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Richomme Stays On Course to Win Retour a La Base

8th December 2023
Louis Burton in the IMOCA Bureau Vallée competing in the Retour a La Base
Louis Burton in the IMOCA Bureau Vallée competing in the Retour a La Base Credit: Benjamin Sellier

The winner of the Retour a La Base is forecasted to cross the Lorient finish line on Saturday afternoon. It is looking increasingly likely to be a maiden solo IMOCA race triumph for longtime race leader Yoann Richomme on the new blue and red Koch-Finot Conq designed Paprec Arkea.

But while the top three - Richomme, second-placed Jeremie Beyou on Charal and Brit Sam Goodchild on For the Planet - are now well clear of fourth-placed Boris Herrmann (Malizia Sea explorer) - there are intense, close races going on all the way through the fleet.

Indeed, the most 'solo' of solo racers is veteran Jean Le Cam (Tout commence en Finistere-Armor Lux), who started from Martinique yesterday on his new IMOCA and faces a tough crossing with a lot of upwind sailing.

But this level of intensity and sustained high speeds come at a physical cost, and today, still with two to five days of racing left, many skippers were talking about their level of fatigue. On the new, fast foiling IMOCAs even short periods of deep, restorative sleep are hard to snatch.

Hermann noted today, "I feel super tired. When I turn the handles (on the pedestal winch) I have no energy. I am worried that if a big gust comes I would not manage to furl the big sail. I am sure with the adrenalin I would be OK... but..."

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Published in Offshore, Solo Sailing Team

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