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(November 11, 2021; Day 5, 7:51 PM) – The tragedy at the head of the Transat Jacques Vabre as Ultimate Sodebo 3 limps towards Madeira for repairs while the rest of the 100-foot multihulls set off for Cape Town -Green. The Class40 leaders have finally found the breeze in Cape Finisterre while the Ocean Fifty and IMOCA boats are enjoying happier days north of Madeira.
Ultimes – Sodebo short for repair
After spending much of the day trying to repair their starboard foil, following last night’s collision with an unidentified floating object (UFO), Thomas Coville and Thomas Rouxel admitted they would need a additional help. Their shore team are rushing to Madeira where the sailors are expected to arrive this evening. It will be a race against time to repair the boat and get it back on the course.
“After taking the mental blow just after the collision, the two Thomases quickly got back on track to find ways to keep running,” explained team manager Jean-Christophe Moussard. “We exchanged photos with them to answer their questions, we identified the few parts to be repaired as quickly as possible. We are all in warrior mode, we want to go all the way, we are not giving in.
The damage occurred at 1:00 am this morning north of Madeira when Sodebo 3 struck a UFO. The boat was then second.
Meanwhile, the four remaining Ultimes are heading south led by Maxi Edmond de Rothschild (Franck Cammas / Charles Caudrelier) with an 80 lead over Banque Populaire (Armel Le Cleac’h / Kevin Escoffier)
IMOCA – and then there were 20
The second IMOCA to have suffered a mast breakage this race is officially out. 11th Hour Racing Alaka’i is now moored in La Coruna, Spain, where bitterly disappointed Simon Fisher (GBR) and his co-skipper Justine Mettraux (SUI) have announced that their race is over.
“We just didn’t imagine that would happen to us,” Mettraux said. “We had a good start to the race and we were doing well at the time. I’m so sad to stop racing like this, especially since we’ve had such a great year of racing together, the miles we’ve covered and the experience we’ve gained. We’re also squeamish for the whole team that helped us prepare so well and got us to the start line.
For the remaining 20 boats in the IMOCA class, it’s a good day at sea – 15 knots, sun and blue skies. “The race is only really starting now: since yesterday we have been under a gennaker so the boat is going fast, things are going really well and we are able to catch up with our little friends”, declared Manuel Cousin, on Groupe Sétin- 4myplanet where he and Alexia Barrier are in 16th position tonight.
In the lead, Apivia is still ahead of LinkedOut with Charal and Sam Davies (GBR) on Initiatives-Cœur also on the hunt.
The Ocean Fifty wins
‘Solidaires en peloton’ is the name of the Ocean Fifty, third in the class, but also a precise description of the current situation. The fleet of seven boats is grouped together in a square of 80 nautical miles by 80 nautical miles.
Erwan Le Roux and Xavier Macaire remain in the lead on Koesio but the others are all ready to pounce.
Class40 – split in half
It took the Class40 leaders four days to reach Cape Finisterre led by La Manche #EvidenceNautique. Half of the 45 boats spent this afternoon sailing in 10 to 20 knots of wind, but for the others the Bay of Biscay remains an almost windless area. In an attempt to escape the high pressure, a small group headed west.
“It’s very annoying not being in the squad that made it through the little mouse hole and into the breeze. However, we were not far away, we fought like mad to move the boat forward, ”explain Jean Galfione and Eric Péron on Serenis Consulting.
Same feeling on board E. Leclerc-Ville-la-Grand: “It was a bit tough this morning, so we’re trying our luck heading west. Four days in slow motion is a long time. What annoys us is that we let the group go.
Race details – YouTube – Facebook – Tracker
Ranking at 6:00 p.m. (French time):
1. Maxi Edmond de Rothschild (Franck Cammas – Charles Caudrelier)
2. Banque Populaire XI (Armel Le Cléac’h – Kevin Escoffier)
3. SVR – Lazartigue (François Gabart – Tom Laperche)
1. Koesio (Erwan Le Roux – Xavier Macaire)
2. Primonial (Sébastien Rogues – Matthieu Souben)
3. Solidarity in the peloton – Arsep (Thibaut Vauchel-Camus – Frédéric Duthil)
1. Apivia (Charlie Dalin – Paul Meilhat)
2. LinkedOut (Thomas Rettant – Morgan Lagravière)
3. Charal (Jérémie Beyou – Christopher Pratt)
1. The Channel #EvidenceNautique (Nicolas Jossier – Alexis Loison)
2. Lamotte – Creation Module (Luke Berry – Achille Nebout)
3. Volvo (Jonas Gerckens – Benoit Hantzperg)
The Transat Jacques Vabre is a doubles race featuring four classes of boats starting November 7 from Lorient, France. Almost 30 years old, having raced for the first time in 1993 and every two years since, the 15th edition in 2021 drew a record of 79 boats: 5 Ultimes, 7 Ocean Fifty, 22 Imoca and 45 Class40.
The course suffers from often brutal winter conditions, with a delay this year for the finish, going from South America to Martinique in the Caribbean, in addition to various mid-Atlantic turns for the four classes.
Source: Transat Jacques Vabre, 11th Hour Racing Team