Order forms in Transat Jacques Vabre
Published on November 19th, 2021
(November 19, 2021; Day 13, 10:36FR) – After nearly two weeks in the 15th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre, the Ultimes enjoy 30 knot Samba sailing as they escape the doldrums. Class 40s have reached their turning mark at Cape Verde, but actually where to round is less clear. Both the IMOCAs and Ocean Fifty share the same mark off the eastern tip of Brazil with the multihulls leading the way.
Ocean Fifty – joy and pain
Whilst one Ocean Fifty celebrates a birthday, another suffers the huge frustrations of a blown spinnaker, just when it’s most needed.
As the fleet speeds towards Martinique, Solidaires En Peloton-ARSEP has been struck by the sailing equivalent of a pulled hamstring. Thibaut Vauchel Camus and Fred Duthil ripped their large gennaker (an important sail for this final stretch) to the finish line in Martinique.
The pair attempted a long and tedious repair of the 25 metre rip saying, “We had to try. We didn’t want to regret not trying.” Thibaut and Fred are currently 5th out of seven and are expected to arrive around the 24th of November.
Meanwhile onboard Leyton there was a double celebration. Yesterday saw them move through the fleet and are now in third just 100 miles from the leader and today is British co-skipper Sam Goodchild’s 32nd birthday.
Although he’ll hardly have time to celebrate – the pair did five gybes overnight which has meant limited sleep and they are currently focused on maintaining Leyton’s 23 knots of speed this morning. “It’s not easy on many levels, physically and mentally, but we’re not going to give up anything for this last stretch,” said Goodchild this morning.
IMOCA – leaders head for finish
This is now the most extended fleet in the race with 1,000 miles separating the leader from the back. The leading three boats are leaving the Doldrums. There’s little to separate LinkedOut, Charal, and Apivia and the winner will likely come from this pack.
Apivia, co-skippered by Charlie Dalin and Paul Meilhat have been the fastest boat over the last 24 hours. Ahead of them is the fast downwind ride up to Martinique with an ETA of November 25 for the leading IMOCAs.
Over 200 miles further back and still staggering through the doldrums is the chasing pack led by Sam Davies (GBR) on Initiatives Coeur with Charlie Enright (USA) on 11th Hour Racing Team Malama in tow.
Ultimes – samba time
Conditions are ideal for the speed-merchants who have covered more than 750 miles in 24 hours and are making lightning speeds of around 30 knots. This trip along Brazil is nothing but pleasure for the Ultime fleet, who “are in one of the most beautiful places in the world to sail, with flat seas and a small beam,” according to Thomas Coville (Sodebo Ultim 3) during his morning call.
Maxi Edmond De Rothschild has a 400 mile lead but still faces 2,000 miles to the finish line.
Class40 – Go west!
The leaders have finally turned west at the Cape Verde islands. Redman is out in front and has chosen a route through the islands but their lead is now only 45 miles. Strategy is not their only concern though as co-skipper Pablo Santurde del Arco (ESP) explains: “We’re going to be short of food for almost a week, but we mustn’t let our morale get too low. Given the circumstances, we are pretty happy.”
Leaderboard at 2200 CET:
1. Maxi Edmond de Rothschild
2. Banque Populaire XI
3. SVR – Lazartigue
3. Banque Du Leman
The Transat Jacques Vabre is a double-handed race featuring four classes of boats starting November 7 from Le Havre, France. At nearly 30 years old, having first run in 1993 and every two years since, the 15th edition in 2021 attracted a record-breaking 79 boats: 5 Ultimes, 7 Ocean Fifty, 22 Imoca and 45 Class40s.
The course endures often brutal winter conditions, with a shift this year for the finish, moving from South America to Martinique in the Caribbean, in addition to various mid-Atlantic turning marks for the four classes.
Source: Transat Jacques Vabre