Transat Jacques Vabre: Match Race for Class40 Title
Published on November 16th, 2015
(November 16, 2015; Day 22) – Approaching Cabo Frio, to the east of Rio, there are now just 20 miles separating the top two Class40s in the Transat Jacques Vabre.
Long time leaders Yannick Bestaven and Pierre Brasseur on Le Conservateur have opted to gybe inshore and are in light upwind conditions, closing to the cape while rivals Maxime Sorel and Sam Manuard on V and B have stayed offshore looking to be first to a SE’ly shift in the breeze but risking sailing more miles. But with 500 miles of racing to go until the finish line in Itajai, the outcome of Class 40 might be decided in the next few hours.
At this weather crossroads, where the stormy fronts emerge off the land and meet theSE’ly trade winds, V and B are on the attack offshore while closer to the Farol de Sao Thorme, in swirling, erratic winds and thunderstorms, Bestaven and Brasseur are slowed back to 6kts.
Their only real title rivals are going ‘round the outside’ at 8kts. Having spent three days snared in the real Doldrums as V and B caught three hundred miles, Bestaven and Brasseur must have concerns that a tropical Doldrums will swallow them again, but this could go to a close match race to the finish.
Brazilian Olympic gold medallist Eduardo Penido and co-skipper Renato Araujo on Zentra are 49 miles ahead of a chasing trio of Class40s lined up side by side, drag racing in the SE’ly trades. Philippa Hutton Squire and Pip Hare, the South African and British girls duo, still hold a narrow lead in this group and are slightly faster this afternoon.
1 – FenêtréA Prysmian, Erwan Le Roux and Giancarlo Pedote
2 – Ciela Village, Thierry Bouchard and Oliver Krauss
3 – Arkema, Lalou Roucayrol and César Dohy
1 – PRB, Vincent Riou and Sébastien Col
2 – Banque Populaire VIII, Armel Le Cléac’h and Erwan Tabarly
3 – Queguiner – Leucemie Espoir, Yann Elies and Charlie Dalin
1 – Macif, François Gabart and Pascal Bidégorry
2 – Sodebo Ultim’, Thomas Coville and Jean-Luc Nélias
12th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre in brief
• A legendary race 22 years old and 2015 marks the 12th edition
• Two founding partners: the city of Le Havre and brand Jacques Vabre
• Four classes on the starting line: Class40, Multi50, IMOCA and Ultimate
• Starting October 25 in Le Havre (FRA) for the 5400nm course to Itajaí (BRA)
Report by event media.