Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: Transat Jacques Vabre

A look at the only Female duo made up of the international pairing of French woman, Alexia Barrier and Irish sailor, Joan Mulloy (4myplanet). The only all-female offshore pairing in this Transat Jacques Vabre, which starts this Sunday, intends to get 120% out of their venerable old IMOCA.

Seven women are competing in the 2019 Transat Jacques Vabre in the IMOCA category. Among them, we find Alexia Barrier and Joan Mulloy aboard 4myplanet, an emblematic boat, which has set sail on six voyages around the world (four times in the Vendée Globe and twice in Around Alone).

“We bumped into each other, without really knowing each other”
“I met Joan in the 2017 Solitaire du Figaro. I was racing and she was preparing a boat. We saw each other again in the Monaco Globe Series. We bumped into each other, without really knowing each other,” explained Alexia. “Joan called me up early in the year to find out whether she could race in the Rolex Fastnet Race with me. I said to myself that it would be a good idea to do the whole season sailing double-handed together, including the Transat Jacques Vabre. I didn’t have enough funding to be able to do the Fastnet Race, but here we are in the Jacques Vabre.”

Mutual respect
“In the Solitaire du Figaro, Joan was always the person who would be working late and who wanted to help everyone. She had incredible energy,” added Alexia Barrier. “That impression was confirmed when I sailed with her. Joan always a certain zest. She is extremely professional and sails really well. We are both optimists, never giving up and never getting angry. We soon settled in well together. My task is to pass on as many hints as I can, so that she can do her best on a boat that she doesn’t know that well. Joan understands things quickly. I’m learning a lot at her side too. English-speaking sailors have a more methodical and neater approach to sailing.”

Joan Mulloy also has a lot of respect for her co-skipper in the Transat Jacques Vabre. “Alexia works really hard on her project and never stops,” she said. “I’m really lucky to be with her on a well-tested boat that is very reliable. I shall learn a lot. Alexia is always very calm aboard the boat. Even when things get tough, we remain upbeat and continue to joke around on board. That is a good sign.”

A shared desire to do the Vendée Globe
Aboard 4myplanet, Alexia Barrier is well placed to be able to compete in the 2020 Vendée Globe. That is not going to be possible for Joan Mulloy, but the Irish skipper fully intends to take part in a future edition of the non-stop solo round the world race. “Last year, I took part in the Monaco Globe Series with Thomas Ruyant, but unfortunately, I couldn’t find the funding to continue on an IMOCA,” she explained. “Competing in the Transat Jacques Vabre is an excellent opportunity to allow me to continue to progress and move towards my goal of taking part in the Vendée Globe.”

“Sailing to the best of my ability”
Competing on the oldest IMOCA in the fleet (launched in 1998), Alexia and Joan fully intend to get the most out of their boat. “We have a shared goal which is to sail to the best of our ability and that of the boat,” confirmed Alexia. “We want to finish in Salvador da Bahia without any regrets and ideally leave five or six IMOCAs behind us. On paper, we have the slowest boat, but if we make the right choices and sail intelligently, we can have a great race.”

Transat Jacques Vabre begins in Le Havre on Sunday 27th October

Published in Offshore

#Offshore - A record 46 competitors have confirmed entry for the Transat Jacques Vabre 2019 with seven months yet to go till the start.

The numbers are already close to what organisers expected in January would be the full fleet to set out from Le Havre for Brazil this October — and entries are still open for another 12 weeks till Friday 12 July.

Despite promises that the previous race would stage a new dawn for multihulls like the Multi 50, much of the fleet will comprise IMOCA 60s but there will also be a sizeable contingent of Class 40s.

“The double-handed race allows well-prepared and seasoned amateurs to mix and measure themselves against the most recognised professional skippers,” says Class 40 president Halvard Mabire.

Published in Offshore

Alex Pella, the world-record breaking sailor, said today (Wednesday) that the Transat Jacques Vabre offshore 2017 will mark the emergence of a new future for multihulls. With all eyes on just how fast the latest 30-metre Ultime to launch is – Maxi Edmond de Rothschild will be making its debut in Le Havre, Normandy on the start line on Sunday - Pella, co-skipper of the Multi 50 Arkema, believes the class will shine in this 13th edition of the "Route du Café".

