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Transat CIC Solo Race Leader Richomme Still on Course for Transatlantic Double

5th May 2024
IMOCA Transat CIC solorace leader Yoann Richomme at the helm of Paprec Arkea
IMOCA Transat CIC solorace leader Yoann Richomme at the helm of Paprec Arkea

While the IMOCA race leader Yoann Richomme (PAPREC ARKÉA) was still making more than 20 kts this evening, a nerve-racking slow down is still expected for the final miles to the finish of the Transat CIC solo race from Lorient to New York.

The winner of last Autumn’s solo race in the opposite direction, from Martinique to Lorient, Richomme may be on course to do the double on his first time ever sailing into New York, but in the light conditions forecast when a high-pressure ridge imposes itself across the route into the finish line, anything could happen.

The 40-year-old French ace has many times proven a level about his rivals – most recently on that Retour à la Base when he leveraged a small tactical hitch into a significant lead. But this time, at 330 miles to the finish, he can feel the hot breath of Germany’s Boris Herrmann (Malizia Seaexplorer), who is just 16 miles behind (or just over an hour at current speeds), and Britain’s Sam Davies (Initiatives Coeur) who is a further 40 miles behind her German rival.

With it being likely that if the shutdown does occur overnight it will happen from the front, and the weather modelling is far from clear on this and the foiling IMOCAs will keep moving well in just 10 or 11 knots of breeze, then the international skippers Herrmann and Davies still have a fighting chance of victory, and one might add their names the last non-French winners on this race which was started in England in 1960, Ellen MacArthur who won at the age of 23 into Newport in 2000 and Mike Golding who won into Boston in 2004.

When it was last sailed in 2016, Armel Le Cléac'h won in 12 days and 2 hours. This evening, the timer is at 7 days and 3 hours, with the winner expected within 24 hours at the line, which is 110 miles offshore of New York.

“There is an anticyclone gradually filling in and is set to and taking up position between the finish line and the head of the fleet, with winds easing gradually," said Francis Le Goff, Race Director. This will prevent the skippers from sailing directly towards New York and will see them needing to gybe to find the best, making angles to the wind, which is weakening until the finish line."

Published in Solo Sailing Team

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