Please select your home edition
Edition
Ovington Boats - VX One

Bermudes 1000 Race: One race, two systems

by Bermudes 1000 Race 16 May 02:40 BST
Damien Seguin, skipper de l'IMOCA Groupe APICIL - Bermudes 1000 Race © Jean-Marie LIOT / Groupe APICIL

Those competing in the Bermudes 1000 Race Douarnenez Brest are not all being treated the same this Wednesday. The first boats are still being shown the way by Sébastien Simon (Arkéa Paprec), who is creaming along at an average speed of over 15 knots, propelled by a NW'ly wind of 12 to 14 knots, whilst the latecomers, and particularly those who are yet to round the Azores waypoint, are still battling through very light S'ly airs (between 2 and 5 knots). Currently spread out over 380 miles, the fleet is likely to stretch even further apart as time goes on. But no matter, at every stage of the game the battle is raging among the fleet!

This Wednesday, the vast majority of the fleet has now negotiated the virtual course mark positioned to the North of the Azores and is on a direct route towards Brest on a beam reach. On this long tack, there are no major strategic options to try, so the skippers are having to see where some slight separation gets them. Clearly, it's all about speed right now and, for the time being, Sébastien Simon is coming off best, benefiting from a bit more pressure (a lot more even) than his playmates. This is reflected in the fact that the skipper of Arkéa Paprec is pelting along at nearly 20 knots, whilst the tail end of the peloton is struggling to make headway at 3 knots. "Not much wind and it's raining, but the swell is pushing the boat in roughly the right direction", commented Miranda Merron (Campagne de France), who's trying to cope as best she can with the light, erratic airs, which are extending out for about 120 miles around the Azores waypoint. It's a waypoint that just three competitors are still yet to round midway through the afternoon this Wednesday, namely Ari Huusela (Ariel II), Pip Hare (Superbigou) and Denis Van Weynbergh (Eyesea).

Unfortunately, the latter is unlikely to round the mark for another ten hours or so because, in addition to a becalmed zone sprawled around his path, he's no longer in a position to sail under full mainsail since his head lashing broke yesterday. Damien Seguin suffered the same fate, but he managed to resolve the issue this morning. "I'd never climbed to the top of the mast alone, even in Class 40. First times are important! I had light airs at that point but there was still some swell, which created a lot of motion on the boat. I was really frustrated and I thought it was just too silly not to be able to get going again. I've had a great mano a mano with the other boats since the start of the race", explained the skipper of Groupe APICIL, who has sorted out his issue but is now struggling in the light airs, the front runners having made good their escape. It's the same scenario for Manuel Cousin (Groupe Setin), he too having lost his grip on the little group made up of Clément Giraud (Envol by Fortil), Stéphane Le Diraison (Time for Oceans) and Arnaud Boissières (La Mie Câline), due to a slight issue with the keel. Indeed, a problem with the plate sealing the opening through which the keel passes has been preventing him from canting his keel fully since this morning. "I'm going to finish the race by taking it gently so it should work out. It's just that I can no longer can't my keel, or only really in an emergency", commented Manu Cousin, who is giving his absolute all to complete his race.

The die certainly isn't cast

Fabrice Amedeo is not letting up one iota either. The skipper of Newsrest Art & Fenêtres, who boasts around 50 miles of lateral separation in relation to the rest of the fleet is, for now, compelled to luff up due to his current sail configuration. "Without my code zero, I've had to put in a bit more northing than my rivals. Since daybreak, I've kind of been getting over a rough patch in the light airs but it was forecast. This northerly positioning should later enable me to have a better angle to do some reaching. I'm playing the odds by making do with the cards I've been dealt! I'm going to dig deep today and then it'll be a drag race to Brest. I'm telling myself that I may have a few moves I can play on my rivals in the sense that I have quite a quick boat", stated the sailor, who fully intends to make the most of the increase in wind forecast for the early hours, but meantime he's grinning and bearing it, well aware that there's still everything to play for some 650 miles from the finish. The same is true for Stéphane Le Diraison (Time for Oceans), who has been overtaken by Clément Giraud (Envol bu Fortil) in recent hours, but obviously is yet to have his final say. "My little playmates in front have more breeze and those behind have none at all... However, at times, the light airs have a few surprises in store. Clément, ten miles to leeward of me, just took off, whilst I remained pinned to the racetrack. It's not over yet!" stressed the sailor. A note on the ETAs (estimated time of arrival)? The front runners will likely cross the finish line around midday on Friday and the first two thirds of the fleet should make the Marina du Château before Saturday afternoon. Needless to say that in Brest, all the teams from the Brest Évènements Nautiques are already bubbling over with excitement at the prospect of reserving the warmest possible welcome for the solo sailors. In fact, it's important to note that following the delayed start, the organisation has taken the decision to postpone the prize-giving, initially scheduled for Saturday, until Sunday 19 May at 18:00 hours.

