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Transat Paprec - Day 10

by Transat Paprec 9 May 19:15 BST 9 May 2023
Swiss sailor Alicia De Pfyffer aboard Race for Science-Verder © Transat Paprec 2023

Morvan and Le Berre lead after southerly move, Group Helios back on course

While Gaston Morvan and Anne-Claire Le Berre lead the pack by a matter of just under eight nautical miles on the ninth day of the Transat Paprec from Concarneau to Saint Barth's, Lucie Quéruel and Arnaud Machado have shown the depth of their drive and determination by yesterday evening returning to the race course after 18 hours ashore on the tiny Canarian island of La Palma repairing sails to keep their challenge alive.

The duo on Groupe Hélios - Du Léman à l'Océan might then have had second thoughts once they were back at sea last night as they were soon hit by gusts of over 35kts, immediately testing their rudimentary sail repairs. They are now more than 350 miles behind new pacemakers Morvan and Le Berre on Région Bretagne-CMB Performance.

The leading six 'mixed-doubles' duos are within 30 nautical miles of each other and gybing west down the rhumb line towards Saint Barth's in the 15-20kts NE'ly trade winds making average speeds of around 10-11kts. Le Berre and Morvan - whose father Gildas won this race in 2012 with a young Charlie Dalin - were the first to gybe south last night to gain more wind pressure and were rewarded with a 10 miles lead this morning. In second now Lois Berrehar and Charlotte Yven (Skipper MACIF) were first at Sunday's La Palma turning waypoint.

All of the lead group were doubtless pleased to see their DTF (distance to finish) drop under the 2000 nautical miles mark today, indeed Morvan and Le Berre are almost at the theoretical half way point of the 3870 nautical miles course, within reach of the course record of 18 days 05 hours and 08 minutes set two years ago by winners Nils Palmieri and Julien Villion. The second half across the Atlantic is downhill in the trade winds and should be faster than the first half.

Back on track today Machado talked through the duo's pitstop in the Canaries. "We really thought we would have to abandon the race, so our emotions have been up and down." Explained Arnaud Machado who paid a tribute to the locals of La Palma who helped and supported them getting back into the race and also to all the fellow teams who wrote to encourage them.

"Now our objective is to try and cut back at least a little of that deficit, that is our new objective."

Their reward for their incredible efforts was a night in 35-40kts winds which had them worried their repairs might now hold, but the repairs proved as resilient as the young skippers.

From Superyachts to the 10m Figaro BENETEAU, a great adventure, racing for science...

In 10th place, some 177 nautical miles behind the leaders, Palma based Swiss sailor Alicia De Pfyffer and French co-skipper Edouard Golbery on Race for Science-Verder have taken a break from their careers in Superyachts to race across the Atlantic together. The 27-year-old De Pfyffer is at home on a Dragon keelboat as racing at the inaugural Ibiza JoySail superyacht regatta on the 120 footer Bliss and has already has 35,000 ocean miles under her belt. She and Golbery are taking on the Transat Paprec as a personal challenge, inspired by the male-female on a small one design concept They only completed their qualifying race in the spring and are definite Figaro rookies compared with the leading peloton who are all full time, or have been, pro Figaro sailors. They are collecting water samples along the course to facilitate research into biodiversity in the different sea areas.

She reported today, "A few days ago, I couldn't stop thinking about how empowering it feels to have Ed's full trust in me handling this boat in these conditions which had been a dream for such a long time. It doesn't come often for women in the yachting industry which I've been a part of for so many years. Conditions are still heavy around here and we've decided to give it our all considering our limitations, and make this Transat a great adventure, all we can say is that we're super happy to be in a Figaro and not in a bucket. I'm looking forward to one of these tropical showers to wash my hair and feel a little less scummy. Ed doesn't seem to mind about his hair so much."

Top five at 1700hrs BST Tuesday 09/05

1 Région Bretagne CMB Performance (Gaston Morvan/Anne Claire le Berre) 1939 miles to finish
2 Skipper MACIF (Loïs Berrehar/Charlotte Yven) +7.7 nms
3 Mutuellle Bleue (Corentin Horeau/Pauline Courtois) +14.9 nms
4 Région Normandie (Guillaume Pirouelle/Sophie Faguet) +18.6 nms
5 Cap Ingélec (Camille Bertel/Pierre Leboucher) +26.1 nms

For more information, visit www.transatpaprec.com.

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