Transat Jacques Vabre Race: 12 μέρες στη θάλασσα και οι πρώτες θέσεις ξεκαθαρίζουν σιγά σιγά

Στο Transat Jacques Vabre Race πλησιάζει στο τέλος της η 12η μέρα αγώνα και οι Yves Le Blevec και Sam Manuard, πάνω στο Multi50 Actual που προηγείται, πέρασαν την Καραϊβική και έκαναν στροφή δεξιά και κατευθύνονται νοτιοανατολικά προς τα Μπαρμπάντος απ' όπου και θα πάρουν πορεία για τον τερματισμό στην Κόστα Ρίκα.
'Actual - Transat Jacques Vabre 2011' Sea & Co
Στην άλλη κατηγορία των IMOCA 60 οι Jean-Pierre Dick και Jérémie Beyou στο Virbac Paprec 3 προηγούνται περίπου 60νμ από το δεύτερο σκάφος που είναι το Hugo Boss.
Ο υπόλοιπος στόλος είναι περισσότερα από 190νμ πίσω από τους δυο πρώτους οπότε δεν αποτελεί και ιδιαίτερο κίνδυνο όσον αφορά την κατάταξη. Πάντως στην 3η θέση είναι το Macif των
François Gabart και Seb Col. Στα Class 40 το Aquarelle.com κρατά καλά ακόμα την πρωτιά με περισσότερα από 140νμ διαφορά, από το ERDF Des Pieds et des Mains των Damien Seguin & Yoann Richomme, και τρίτο είναι το 40 Degrees των Hannah Jenner και Jesse Naimark-Rowse περίπου 250νμ από την κορυφή.
Δείτε παρακάτω την κατάταξη και διαβάστε μερικά σχόλια των πρωταγωνιστών, καθώς και μια μικρή συνέντευξη του Mike Golding κυβερνήτη του GAMESA.

Standings at 1700hrs CET on Monday, November 14th, 2011
IMOCA
1 - Virbac Paprec 3 (Jean-Pierre Dick - Jérémie Beyou) : 1160.8 miles to finish
2 - Hugo Boss (Alex Thomson - Guillermo Altadill) : 63.8 miles to leader
3 - Macif (François Gabart - Sébastien Col) : 237.4 miles to leader
Multi50
1 - Actual (Yves Le Blevec - Samuel Manuard) : 1680.2 miles to finish
2 - Maitre Jacques (Loïc Fequet - Loïc Escoffier) : 200.4 miles to leader
Class40
1 - Aquarelle.com (Yannick Bestaven - Eric Drouglazet) : 2356.5 miles to finish
2 - ERDF Des Pieds et des Mains (Damien Seguin - Yoann Richomme) : 137 miles to leader
3 - 40 degrees (Hannah Jenner - Jesse Naiwark) : 249.9 miles to leader
For more rankings click here.

Quotes:
Kito de Pavant, skipper Groupe Bel:
'It goes pretty OK we are in the process of getting across to join the course taken by our northern friends. We will see how we cross them tonight or tomorrow morning when we will see what plays out really from our option. I'm not sure we’ve lost or gained much. At the very least I do not think we’ve lost anything. We risked ending up with Mirabaud and Safran. We have a good angle allowing us to get south a bit now. And a few degrees of difference in the trade winds can make a big difference and suddenly you get good leverage. We would like the cow's ears grow a bit to protect us from the sun: I will take my watch soon, which is not so pleasant as the sun is very warm in the morning. But there is some wind which cools down the temperature a bit. And below there are sometimes when you cannot find the fan....
I take a quiet coffee, we sleep a lot, both myself and Yann because we gave a lot early in the race and we have a sleep deficit that we try to recover but we are still a bit tired.'

Christopher Pratt, co-skipper Banque Populaire:
'We were sailing within sight of Macif yesterday, but then separated apart yesterday when they gybed. But the battle is on to the finish. Everything is wet on board. At the helm it is completely soaked, so even in hot weather we have our foulies on. We always have someone out on deck. I’m starting to get a rash from damp around cuffs. I am not really tired. I have not really even considered it. My body is now used to rhythm. Armel is in charge of strategy. For the moment maybe it’s not exactly what we were hoping for approaching the French West Indies. We need to stay up there with the others and then in final stretch there will be opportunities I am sure.'