Position Report at 17:00 hours:

1. Sébastien Simon (Arkéa Paprec) 671.5 miles from the finish
2. Boris Herrmann (Malizia II Yacht Club de Monaco) 18.7 miles behind the leader
3. Sam Davies (Initiatives Cur) 29.6 m
4. Yannick Bestaven (Maître Coq IV) 29.6 m
5. Giancarlo Pedote (Prysmian) 45.4 m
6. Maxime Sorel (V and B Sailing Together) 46.2 m
7. Fabrice Amedeo (Newrest Art et Fenêtres) 93.8 m
8. Stéphane Le Diraison (Time for Oceans) 97.5 m
9. Clément Giraud (Envol by Fortil) 98 m
10. Arnaud Boissières (La Mie Câline Artipôle) 108.1 m
11. Damien Seguin (Groupe APICIL) 164.2 m
12. Manuel Cousin (Groupe Setin) 164.2 m
13. Miranda Merron (Campagne de France) 208 m
14. Alexia Barrier (4myplanet) 225.7 m
15. Ari Huusela (Ariel II) 271.2 m
16. Pip Hare (Superbigou) 291.7 m
17. Denis Van Weynbergh (Eyesea) 324.9 m.

Related Articles

What we have learnt from the Bermudes 1000 Race
Won on Friday by Sébastien Simon There is still one competitor still at sea in the second edition of the Bermudes 1000 Race, the Belgian skipper, Denis Van Weynbergh, who is expected to finish on Thursday afternoon in Brest. Posted on 20 May
Alex Thomson Racing to launch new Hugo Boss boat
Confirms October debut in Transat Jacques Vabre Designed by Alex Thomson Racing and French naval architects VPLP, the new HUGO BOSS boat is currently being constructed by world renowned British boat builder Jason Carrington and his team on the south coast of the UK. Posted on 20 May
Ultimes threaten Rolex Fastnet record destruction
It is very likely the outright record will fall in this August's edition In the last windy Rolex Fastnet Race in 2011, the Loick Peyron-skippered Banque Populaire V blasted around the 608 mile course in one day, eight hours and 48 minutes. Posted on 19 May
Bermudes 1000 Race finale draws near
But it's hard to know how long each boat will be slowed for After hurtling along at warp speed for 24 hours, propelled by a steady NW'ly wind, the leading boats in the Bermudes 1000 Race Douarnenez – Brest have, as expected, seen their progress falter as of early this afternoon. Posted on 17 May
Bermudes 1000 Race: Game on again at Azores mark!
Incredible turnaround on the racetrack Sébastien Simon (ARKEA PAPREC), who was leading the fleet with a 40-mile bonus in relation to his closest pursuer at daybreak, has slowed dramatically to the point that he's actually becalmed in the area surrounding the waypoint. Posted on 14 May
Bermudes 1000 Race: Sébastien Simon in the lead
Romain Attanasio's analysis at the Azores waypoint There is still everything to play for with a very tightly packed group just behind him, comprising Yannick Bestaven, Sam Davies, Boris Herrmann, Maxime Sorel and Giancarlo Pedote. Posted on 14 May
Bermudes 1000 Race: Accordion effect
Current leader Sébastien Simon has seen his lead halved in the last 24 hours Though yesterday proved to be a bracing day, with a SE'ly breeze of between 25 and 35 knots on short seas, the pace of the 17 solo sailors in the Bermudes 1000 Race Douarnenez – Brest has slowed considerably since last night. Posted on 13 May
Bermudes 1000 Race: Drag race towards the Azores
Drag race towards the Azores The 17 competitors in the Bermudes 1000 Race Douarnenez-Brest suspected that this 2,000-mile test would be both comprehensive and complicated. And they haven't been disappointed! Posted on 13 May
Bermudes 1000 Race: Sébastien Simon escapes
The leading pack battle it out This Saturday, the competitors in the Bermudes 1000 Race Douarnenez-Brest have each rounded Fastnet, to the South of Ireland, in turn. Sébastien Simon led the way this morning, followed by Sam Davies and nearly all the fleet of 17 IMOCAs Posted on 12 May
Bermudes 1000 Race: First idea of pecking order
Sébastien Simon was the first to round the Fastnet rock Sam Davies, Boris Herrmann, Yannick Bestaven and Maxime Sorel followed him. On Saturday at noon, all 17 solo sailors that set off in this first event of the IMOCA Globe Series were still racing with some significant gaps after less than two days of racing Posted on 11 May