“When we arrived last Friday and I saw the fleet, I said ‘wow’ because for me it’s the first time that there’s such a fleet in this class,” Pella said. “Normally, when I’ve been here in another class, I’ve seen only two or three good boats. But now I think this race can change the future of the class. Now, the future of the multihulls is the Ultime class and Multi 50 because there’s a really big difference between them.”

Pella knows a thing or two about multihulls - he was part of the incredible team on IDEC 3 that smashed the Jules Verne round-the-world record in January. He is not campaigning for the class either - this is his first race in a Multi 50 and he was a last minute replacement in August after Karine Fauconnier was injured in training. It is more the view of an experienced sailor – Pella, from Barcelona, turns 45 on Thursday – who can cast an eye across all four classes and 38 boats here. Another crowning glory was becoming the first Spaniard to win a transoceanic single-handed race when he won the Route du Rhum Class40 in 2014.

His co-skipper, the equally experienced, Lalou Roucayrol agreed. “There has been a big change within the Multi 50 class,” he said. “We wanted to get professional and the class introduced not just foils but rules on materials that mean all the boats have to be modern and competitive now.”

Skippers presentation by Serge Herbin, Multi 50 Arkema, skippers Lalou Roucayrol and Alex Pella, during pre-start of the Transat Jacques Vabre 2017, duo sailing race from Le Havre (FRA) to Salvador de Bahia (BRA) in Le Havre on October 28th, 2017 - Photo Jean-Marie Liot / ALeA / TJV17
There are six Multi 50s here, five competitive and four with foils all vying for victory. At just over 15 metres - half the length of Ultime - have a budget that is more accessible to those starting out in multihulls. Roucayrol revealed that Arkema spent €1.5 million to build the boat he launched in 2013, and spend €800,000 a year on the campaign, of which €200,000 has gone on their Mini 6.50 boat this year. The Ultime is a big step up, with budgets around six times that.

But those extra Euros may be felt in the first few days of racing, which are already promising to typically bracing North Atlantic weather in November. The weather and routing chatter on the pontoons began in earnest yesterday and 35-40 knots was being predicted after the start on Sunday.

“I think we’re going to have to cross a big front there’s going to be potentially 35-40 knots downwind the other side of that,” Britain's Phil Sharp (Imerys, Class40) said. “That’s what when we get really offshore west of Ireland - and it looks like we’re going to have to head west to look for this northerly wind, to avoid headwinds. When we hit that we can escape south - and we’ll be escaping very fast. We can surf at up to 25 knots and that’s fast enough when you’re on a boat like this.”

Pella at first affected to say that such pontoon chatter is “pollution” - “I haven’t been looking at the forecast all the time,” he said. “There are two people on the team checking. We haven’t done a real briefing. The other thing is that in these kind of races, North Atlantic (strong wind) starts are as usual, as these sounds of the pontoon, for me it’s pollution, people are nervous. This is the race where you have the Channel, the point of Brittany, the front, traffic and cold.” But he did concede that the Multi 50 are more vulnerable in these conditions, even with the foils – “by comparison IDEC 3 it passes over the waves very well,” he said.

Later he admitted that it might be better for them to push out of the starting blocks to get ahead of the front. “To win the race, you have to finish the race and to break things at the start is stupid,” he said. “But if you see the forecast it looks like it’s better to be in the top positions at the beginning because the front is coming from behind. You can makes plans, but you have to take the decision when you’re there.” It is hard to keep a sailor from his routing.

Published in Offshore

The 13th edition of the offshore Transat Jacques Vabre will kick off on Saturday, October 28, 2017, around the Bassin Paul Vatine (marina) in Le Havre, for a week of festivities that will mark the 500th anniversary of this maritime city. On Sunday, November 5, 2017, the competing skippers will cross the starting line of the longest transatlantic route to a legendary coffee port, Salvador in the state of Bahia in Brazil.

