeared ahead? In the last ten minutes of the race it turned into a spinnaker reach so I went up and hoisted the spinnaker which I thought I had got to the top but when I looked up it was 3-4 metres off the top of the mast! My arms did not have the energy left to get it to the top but by then I reached the finish!”
Tomorrow sees the start of the inshore regatta and with a forecast of a westerly breeze around 15 knots, competitors should see some good racing.
1st “Bostik Findley” / Caudrelier Charles
2nd “Delta Dore” / Beyou Jérémie
3rd “Port Trebeurden” / Attanasio Romain
4th “Thales” / Tabarly Erwan
5th “Crealine” / le Cleac’h Armel
6th “Petit Navire, le Bon Gout du Large” / Chabagny Thierry
7th “Cercle Vert” / Morvan Gildas
8th “Cliptol Sport” / Pellecuer Laurent
9th “David Olivier” / Drouglazet Eric
10th “Espoir Credit Agricole” / Riou Gwénaêl
11th “Defi Sante Voile” / Petit Benoit
12th “Groupe Generali Assurances” / Elies Yann
13th “Skandia” / Davies Samantha
14th “Petits Petons” / Artaud Christophe
15th “Reve de Grand-Actual Interim” le Blevec Yves
16th “Skipper Ag2r” / Gregoire Jeanne
17th “Sector Sport Watches” Agusta Corrado
1st “Bostik Findley” / Caudrelier Charles (29 pts)
2nd “Cercle Vert” / Morvan Gildas (36 pts)
3rd “Delta Dore” / Beyou Jérémie (37 pts)
4th “Crealine” / le Cleac’h Armel (44 pts)
5th “Thales” / Tabarly Erwan (50 pts)
6th “Port Trebeurden” / Attanasio Romain (51 pts)
7th “Groupe Generali Assurances” / Elies Yann (55 pts)
8th “Cliptol Sport” / Pellecuer Laurent (64 pts)
9th “David Olivier” / Drouglazet Eric (66 pts)
9th: “Petit Navire, le Bon Gout du Large” / Chabagny Thierry (66 pts)
11th “Defi Sante Voile” / Petit Benoit (72 pts)
12th “Espoir Credit Agricole” / Riou Gwénaêl (85 pts)
13th “Petits Petons 6 FTH Thirard” / Artaud Christophe (102 pts)
14th “Skandia” / Davies Samantha (106 pts)
15th “Reve de Grand-Actual Interim” / le Blevec Yves (110 pts)
16th “Skipper Ag2r” / Gregoire Jeanne (126 pts)
17th “Mbd Design Sorelec” / Boissieres Arnaud (131 pts)
18th “Sector Sport Watches” / Agusta Corrado (141 pts)