Yves Le Blevec, skipper, Actual:
'We had a magnificent sunrise over St Barts. The trade winds will be less favourable ahead and we have to be careful to avoid wind shadow of islands. Wherever Maître Jacques is, nothing changes in the way we are sailing. We are pushing the boat hard in any case. Physically we are OK, but we are starting to feel some tiredness particularly when trying to keep balance aboard the boat. It was like a lake as we passed St Barts with 15-knot wind and 15 knots of boat speed'


Gamesa Sailing Team, Transat Jacques Vabre 2011, ©Gamesa Sailing
Mike Golding (GBR) skipper Gamesa (GBR):
'We have suffered for our decision to go to the south round that area of light wind and paying the price for it know, but otherwise everything is fine onboard, we had a bit of a drama last night with one of our furling drums and ended up with our Code 3 [gennaker] and having to drop it without it being furled. We spent two hours half flying and half trawling our Code 3. There are a few little setbacks, otherwise everything is fine onboard.'

In terms of that choice to go South, were you feeling that you couldn't race directly against Macif and Banque Populaire?
'The new boats are very quick, really it was more a question of looking at where Virbac Paprec and Hugo Boss were and saying well, you can follow, which means you just maintain your distance which is what everyone has done, or you can potentially look to get some leverage which could pay dividends and allow you to close up on them. I was probably looking more forward in the fleet, rather than around me.'

How's the mood and motivation onboard?
'Everything is good, we are both very tired, it was pretty hard work getting the sail back onboard, we are just about to wool it to get it back up again. Both of us had a recovery sleep, had time to get ourselves sorted out. Very pleasant, beautiful sunny day, 20-25 knots of breeze, fast downwind sailing, pretty pleasant, can't really complain at that. I hear the weather in England is pretty good at the moment, but it isn't the Caribbean!'

Tell us about the rhythm and routine now - you say you are on the edge a lot, how much do you star and how do you pace each other?
'We were steering a lot yesterday with the kite because the pilot can manage it, but the pilot is completely fearless so the pilot will put the helm up when it really needs to come down. So the boat goes from charging along at 20-25 knots to floating along at 10 knots. It's quite disconcerting, quite nerve-racking. So it’s actually better to steer the boat to get a more consistent performance. We had to steer by hand quite a lot yesterday. But today we are on a Code Sail so the performance is more steady, the pilot is handling it really well and following the wind, every little shift it tracks which is what a helmsman would do. The pilot is relentless at it, which makes it quite powerful tool for these sorts of conditions.

In terms of the options down to the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, you have to take the same lay line as the boats to your West.
'We may go all the way across to the West, or not. You only have so many tools in your bag, and one of the tools you have is leverage. While we don't want to use all our leverage, as we get down there, we could get headed, and be able to make it in there. We won't do all our leverage in one hit. '

The Caribbean is a long stretch in itself with plenty of opportunities?
'The routing in the Caribbean looks a bit benign, what I mean is that there is a fairly consistent weather pattern across the Caribbean, which sort of defines the routing. The options are considerably less than they have been in the Atlantic over the last couple of weeks, which is a shame as it means less opportunity, but a race like this is never over until it is over and every sailor in the fleet here will have done a race where there is a clear leader, but at the end there is a massive turn around as there is no wind in the final approach and the boats behind charge in. The race isn't over yet and the three guys at the front, particularly Bureau Vallée, Virbac Paprec 3 and Hugo Boss have all taken some gambles to be where they are and have done well at it and good for them!'
Transat Jacques Vabre Race: 12 μέρες στη θάλασσα και οι πρώτες θέσεις ξεκαθαρίζουν σιγά σιγά Transat Jacques Vabre Race: 12 μέρες στη θάλασσα και οι πρώτες θέσεις ξεκαθαρίζουν σιγά σιγά Reviewed by Panos Douros on Tuesday, November 15, 2011 Rating: 5

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