  • The start of the Transat Jacques Vabre will be November 5th
  • An historic coffee route: Salvador in the state of Bahia in Brazil
  • A 4,350-mile course
  • Four classes, four winning duets

Salvador is the capital of the Bahia region, north of Rio. It is a city with an active port because of its position and easy access to the Bay of All Saints, the largest natural bay on the South American coast and the second largest in the world. The Transat Jacques Vabre will be welcomed at the foot of the Pelourinho, an historic quarter registered as a UNESCO world heritage site, in the port of Salvador.

“The 2017 edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre marks the return to an historic and iconic coffee region, which has already hosted several finishes of the race, and celebrated in the style the winners of our ‘Route du café’ from 2001 to 2007." Xavier Mitjavila, President of JDE France and the Transat Jacques Vabre organisation.

"In 2017, the Transat Jacques Vabre will once again be an unmissable event for all Havrais (the people of Le Havre), who have held this race close their hearts for over 20 years. It will close the festivities of the “A Summer in Le Havre, 2017” event, running from May 27 to November 5 and organised to celebrate our 500th anniversary. We invite all inquisitive travellers to (re) discover our city and its port through a rich, festive, multidisciplinary and multifaceted programme. In 2017, it is Le Havre and nowhere else that is the place to be.” Edouard Philippe, Mayor of Le Havre and Député (elected representative) of the Seine-Maritime department.

Le Havre - Salvador de Bahia: 4,350 miles
After a week of festivities around the marina, the competitors of the 13th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre will leave Le Havre and head out towards the coffee port of Bahia (Brazil). After passing in front of the cliffs of Etretat, the competitors will take a direct route towards the Brazilian port - after having crossed the Doldrums.

“This transoceanic course from North to South is more demanding than a East to West transat, it requires the skippers to have sharp strategic and tactical qualities, good meteorological training, excellent physical conditioning to maintain top speed in the trade winds…and also a lot of patience to cross the Equator. Lying at 12°56’ South, Salvador de Bahia is in the tropics, it’s hot, but not too hot thanks to the trade winds, which is the dream for the sailors, who’ll finally be able to unwind after all the days of stress spent at sea.” Sylvie Viant, Race Director of the Transat Jacques Vabre.

Four classes, four winning duos
Class40, Multi50, Imoca and Ultime boats are expected on the starting line off Le Havre. Each class will see its winning duo and those chasing welcomed and celebrated to the sounds of samba and Brazilian rhythms.

La Transat Jacques Vabre in figures
- Opening of the village, October 28
- Start of the Transat Jacques Vabre, November 5
- 24 years old, 13th edition in 2017
- A 4,350-mile course, four classes, four winning duos

Published in Offshore
Tagged under

In something of a carbon copy repeat of his success in 2013, gliding across the same finish line, Vincent Riou (FRA), sailing PRB with co-skipper Seb Col (FRA) finished first IMOCA monohull in the 5400Nms Transat Jacques Vabre when they took their winning gun at 12:52.24 (UTC) (+5hrs local time) today.

The duo’s elapsed time for the theoretical course is 17d00h22m24 after leaving Le Havre on Sunday 25th October. Their computed average for the course is 13,22kts. In reality they sailed 6034Nms at an average of 14.78kts.

It is the winner of the 2004-5 Vendée Globe, Vincent Riou’s seventh Transat Jacques Vabre and is his second back to back IMOCA class win in this biennial coffee route race.

They best the 2013 reference time by 19mins and 23 seconds. Sailing in 2013 with Jean Le Cam the PRB co-skippers set the inaugural benchmark for this new course, finishing in Itajaí, southern Brazil, at 17d and 41mins. In 2013 PRB actually sailed less distance on the water, 5771 miles.

Riou’s 2010 launched VPLP-Verdier design won the 2013 race even after a short, express pit stop in Mindelo, Sao Vicente, Cape Verde Islands to make a rudder repair. After winning the 2013 Transat Jacques Vabre Riou had to withdraw in the early stages of the 2104 Route du Rhum solo Transatlantic.

