The following two days of offshore racing are crucial in deciding the winners of the 15th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre. It is expected lead changes occur across three of the four classes as the weather conditions vary.
In fourth place Leyton has made up almost 100 nautical miles on the class race leaders Primonial since yesterday. There are still around 300 miles to the island of Fernando de Noronha, the most southerly mark on the Transat Jacques Vabre.
Sam Goodchild and Aymeric Chapellier are the quickest of the fleet, making over 17 knots. However, they stay cautious. In second place Koesio is followed closely by Solidaires En Peloton. The class should break free and pick up speed towards Fernando de Noronha before heading towards Martinique.
The Class40 fleet is getting closer to Cape Verde, particularly to the island of Sal, the island they have to starboard before heading across the Atlantic. Nonetheless, the weather conditions are complicated:
“The conditions are light and it’s not going to get any better for the next 24 hours. We’ll have to cross a zone of light winds before we can hope to find the beginnings of trade winds,” -Valentin Gautier aboard Banque du Léman.
Leading the fleet Redman is closer to Martinique followed by Volvo and Edenred.
Earlier on today the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild had a 300 mile lead over the second Ultime in the fleet, Banque Populaire XI. The skippers (Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier) have averaged higher speeds than the rest of the fleet, and they head towards the virtual course mark located 20 miles to the north of Trindade Island.
They are expected to round the waypoint this afternoon before ascending towards Martinique at full speed. At the rear of the fleet, Sodebo Ultim 3 has decided to start racing again despite their weakened foil caused by their mysterious collision.
“It’s always nice to have a lead over our pursuers like that, it allows us to manage things better, but we mustn’t forget that in a multihull it doesn’t represent much time, so it can come back quickly. We mustn’t stop, we mustn’t have any technical problems and then it’ll be fine.” -Franck Cammas on French radio.
At the top of the fleet, the pack LinkedOut, Charal and Apivia have left behind Initiatives-Coeur, Arkea Paprec and 11th Hour Racing Team - Malama. By the end of today, the IMOCA 60s leaders should enter the Doldrums, a complicated zone as they will have to slalom between squalls and deal with the lack of wind.
On other notes, the virtual regatta continues its journey sailing across the internet. In first spot of the Class40 we find Raketa, Mijn Vlakke Land is leading the Ocean Fifty class, Freizh Volante TPN the IMOCA and fameuro 974-EZ the Ultime.
Rankings of Wednesday 17th November - 12:00 (French time)
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