Please select your home edition
Edition
Fever-Tree 728x90

Transat Jacques Vabre - Day 5

by Soazig Guého on 9 Nov 9 November 2017

"The boat pitchpoled... There was a huge feeling of shock...the rescue was epic."

The 13th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre now has 35 crews left racing following the abandonment today (Thursday) of Halvard Mabire and Britain's Miranda Merron on their Class40 Campagne de France and the capsizing last night of the Multi50 Drekan Groupe.

Eric Defert and Christopher Pratt, the two French sailors trapped on the overturned Drekan Groupe overnight, are safe and sound after being rescued by the crew of the Dutch cargo ship, Beautriton, this morning. They are now heading for Georgetown, USA, instead of the finish line in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil.

It was a sobering fifth day of this bi-annual double-handed Route du café, tracing the historic coffee trade route from Le Havre. The hectic pace set by the leaders, the chaotic sea and the violent squalls are making enormous demands on the boats and the sailors.

In happier circumstances, the headline surprise of the morning would have been Sodebo Ultim' taking the lead from Maxi Edmond de Rothschild in the Ultime class at the front of the fleet. Thomas Coville and Jean-Luc Nélias's decision to position themselves further west paid in stunning fashion as they turned a 70-mile deficit into a 60 mile lead. Sébastien Josse and Thomas Rouxel were forced to gybe last night and are sailing in Sodebo Ultim's wake. Ominously, the newly-launched Maxi Edmond de Rothschild had already eaten back 10 miles of that advantage yesterday afternoon, averaging 28 knots to their rivals 20.

In the Imoca, the favourite, St Michel-Virbac, was maintaining its lead, but even more impressive was the incredible SMA, who are still somehow in second just 30 miles behind in an old boat without foils. In the Multi 50 the fight is getting ever fiercer between Arkema and FenêtréA-Mix Buffet, who have opened up a gap of 150 miles on the rest.

In the Class40, the Anglo-Spanish duo of Phil Sharp and Pablo Santurde (Imerys Clean Energy) has been setting a speed that has been punishing his French rivals in newer boats and matching the older boats at the back of the Imoca 60 fleet. Only V and B have matched them and are 30 miles behind, making a spectacular comeback after having to slow and laminate a cracked forward bulkhead yesterday.

Capsize and rescue

Eric Defert, skipper of Drekan Groupe, contacted by phone on the Beautriton cargo ship: "We were sailing downwind under one reef with the little gennaker. We were going to roll up the little gennaker. I was below and Chris (Christopher Pratt) was on deck. I was preparing to go out, to take in another reef. The boat pitchpoled, (plunging forward and flipping over). It was blowing hard, we were under a squall in a pitch-black night, but we were being very cautious. Chris just got inside. I was below, so that's ok, but when you're on deck it's less easy. There was a huge feeling of shock. You blame yourself; there are no words. Our rescuers arrived in the area at half past midnight. They circled around us all night; they did a great job. The rescue was epic because there was a lot of sea and wind. Their boat only had a small 15hp engine. They came to save us, and we found out that one of them was having a birthday. So, maybe his gift was saving two lives."

Full story of the rescue here

Merron Abandons

Mabire and Merron on Campagne de France (Class40) arrived in their home port of Cherbourg at 11:30 UTC and officially declared their abandonment to the race office, following serious damage to their port rudder on Tuesday.

Forced stopover

Enel Green Power, skippered by Italians, Andrea Fantini and Alberto Bona are heading to Lisbon to try and fix their starboard rudder (bracket or bearing). They recovered the rudder, but there is a big hole in the stern at the level of the rudder attachment.

Back to business

The Ultime, Prince de Bretagne, left the island of Santa Maria in the south of the archipelago of the Azores at around noon. After a mast climb, Bernard Stamm and Lionel Lemonchois were able to solve their mainsail halyard problem.

Slamming on the brakes

A mini-Doldrums tomorrow before the real thing looks like causing a headache for the two giant trimarans at the front as they pass the half-way mark and approach the latitude of the Cape Verde islands. As forecast, the stationary depression in the southern part of the Canaries is disrupting the trade winds.

Mind the squalls

For the Multi50, Imoca and Class40 the wet, wild gusts and battering seas are not over yet. "We're all on fire," Alexis Loison, co-skipper of Class40 Carac, said. "At the moment, we are under a spinnaker with 2 reefs in the mainsail and we're doing 18 knots." Erwan Le Roux on his Multi50, FenêtréA - Mix Buffet, said that the atmosphere was like a dizzying black run descent. Tomorrow the conditions should begin to improve. DIY and napping will be on the schedule.