His boat is reported to be the lightest and most optimised of the competitive 2011 generation VPLP-Verdier designs. After having to retire from the Vendée Globe in 2102 when he hit a metal buoy off South America and sustained hull and rigging damage, Riou paired up for the 2013 Transat Jacques Vabre with Jean Le Cam partly as a footnote to their history together, Riou rescued Le Cam from his upturned IMOCA off Cape Horn. But this year, one year out from the next Vendée Globe start, Riou chose Col a partner to learn from, to help improve the small details of boat speed and tactics. Col sails on many different cutting edge grand prix monohull classes. This is the first IMOCA Transatlantic for Seb Col.

Riou and Col lead out of the English Channel and held a strong position slightly to the south of the group which sailed west towards the arriving depression. PRB was snared momentarily when they erred too close to the centre of the low, allowing Yann Eliès and Charlie Dalin on Queguenir-Leucemie Espoir to escape slightly. But by the latitude of Gibraltar they shared first and second. PRB took the lead again in the light airs of the Azores anticyclone but as soon as the top group of four were into the N’ly trade winds Banque Populaire VIII of Armel Le Cléac’h and Erwan Tabarly was quicker by one or two knots in 18-19kts of breeze and they took the lead.

PRB made another small gain at the Canaries, setting up to the east of Banque Populaire just after fourth placed Paul Meilhat and Michel Desjoyeaux diverted towards Guadeloupe with technical problems.
Entering the Doldrums there was just four miles separating PRB from leaders Banque Populaire VIII but it was Riou and Col who emerged first into the S’ly trades. Their margin grew quickly and by Recife they were 36 miles ahead. That margin stayed similar all the way until last night when they extended on the initial approach in to Itajaí.

Of the 20 IMOCA class starters eleven abandoned racing with technical problems.

Published in Offshore
Tagged under

With SMA now abandoned from fourth place the breakaway group forming the vanguard of the IMOCA fleet is lead by Banque Populaire VIII which is just over 20 miles ahead of PRB, Vincent Riou and Seb Col with Queguiner-Leucemie Espoir, Yann Elies and Charlie Dalin at 36 miles behind. Then there is a 280 miles gap back to Ruyant and Hardy. Bellion and Goodchild are ninth with 11 of the 20 starters still actively racing in the direction of Brasil.

In Class 40 the leaders are lengthening their stride too, Le Conservateur now 56 miles ahead of V and B but the top four boats are still within 100 miles of each other.

But, perhaps contrary to some expectations, the closest match on the race course is the duel between the two leaders, Sodebo Ultim' and Macif. Since 0430hrs this morning they have been pacing each other at near identical speeds 27-28kts, making around 530 mile days. Francois Gabart and Pascal Bidegorry still have the upper hand, five miles up on Thomas Coville and Jean-Luc Nelias.

The attrition rate continues:

* Hugo Boss crew helicoptered to safety

Alex Thomson and Guillermo Altadill, skippers of yacht HUGO BOSS in the Transat Jacques Vabre set off their emergency beacon this afternoon at 13.25UT. The Spanish Coastguard was informed and sent a rescue helicopter to their location 82 nautical miles from the Spanish coast.

Update: Alex Thomson and his team are back onboard HUGO BOSS which is now in a stable situation. Alex's IMOCA 60 is undergoing the necessary checks in order to tow her back to La Coruna, Spain.

* Technical problem on board the Ultim Actual

At 0400hrs UTC Friday morning, Yves le Blevec, skipper of the Ultim Actual and his co-skipper Jean-Baptiste Vaillant, informed the Race Management of the Transat Jacques Vabre that they have technical problems. Actual was sailing in manageable conditions, reaching in 20-25 knots at the latitude of Gibraltar.

Actual now route towards the European mainland making a speed of 7 knots in a W -SW'ly wind. Both co-skippers are well.

* Technical problem aboard

Nicolas Boidevezi , skipper of the IMOCA 60 competing in the Transat Jacques Vabre 2015, has told his shore team they have a technical problem with the bottom of the starboard running backstay . The safety of the two skippers is not compromised right now . Nicolas and co-skipper Ryan Breymaier (USA) head towards a haven. The problem occurred as the boat was in 12th position after four days and a half of racing.

