Imoca podium decided as Class40 trio contract
After seasoned campaigners, Jean-Pierre Dick and Yann Eliès arrived in Salvador de Bahia yesterday evening (Saturday) to win the 13th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre in record time – and with Dick claiming an unprecedented fourth title – the podium places were completed today (Sunday) by the next generation duos on SMA and Des Voiles et Vous!
Behind them are the races within the race that characterise the different preparations, aspirations and generations of crew and boats left in the fleet. The Class40 is shaping up to be even closer race than the three classes before them, with a lead three separating overnight. The Anglo-Spanish pair of Phil Sharp and Pablo Santurde (Imerys Clean Energy) still lead, but the 20 miles they earned yesterday at the end of the Doldrums has evaporated before the Equator with less than 10 miles between all three again.
Reminder of the podium race times
Winner: St Michel-Virbac (Jean-Pierre-Dick / Yann Eliès)
Saturday, November 18 at 20:11:46 in 13 days 07 hours 36 minutes 46 seconds.
Second: SMA (Paul Meilhat and Gwénolé Gahinet)
Sunday, November 19 at 02:33:03; 6h 21min 17secs after St Michel-Virbac
Third: Des Voiles et Vous! (Morgan Lagravière and Eric Peron)
Sunday, November 19 at 14:06:44; 17h 54mins 58 secs after St Michel-Virbac
Dick revealed that they had lost their big spinnaker after Cape Verde, but were able to stay ahead without it. For his part, Meilhat said that they could not have done more to catch their training partners, but that both he and Gahinet were proud of the their race.
Read the full interviews here:
Dick / Eliès
Meilhat / Gahinet
The Imoca peleton are all in the south-east trade winds. Their road will be dotted with squalls. Those leading tight battles such as Bastide Otio, who are still holding off the theoretically faster Initiatives-Cœur, will want a good cushion having been reminded of how complicated and windless the arrivals into the Bay of All Saints have been, particularly at night.
Malizia II, Monday, November 20, 11:00 (UTC)
Bastide Otio, Initiatives-Cœur, 23:00
Bureau Vallée, Tuesday, November 21, 10:00
La Fabrique, Generali, Vivo a Beira, 10/11/12
ETA: The leaders, Thursday, November 23, 02:00 UTC
The Class40 lead trio have 900 miles to the finish and are averaging 10 knots in a well-established south-east trade wind. Anglo-Spanish pair of Phil Sharp and Pablo Santurde (Imerys Clean Energy) is ahead but his French pursuers from the start in Le Havre, Aïna Enfance et Avenir and V and B, have closed the gap and in their newer boats are theoretically faster in these conditions.
Having been caught up in the Doldrums, TeamWork40 and Région Normandie Junior Senior by Enernex have slipped back and are 50 miles off the lead.
Those behind face the Doldrums, but they have contracted and look a little simpler to cross than last week.
La French Tech Rennes Saint-Malo (Gilles Lamire and Thierry Duprey Du Vorsent)
Sunday, November 19 at 23:47:03, 2 days 15 hrs 57 mins and 44 secs after the winner, Arkema.
Les mots des partenaires
Jean-Pierre Dick, skipper of St Michel-Virbac (Imoca)
“This is the perfect race that I’d imagined with Yann. It’s amazing to be have been able to realise it. A fourth victory is great. I like this race, the duo side of it.”
Paul Meilhat, skipper of SMA (Imoca):
“We have no regrets, we feel like we have sailed well, but they (St Michel-Virbac) made the right choices too. We’re proud to be second behind them. It’s not because they have foils they’ve won.”
Yann Eliès, co-skipper of St Michel-Virbac
“I’m proud of the line that we’ve drawn. We traced a beautiful route, that’s curved, and sometimes…sometimes perfectly straight. Paul Meilhat (skipper of second-placed SMA) recognised it in one of the race interview sessions – he said we’d made best course, that’s a really nice thing to have said.”
Gwénolé Gahinet, co-skipper of SMA (Imoca):
“At first, we didn’t see each other much. We helmed a lot and as soon as we could, we slept. We avoided the mistake of not sleeping enough. We had a good level of intensity and care; we never shouted”
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