Winners named in Transat Jacques Vabre
Published on November 23rd, 2021
(November 23, 2021; Day 17) – The first finishers for the 15th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre came today in the Ocean Fifty and Ultime classes as the IMOCAs were skimming along the South American coast in the trades while the Class40s were trading gybes in the mid-Atlantic.
Primonial has taken line honours when French pair Sébastien Rogues and Matthieu Souben crossed the line in Martinique after 15 days 13 hours 27 minutes and 14 seconds to cover the 5,800 theoretical miles from Le Havre to Martinique in the West Indies, averaging a speed of 15.4 knots. They actually covered 6,536.56 real miles at 17.50 knots.
Sébastien Rogues and Matthieu Souben crossed the finish line in the dark of night, under a full moon and drenched by light rain to claim the Ocean Fifty title – the first of 150 boats still racing to cross the line near Martinique’s legendary Diamond rock.
Talking amidst the celebrations on board, Matthieu Souben told us, “We’re very emotional right now. We didn’t expect it to be easy, we said before the start that there were no favourites. It’s a really great race but it has been hard because it has been long, longer than expected. It has required a lot of commitment, the chess game on the water started early. We gave it our all and are totally exhausted now.”
Next to finish, 2 hours 27 minutes and 58 seconds later, Koesio crossed the line in second place. Co-skippers Erwan Le Roux and Xavier Macaire took 15 days 15 hours 55 minutes and 12 seconds to cover the race distance.
Le Roux said, “To have a good regatta, you need good competitors and I think with the whole class it has been very close. There were no big gaps and the racing was intense. This second place suits us perfectly.”
The only non-French sailor in the Ocean Fifty class took third place, 3 hours 48 minutes and 29 seconds behind the winner. Britain’s Sam Goodchild and co-skipper Aymeric Chappellier on their boat Leyton took 15 days 17 hours 15 minutes and 43 seconds to cover the course.
Straight after crossing the line Goodchild told us, “It was our first transatlantic race on this type of boat. These are extraordinary boats that can go very fast, so you have to be careful. We learned a lot about the boat and ourselves.”
Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier have won the Ultime class title aboard Maxi Edmond de Rothschild. Going into the race as favorites, they regained their lead on November 9 and never let it go – they led for 98% of the race.
The French pair took 16 days 1 hour 49 minutes and 16 seconds to cover the 7,500 theoretical miles from Le Havre at an average speed of 20.51 knots. In reality, they covered 9,262.13 miles at 24.01 knots.
The hugely experienced Cammas and Caudrelier crossed the line in Martinique today just after 10:16am (15:16 and 16 seconds CET) on a boat they have raced and tested many times.
Franck Cammas said, “We didn’t make many mistakes, the boat behaved well. We’ve been racing hard for 17 days and we’ve arrived with a boat that’s 100% up to scratch. In relation to the competition, we didn’t know what it would be like and our confidence has grown day by day.
“Yesterday we had a bit of stress, with a complicated weather situation for us. We fell into a windless zone and behind the boats behind us were able to gain 200 miles in 12 hours so we started to get scared. In the end, they had the same problem as us much later.”
“The main thing for me is to still have one more win than Charles!” noting that he has four wins while Charles has three in the Transat Jacques Vabre. “It’s true, this race that suits us well.”
Charles Caudrelier said, “We’re arriving in good shape. We were scared once, because we had an engine failure which meant we had no energy left. We looked to stop in Cape Verde, but in the end we managed to fix it. We weren’t at 100% of the boat’s potential all the time, but not far off. We have to congratulate our weather routers on shore, because it wasn’t always easy for them, they did a really good job. It’s the first time I’ve seen Franck spend so little time at the chart table to comment on their choices.”
Leaderboard at 2300 CET:
1. Maxi Edmond de Rothschild – finished
2. SVR – Lazartigue
3. Banque Populaire XI
1. Primonial – finished
2. Koesio – finished
3. Leyton – finished
2. Crédit Mutuel
3. Lamotte Module Creation
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