* Technical stop in Madeira for JP Dick and Fabien Delahaye.

Jean-Pierre Dick and Fabien Delahaye contacted their team to report two structural ribs have broken in the front of the boat by the middle of the sail locker. The duo aboard St-Michel Virbac are now routing towards Madeira.

* Creno - Moustache Solidaire en route to Spain

Following the breakage of a starboard spreader, Thibault Hector and Morgan Launay have secured their rig and decided to sail to Spain to make a repair. In a sustained wind of 30-35 knots SW'ly and high sea, a stainless fitting broke but the crew was able to quickly change tack to save the rig. But as the wind is veering NW Creno Moustache-Solidaire will be able to make a course towards La Coruna and Vigo in the next hours. The duo expects to quickly repair to return to the course.

* Eric Holden and Morgen Watson, O Canada, are heading to Vigo, Spain

Since yesterday Eric Holden and Morgen Watson have been struggling with a damaged mast track on O Canada. They are heading to Vigo, Spain where they hope to fix the problem.

* Spirit of Hungary (IMOCA 60) dismasted

This afternoon a little after 1700hrs UTC the IMOCA 60 Spirit of Hungary was dismasted while they were 65 Nm north of the island Madeira. They were in 15 knots of northwest wind. Nandor Fa and Peter Perenyi are well and warned the Race Direction they are on their way under engine to Madeira.

* Arthur Hubert and Valentin Lemarchand on the Class40 SNBSM Espoir Competition expect to make a pit stop in Madeira. They duo are now missing a part of the mainsail mast track which was ripped off. And so that prevents them from being able to hoist their mainsail above the second reef. They will have to take a minimum break of 12 hours in Madeira, according to Class40 class rules before they can resume racing after making repairs.

Published in Offshore

Alex Thomson and Guillermo Altadill, skippers of yacht HUGO BOSS in the Transat Jacques Vabre set off their emergency beacon this afternoon at 13.25UT. The Spanish Coastguard was informed and sent a rescue helicopter to their location 82 nautical miles from the Spanish coast. Both Alex and Guillermo were rescued from the location by helicopter and are on their way back to land. See rescue video here.

As reported earlier this week, HUGO BOSS incurred some structural damage earlier this week forcing Alex and Guillermo to stop racing. The Skippers had made a repair and were on route to A Coruna where the technical team were waiting to meet them. After sailing for a period of 36 hours in high seas and strong winds, the structure of the boat deteriorated further and the boat started to take on water and sink. The technical team are in A Coruna, Spain awaiting further information from the coast guard.

In October Thomson and the brand new Hugo Boss made a pit stop in Cork Harbour because of  'small issues with the keel ram' but there is no information if this issue is in any way connected with today's evacuation.

Managing Director Stewart Hosford expresses ‘Our first concern is with Alex and Guillermo and when they are safely on the ground we will address the situation with our IMOCA 60 and begin the salvage process. We are grateful for the swift response from the rescue services in this situation.’

Published in Offshore

With one Transat Jacques Vabre yacht safe in Cork harbour, the fleet continue to make progress across the Atlantic but Team Concise now in Crosshaven is far from the only safety incident for the French race. Lionel Lemonchois and Roland Jourdain whose Ultime multi Prince de Bretagne capsized just after 1900hrs UTC Monday night, 140 miles NW of La Coruna resisted the option of activating their distress beacon and seeking outside assistance for as long as possible. But with 30kts winds this afternoon and four metres waves and the prospect of 40kts tomorrow Wednesday they triggered their beacon this afternoon around 1520hrs UTC. They consulted with their partners and shore team, keeping up to date with Transat Jacques Vabre Race Direction, and in the end the skippers safety is the main priority. CROSS Gris Nez and MRCC Madrid successfully coordinated their evacuation and by 1700hrs UTC the pair were in a helicopter.

