Please select your home edition
The Cruising Village 2021 - LEADERBOARD

Second place for Justine Mettraux and Simon Fisher in 48h Défi Azimut battle

by 11th Hour Racing Team 18 Sep 19:27 BST 15-19 September 2021
Défi Azimut © Ben Bireau

Justine Mettraux and Simon Fisher bag a stellar second place at Le Defi Azimut 48 hour challenge! The team sailing on 'Alaka'i' arrived this morning at 8:56 am local time in Lorient, sailing the 550-nautical mile course in less than 42 hours.

The September sun almost broke through the overcast sky when 'Alaka'i' arrived at the dock this morning in Lorient. Onboard the IMOCA 60 yacht, an exhausted yet euphoric crew - Simon Fisher and Justine Mettraux. Over the past two days, our co-skippers dealt with the entire bandwidth of weather conditions Brittany has to offer this time of the year: From heavy rain to blasting sun, from smooth waters to a hectic sea state. From cruising in a mere two knots of wind (3,7 kmph / 2,3 mph) to seeing gusts up to 40 knots (74 kmph / 46 mph) - these two past days were densely packed with a bit of everything.

Simon 'Sifi' Fisher summarized: "I am super satisfied with the result. It was a really tough race. I'm proud of the fact that we managed to keep things together and fight until very the end. We're still learning as a team and this experience was important for us, requiring quick turnarounds and smart decision-making when it came to maneuvers. Obviously there is always room for improvement, but I think we did a good job building and maintaining speed and adapting to this large variety of conditions. We are glad to be back on dry land, these past hours left us pretty knackered!"

After snagging fishing gear drifting offshore, the crew had to momentarily pause the race in the first night to assess potential damage and clear the foils and rudders. At this moment, Alaka'i sat in fifth position amongst the fleet led by Apivia (Charlie Dalin / Paul Meilhat), the overall dominating French team and event winner.

Justine described one of the key moments when catching up to the rest of the fleet leaders: "Between mark one and two, we had some difficult decisions to make. Usually, the course requires a sequence of maneuvers, but we agreed to stick with a pretty straight course instead. This way we kept up solid speed and managed to pass fellow competitor Arkéa Paprec (Sébastien Simon / Yann Eliès) to move into fourth position after being in fifth place early on. We had some great reaching conditions and managed to become very fast."

Continuing the course back to Lorient, Sifi and Justine managed to overtake team LinkedOut and Bureau Vallée in the early morning hours of today after taking a more southerly position after rounding the final mark of the course. Building out their lead, 'Alaka'i' ended up crossing the finish line at 8:56 am, two hours behind event winner Apivia (arrival: 6:56 am) and nearly 20 minutes ahead of third place finisher LinkedOut (Thomas Ruyant / Morgan Lagravière) who arrived at 9:13 am local time, closely followed by Bureau Vallée (arrival 9:16 am).

"It feels great to be part of 11th Hour Racing Team and get the chance to sail this boat with Sifi", said Justine. "Our team dynamics are amazing, and we are fortunate to have a fantastic crew behind us. It's great to train with guys like Charlie Enright and Pascal Bidégorry, working towards our common vision of The Ocean Race 2022-23. And also amazing to work with such a strong shore team that supports and pushes us. We are starting to feel really comfortable looking at our big challenge of this season as a double-handed team - The TJV."

11th Hour Racing Team had initially started the 48-hour challenge with two boats. In addition to 'Alaka'i',' the Team's new IMOCA yacht 'Malama' also started the race but returned to Lorient following damage to the tiller arm on the first night of racing. With the upcoming inhospitable weather, it would been a considerable risk to continue to course, which led co-skippers Charlie Enright and Pascal Bidégorry to make the tough decision to retire from the race. Malama put on a strong opener to the overall event, finishing first on the Speed Runs on September 15.

Tomorrow, September 18, Le Défi Azimut will wrap up with one final event - Tour of l'Ile de Groix, off the picturesque Island just outside of Lorient. While repair work to 'Malama' are under way, both boats are currently scheduled to take part in the crewed race.

The full list of results and live updates can be found on the Défi Azimut - Lorient Agglomeration's website.

Related Articles

11th Hour Racing Team at Le Défi Azimut
The team experiences highs and lows at the event Victory in the Speed Runs and the runner's-up spot in the double-handed 48-Hour Race were the highlights for the US-based 11th Hour Racing Team, as it competed with two boats in the Défi Azimut regatta in Lorient on the French Brittany coast. Posted on 20 Sep
11th Hour Racing Team to compete at Le Défi Azimut
11th Hour Racing Team is competing with two crews The international elite of offshore yachting is gathering in Lorient on the Atlantic coast of France to battle for glory at Le Défi Azimut, a unique showcase regatta over four consecutive days. Posted on 15 Sep
11th Hour Racing Team names boats
Malama and Alaka'i: A tribute to ocean health Today, 11th Hour Racing Team officially named their two 60-foot round the world offshore race boats in Concarneau, France. Drawing on the Hawaiian heritage of team CEO, Mark Towill, the brand new IMOCA 60, previously nicknamed '11.2' was named Malama Posted on 14 Sep
Future-proofing an IMOCA 60
The challenges and innovations in boat building Building a race boat is traditionally far from sustainable due to its intense material and energy usage. What innovations can be made to the processes and practices within the marine industry to make a shift away from 'business as usual'? Posted on 13 Sep
Art goes offshore
On 11th Hour Racing Team's new IMOCA 60 '11.2' 11th Hour Racing Team partnered with Van Orton Design and Jean-Baptiste Epron to turn their brand-new race boat into an artistic canvas for ocean health. Posted on 6 Sep
The design of IMOCA 60 11.2
11th Hour Racing Team's boat is progressive, visionary, and radically different Progressive, visionary, and radically different from all race boats previously built in the Class, the IMOCA 60 was designed in collaboration with Guillaume Verdier's studio with two major goals in mind. Posted on 21 Aug
11th Hour Racing Team finish Rolex Fastnet Race
Justine Mettraux & Simon Fisher third in the IMOCA division Three intense days after setting off on their first double-handed race, 11th Hour Racing Team's Simon 'Sifi' Fisher (GBR) and Justine Mettraux (SUI) have crossed the finish line of the Rolex Fastnet Race taking third place in the IMOCA 60 class. Posted on 11 Aug
Sporting performance meets sustainable innovation
The new 11th Hour Racing Team IMOCA 60 blends both After 24 months of research, development, and construction, 11th Hour Racing Team has unveiled its new IMOCA 60, the first of a new era of boats designed to compete in fully crewed, short-handed and solo offshore sailboat races. Posted on 10 Aug
Mettraux & Fisher set for Rolex Fastnet Race
Co-skippers of the 11th Hour Racing Team's IMOCA 60 11th Hour Racing Team will be lining up this Sunday to take on the world's biggest offshore yacht race: the Rolex Fastnet Race. Justine Mettraux and Simon 'SiFi' Fisher will co-skipper the team's IMOCA 60 for the 695 nautical mile course. Posted on 7 Aug
11th Hour Racing Team battles light winds in Leg 3
Currently tied for first place with nine points 11th Hour Racing Team set off on the final leg of the inaugural Ocean Race Europe, from Alicante, Spain, to Genoa, Italy. Currently tied for first place with nine points, the result on Leg 3 will be decisive for the Team's chances for overall success. Posted on 13 Jun