Samantha Davies, co-skipper Iniatives-Cœeur (Imoca):
"My thoughts are with the Multi 50 guys and hats off to all of them because these conditions are really hard and it's hard enough for us (in an Imoca 60 monohull) and we've got a keel underneath our boat that keeps us the right way up. But there's been a couple of times with Tanguy and I when we've put our boat on its side with various manoeuvres or just trying to push it too hard. But our boat comes back upright when tips over on its side, it's not the same for a Multi 50.
"It's loud because we're doing 29 knots. The speed were doing is absolutely ridiculous, so the gaps in terms of time are only a matter of an hour or two. So, it's really still pretty close."

Rankings at 16h06: (top three)

Class40
1 - Imerys Clean Energy
2 - V and B
3 - Aïna Enfance & Avenir

Multi50
1 - Arkema
2 - FenêtréA - Mix Buffet
3 - Réauté Chocolat

Imoca
1 - St Michel - Virbac
2 - SMA
3 - "DES VOILES ET VOUS!"

Ultim
1 - Sodebo Ultim'
2 - Maxi Edmond de Rothschild
3 - Prince de Bretagne

www.transatjacquesvabre.org/en

Land Rover BAR Cap
REPORT OF THE MONTH SPONSORED BY Report of the Month sponsored by Henri Lloyd Nominate this article for report of the month for your chance to WIN a Land Rover BAR Cap for yourself and the author of the report that receives the most votes. Just fill in the form below!
Your name

Your email address

Why do you like this report?



Related Articles

Initiatives Cœur finishes sixth
In Transat Jacques Vabre IMOCA class Tanguy de Lamotte and Samantha Davies, on Initiatives Cœur, have finished sixth in the Imoca class of the 13th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre after crossing the finish line in the Bay of All Saints in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil on Monday at 20:15:39 Posted on 20 Nov
Davies and de Lamotte prepare to finish
Due in Salvador to complete Transat Jacques Vabre Britain's Samantha Davies and France's Tanguy de Lamotte on Initiatives-Cœur are due to finish the 13th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre in Salvador de Bahia in sixth place in the Imoca class at 20:00 UTC. Posted on 20 Nov
IMOCA podium decided
As Class40 trio contract in Transat Jacques Vabre 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 Posted on 19 Nov
St Michel-Virbac breaks record
To win Transat Jacques Vabre IMOCA class Jean-Pierre Dick and Yann Eliès on St Michel-Virbac, have won the Imoca class of the 13th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre after crossing the finish line in the Bay of All Saints in Salvador de Bahia on Saturday, November 18, 2017 at 20:11:46 (UTC). Posted on 19 Nov
Dick coasting to record win
As Anglo-Spanish duo re-take lead in Transat Jacques Vabre Jean-Pierre Dick and Yann Eliès on St Michel – Virbac were a few miles away from a record-breaking victory in the Imoca class of the Transat Jacques Vabre tonight and were expected to cross the finish line in Salvador de Bahia around 19:30 UTC. Posted on 18 Nov
Dick eyes record books
As hungry peloton battles behind podium in Transat Jacques Vabre Jean-Pierre Dick and Yann Eliès on St Michel – Virbac are predicted to complete a commanding victory in the Imoca class of the 13th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre tomorrow (Saturday, November 18) at 21:00 UTC. Posted on 17 Nov
Arkema win Multi50 class
Prince de Bretagne rescued in Transat Jacques Vabre There was joy unconfined in a glorious sunrise in the Bay of All Saints as the Franco-Spanish duo of Lalou Roucayrol and Alex Pella crossed line the on their foiling 50ft trimaran, Arkema to win the Transat Jacques Vabre Multi50 class. Posted on 16 Nov
Arkema smashes record to win TJV
Lalou Roucayrol and Alex Pella win Multi50 class Lalou Roucayrol (France) and Alex Pella (Spain) on their 50ft trimaran, Arkema have won the Multi50 class of the 13th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre after crossing the finish line in the Bay of All Saints in Salvador de Bahia on Thursday 7:49am UTC. Posted on 16 Nov
Transat Jacques Vabre day 11
Prince de Bretagne dismasts Lalou Roucayrol and his Spanish co-skipper Alex Pella, on Arkema are due to arrive in the Savaldor de Bahia at around 07:00 UTC on Thursday morning to win the Multi50 class of the 13th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre. Posted on 15 Nov
Transat Jacques Vabre day 10
Anglo-Spanish duo retake lead as Doldrums fray nerves As with Sodebo Ultim's victory yesterday, the Anglo-Spanish duo of Phil Sharp and Pablo Santurde on Imerys Clean Energy are also showing in the Class40 that you do not need the biggest budget or the latest boat to be the leader. Posted on 14 Nov