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Transat Jacques Vabre – Been there, done that

Published on December 4th, 2013

(December 4, 2013) – A regime of light winds and warm, humid weather will make the final miles to Itajaí difficult for the final Class 40 finishers on the Transat Jacques Vabre. Next boat to finish, due Wednesday evening, is April Deltacalor. The Les Sables d’Olonne based boat should be in this evening, with less than 20 miles to the finish at 1500hrs UTC this afternoon. Five boats are still on course. Hannah Jenner and Rob Windsor are 850 miles from the finish in 23rd place.

April Deltacalor has 19 year old Tim Darni on board as co-skipper to Lionel Regnier. He is the ‘benjamin’ of the course. The youngest sailor of the fleet is actually set to finish 400 miles ahead of his father Eric who is skipper of Ecoelec.

Four Class 40s finished over the course of late Tuesday evening. And, reaching the lower end of the fleet, each had their own mitigating stories, reasons why they had finished further down the fleet than perhaps they had hoped for when they left Le Havre 26 days ago.

Matouba (Bertrand Guillonneau – Sébastien Audigane) were always compromised after they wrapped a key spinnaker so tightly around their forestay that they had to make a technical pit stop to fix it. 12 minutes after them on the finish line, Proximedia Sauvez Mon Enfant (Denis Van Weynbergh – Jean-Edouard Criquioche) had more than their fair share of problems, not least Criquioche damaging his mouth and teeth when the bowsprit hit him in the face.


This duo took over the 2009 build Owen Clarke designed former Mare late. They were good to Roscoff, restarting ninth but Matouba accumulated losses after they wrapped their kite around the forestay during an unavoidable Chinese gybe when they were avoiding a cargo ship. But the duo always pushed hard and took satisfaction from passing competitors who were many miles ahead of them.

Bertrand Guillonneau, skipper of the Class40 ‘ Matouba:
“It has never been easy and it feels good to get here. The last day was especially long but overall it’s a positive experience to test the boat. I had never sailed together with Seb so it was a discovery for us. It was hard on all fronts, really. The boat is very good and went well in the Bay of Rio. It has a lot of potential and opens up a lot of options for next year.”

Sébastien Audigane , co- skipper of the Class40 ‘ Matouba:
“We got into a spot of bother off Cape Finisterre when we had to avoid a super tanker and we had to turn right downwind . There was a gust and the boat went to a gybe. We were stuck for a while with the keel out of the water and in the end the ship had to divert to avoid us. The spinnaker wrapped itself around the forestay. We could not undo the wrap with the waves there were at the time. So we did 600 miles under mainsail only to reach Porto Santo. After we left Madeira, our course was too East for us to get back into it. We still beat some boats and some were a long way ahead of us, and that feels good when you are behind.”

Proximedia – Sauver Mon Enfant 
The two sailors were hit with problems almost from the outset, smashed in the face for Jean Edouard and a damaged rudder. But, representing the organisation Sauver mon Edward and saffron which dissociated. But defending the cause of the organization Save my child, Denis van Weynbergh and Jean- Edouard Criquioche never wanted to give up!

Denis van Weynbergh, skipper:
“We had no autopilot and the last 600 miles are long. We had a good battle to try to pass Matouba before the line and only missed out by a few minutes. We had problems, damage to Jean- Edouard’s teeth and to the rudder of the boat. The bowsprit broke away and Jean- Edouard got the carbon tube in his teeth. But we absolutely wanted to finish and bring the boat to Itajai.”

Jean- Edouard Criquioche, co- skipper:
“I think my dentist will be able to afford a new kitchen with the job he has to do! But when we see children who are in hospital, your troubles at sea do not have quite the same meaning…”

M Bricolage
Somewhat ironically given their boat name (translates as Mr Fixit) they did not experience many technical problems but took a different course close to the coast of Portugal and then through the Canary Islands, Africa and Cape Verde. Damien Rousseau became dad just before he started a great adventure with Matthew Alluin…

Damien Rousseau, skipper of the Class40 ‘ Mr Bricolage:
“I’m really happy, my first Transatlantic, my first Doldrums, my first Equator and my first child Although I’m a little tired I am hyper happy. It is true that it’s a long way to Brazil, there have been ups and downs in losing our big spinnaker on the second day of racing, but that’s life. The name of our child was chosen with my wife Camille when I was at sea. Everyone is well and I can not wait to see them again!”

Eärwen’s Catherine Royer and Goulven Pourre had a lot of technical problems which made their Transat a bit of a struggle.

Catherine Pourre, skipper of the Class40 Earwen:
“It ‘s nice to be in Brazil! Because these last few days there was not very much wind and it was hard long. We had a lot of technical problems and so it feels hard and difficult. We did 4500 miles on the same rudder/ The blade delaminated and we lost half. It is my first Transat and it is quite an experience. And it all ends up with not much wind.”

Recent finishers, and still on course at 1550hrs UTC Wednesday

15 MATOUBA -Bertrand Guillonneau – Sébastien Audigane- 03/12/2013 23:26:50
16 PROXIMEDIA – SAUVEZ MON ENFANT  Denis Van Weynbergh – Jean-Edouard Criquioche 03/12/2013 23:38:56
17 MR BRICOLAGE- Damien Rousseau – Matthieu Alluin- 04/12/2013 00:55:15
18 EÄRWEN- Catherine Pourre – Goulven Royer- 04/12/2013 01:58:20
19 APRIL / DELTACALORLionel Regnier – Tim Darni – 20.35 miles to finish at 1500hrs
20 OBPORTUS 3 – Olivier Roussey – Philippe Burger- 213.14 miles to finish
21 CROIX DU SUD – Michelle Zwagerman – Patrick Conway – 242.27  miles to finish
22 ECOELEC-FRANTRONIC- Eric Darni – Florent Bernard – 449.04  miles to finish
23 11TH HOUR RACING  Hannah Jenner – Rob Windsor- 844.04 miles to finish

See latest postions for the fleets:

2011 Title Defenders

Monohull 60′:
Jean-Pierre DICK & Jérémie BEYOU
15days 18h 15min 54sec

Multihull 50′:
17days 17h 7min 43sec

Class 40′:
21days 17h 59min 8sec

Follow the race:
Live tracking updated every 30 minutes.
Race Tracker URL:
Positions will be updated every 3 hours: 0400hrs / 0700hrs / 1000hrs / 1300hrs / 1600hrs / 1900hrs GMT

Social Media 
Live updates through the start and through the race itself on the official facebook pages and on the twitter feed (@TransatJV).
And the Transat Jacques Vabre Application is now available on iPhone and Android and includes tracking facility.

Video footage will be available to registered broadcasters for download on the TV server:

For any queries please contact:
Hélène Tzara – – +33 (0)6 10 18 80 90

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