Transat Jacques Vabre: the fleets part ways in Biscay

Nautical Channel
10 Nov 2021
NEWS | Sailing

The fastest classes of the ocean race fleet have escaped the high-pressure zone, but the Class 40 fleet continues searching wind in the Bay of Biscay. Now the fleet has separated significantly, stretching over 700 miles. 

Related article: Find out yesterday’s advancement on the Transat Jacques Vabre

Class40: struggling to grasp winds

The 40 footers made it into the Atlantic Ocean, but the speed is not picking up. The frontrunners La Manche #EvidenceNautique and Volvo are the only ones who have positioned further south, managing to get some breeze. The rest of the class should see the end of these frustrating conditions today. 

The 45 vessels in the Class40 should be getting an easterly wind again by the end of today as the high pressure breaks up. Polka Dot is the only boat that has separated from the rest, sailing 100 miles to the west. Also, Alex Mehran Jr (USA) and Merfyn Owen (GBR) decided to look for low pressure systems in the west and should find winds of 30-35 knots upwind tomorrow. 

“We are very far from the rest of the fleet! The routings have started to point us west to try and stay in the breeze, especially with the new low pressure systems that are supposed to pass. It was a tough decision to make,”

Ocean Fifty: competition is on

The 50-foot multihulls are heading south with Erwan Le Roux and Xavier Macaire on Koesio in the front. As the breeze is up, sailors are enjoying the fast racing:

“We are in competition mode with Primonial, so it’s race on! Now, we’re going to continue to work hard to keep up with Erwan (Le Roux)!” -Thibault Vauchel-Camus on Solidaires En Peloton-ARSEP

IMOCA 60: split apart

The monohull fleet stretches over 245 miles. At its head is Apivia, who has extended their lead by 43 miles. Behind them, the fleet spreads out across the Bay of Biscay (Golfo de Vizcaya) in groups of two, three or four boats. 

Struggling at the other end, Antoine Cornic and Jean-Charles Luro (Ebac) are finding complications to go south. According to a note of the skipper, they are finding it mentally hard to see their friends leave while they remain powerless. 

Ultime: heading south at full speed

Once released from the wind-less high pressure, the Ultimes are now flying south. In the last 24 hours they covered 665 miles compared to the 160 of the day before. This morning, a north-westerly breeze moves them at 25-30 knots. 

This past night, the challenge was to round Cape Finisterre. For SVR - Lazartigue it meant a few hours completing several gybes. The Ultime fleet stays close with Edmond de Rothschild in the lead with 17 miles separating them from second-placed Sodebo Ultim 3

Ranking of Wednesday 10 Nov -10h00


  1. La Manche #Evidence Nautique - 4192nm
  2. Volvo - 4202.5nm
  3. Lamotte Module Création -4203.4nm

Ocean Fifty

  1. Koesio - 4569.4nm
  2. Solidaires En Peloton - 4574.8nm
  3. Primonial - 4582.4


  1. Apivia - 5137nm
  2. LinkedOut - 5169.4nm
  3. Initiatives-Coeur -5176.7nm


  1. Maxi Edmond de Rothschild - 6931.2nm
  2. Sodebo Ultim 3 - 6941.5nm
  3. Actual Ultim 3 - 6964.7nm

If you want to keep updated with the latest news on the competition, stay tuned to Nautical Channel. We broadcast daily clips and weekly updates on the competition. 

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