While a high pressure ridge threatens to slow the Ultime's positive progress south, the good news for the highly competitive IMOCA class is that the leaders have reached the awaited windshift which has allowed them to point their bows south west, out of the worst of a low pressure and at least in the direction of the finish line some 4800 miles away in Itajaí. But for the Class 40s and some of the later IMOCAs a new low pressure is the next big threat. 35 of the entry of 42 boats are still heading for Itajai

* Safran retires:

After a good start to the Transat Jacques Vabre, Morgan Lagraviere and Nicolas Lunven were forced to turn back home last night. The cause was a crack in the hull at the starboard foil that generated a leak. It is impossible to continue the race in this condition. Contacted this morning, the Safran duo are headed for Brest where they are expected as night falls.

"The foil area is damaged on the starboard side," Lagraviere said. "The damage has spread around the area and water is seeping into the boat. We quickly tacked to get the damaged section of the hull out of the water. At the time of the incident, the conditions were intense but not extreme. There were 25-knots of wind and 3-4 metres of swell. The sea was not particularly rough and we didn't hear a particular sound."

Top three in class at 27/10/15 - 18h30

1. Le Conservateur, Yannick Bestaven / Pierre Brasseur
2. V and B, Maxime Sorel / Sam Manuard
3. Bretagne Credit Mutuel Elite, Nicolas Troussel / Corentin Horeau

1. Ciela Village, Thierry Bouchard / Oliver Krauss
2. Arkema, Lalou Roucayrol / Cesar Dohy
3. FenetreA Prysmian, Erwan le Roux / Giancarlo Pedote

1. Queguiner - Leucemie Espoir, Yann Elies / Charlie Dalin
2. Le souffle du Nord, Thomas Ruyant / Adrien Hardy
3. PRB, Vincent Riou / Sebastien Col

1. Sodebo, Thomas Coville / Jean-Luc Nelias
2. Macif, Francois Gabart / Pascal Bidegorry
3. Actual, Yves le Blevec / Jean-Baptiste Le Vaillant

Published in Offshore

Safely berthed in Cork Harbour tonight, offshore sailors Jack Bouttell and Gildas Mahé who have been forced to retire from Transat Jacques Vabre are looking forward to a Guinness at the Royal Cork Yacht Club. Repairs will begin on the Team Concise boat in the morning in order to return to England. In the meantime, Bouttell and Mahé plan to make the most of local hospitality.

Former Figaro campaigners David and Neil Kenefick are looking after the duo.

'Both Gildas and I were pretty dark last night, frustrated and disappointed. It didn’t feel great, but our main objective became to get to Cork safely.'

At 1630 this afternoon Team Concise co-skippers Jack Bouttell, an Alumni of the Artemis Offshore Academy, and Gildas Mahé announced their retirement from the 2015 Transat Jacques Vabre after sustaining structural damage to their Class 40 ‘Team Concise’ in bad weather.

“We were sailing in 20 knots of winds with 30 knot gusts and the sea state was building,” Bouttell reported. “We were reaching at boat speeds of around 18 to 19 knots. We peeled to a smaller jib trying to slow down and be conservative; other boats were flying past us. We were expecting heavy conditions for up to four days, so wanted to save the boat as much as we could.”

Mahé continued: “We heard a loud crack and went to investigate. We found quite serious structural damage to the boat, so set to work making as many repairs as we could to make the boat as safe as possible.”

The damage was reported to Race Management in the early hours, and the duo then made the difficult decision to divert to Crosshaven, Ireland and assess the situation. The decision was made by the skippers to retire.

“All of the team are obviously disappointed for the guys,” said Team Concise director, Ned Collier Wakefield. “They had been sailing a great race leading the fleet out west and had shown their own and the boat’s potential.”

Both experienced short-handed sailors, Bouttell and Mahé had high hopes for the Transat Jacques Vabre. Their abandonment of the race comes as a devastating blow for the skippers, Team Concise and their sponsors, with Bouttell hoping the experience would take him closer to his Vendée Globe dream.

“It is so disappointing,” Bouttell explained. “We were in a good position over the first 24 hours and enjoying the race. We have been working towards the Transat Jacques Vabres for seven months. All that work is now down the drain.

Both Gildas and I were pretty dark last night, frustrated and disappointed. It didn’t feel great, but our main objective became to get to Cork safely."

Published in Offshore
Tagged under

The first 24 hours of the 12th edition of the offshore Transat Jacques Vabre race, the two handed race from Le Havre in France to Itajaí, Brazil have been fast in a building breeze and at least some of the fleet is heading to Cork Harbour and, most likely, Royal Cork Yacht Club for safety.

But the Bay of Biscay and an Atlantic low pressure system will hit most of the fleet this evening and tomorrow bringing building seas and big winds with gusts over 40kts. There is no big surprise in store. The ominous system has been lurking west of Ireland for some time, but is only moving slowly SE before it fills and loses some of its intensity later on Tuesday. But the duos in all four classes have been preparing as best they can for the tough conditions, drysuits and boots are on now and may be for 48 hours or more.

Jackson Bouttell (GBR/AUS) and Gildas Mahé (FRA) on the Ker designed Concise 8 informed their Team Concise directors that they have sustained damage and are heading for Cork 120 miles to their NE.

The two co-skippers are in regular contact with Transat Jacques Vabre Race Direction and are not injured in any way and expect to reach the Irish haven by mid morning Tuesday. A full assessment of the extent of the damage will be made on arrival. They anticipate missing the worst of the imminent strong winds. Further details will be released Tuesday morning. 

A number of retirements and damage reports. Fortunately no injuries reported:

* Maitre CoQ Retire

Following the damage that happened at around 2300hrs yesterday evening to a mainstay attachment, Jeremie Beyou and Philippe Legros, who were in 4th place, were forced to make their way to Roscoff, which they reached this morning at 0830hrs. The shore team and suppliers analysed the situation and attempted to replace the faulty part.

In spite of their hard work, late today they were unable to guarantee that the replacement part would be solid enough to allow the two sailors to head back out to sea without any worries. The situation was in fact all the more tense with the weather that has been forecast for the coming hours, as Maître CoQ would have likely faced some strong winds (30 - 40 knots) with a wave height of 6-7 metres

* Damage on Safran, heading to Brest

At 2020 hrs CET this evening, Morgan Lagravière, skipper of the IMOCA 60 Safran, contacted the Transat Jacques Vabre Race Directors to inform them there had been some damage aboard.

The crew (Morgan Lagravière and Nicolas Lunven) has taken the decision to head for Brest. Both skippers are fine and the conditions should allow them to reach the Breton port.

* Edmond de Rothschild Abandon in the IMOCA class

Leaders of the more westerly group of the IMOCA fleet of the Transat Jacques Vabre, Sebastien Josse and Charles Caudrelier have confirmed they have abandoned the race. They are the second of the 20 IMOCA 60s which started Sunday from Le Havre to retire. The pair made the difficult choice which was dictated by good seamanship and their aim to bring the newest Gitana back to port safely.

Sebastien Josse explained the reasons:

"Since the afternoon we had a series of incidents aboard Edmond de Rothschild. Taken individually these problems are quite minor and if we had better weather we could probably put them right. But all added up to one another and given the weather conditions we see these incidents as potentially endangering us and the boat. The weather files show more than 40kts of wind at times and seven metre seas. Charles and I consider it would not be responsible to carry on in these conditions. The boat was only launched two and a half months ago, and despite all the work which was done by the Gitana team to optimises and be ready is so short a time, these are problems associated with a recently launched boat. The decision to abandon was a very hard one but we do not want to jeopardise more than a year of hard work. The boat was designed for the Vendee Globe and that remains the major objective of the team. It is hard to retire but we must not lose sight of that as the goal."

* Prince de Bretagne Capsize, Skippers safe

The Ultime trimaran of Lionel Lemonchois and Roland Jourdain has capsized while they were 140 miles off La Coruna. The two co-skippers are safe and have taken shelter inside the trimaran. They have not requested assistance and their technical team is making every effort to organise help to rescue them and their vessel. At the time of the incident the boat was upwind in 20 to 25kts of SSW'ly wind.

Published in Offshore
Page 4 of 5