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Half the IMOCA fleet in New York, Le Turquais is top daggerboard finisher

by The Transat CIC 8 May 20:02 BST 8 May 2024
The Transat CIC © DR

The top 13 finishers - that is to say half the IMOCA class on the Transat CIC solo race across the North Atlantic - are now either in New York or en route from the finish line which is 110 miles offshore.

And in an intense head to head at the top of the Class40 fleet Italy's Ambrogio Beccaria leads his friend and respected rival Ian Lipinski by about six miles today. With flatter seas and steadier breeze for the moment, Beccaria was making seven knots this afternoon with less than 350 miles to go.

Switzerland's Alan Roura (HUBLOT) made 13th, the mid fleet position of the 26 boats still registered as racing. Clarisse Crémer is still in the Azores believed to be making repairs to L'Occitaine en Provence whilst in 25th Swiss German Ollie Heer (Oliver Heer Ocean Racing) has been slowed all day having lost his pilot again. He has been working on it and sailing slowly west under J1 and is still as determined as ever to get to New York. He dream of being there on his birthday on Friday is looking very remote.

Alan Roura was pleased but smarting slightly to have lost out in the final miles to the ever tenacious Isabelle Joschke (MACSF), the Franco-German skipper who was just 15 minutes ahead at the line for 12th.

Tanguy Le Turquais on Lazare finished best daggerboard boat in 11th place, some 47 minutes ahead of Joschke. His Finot Conq design was previously the very well sorted Groupe Apicil which Damien Seguin sailed to seventh on the Vendée Globle (actually sixth across the line before compensation to Jean Le Cam).

Le Turquais was more than 200 miles ahead of the next placed non foiling IMOCA, Guirec Soudée's Fighting hard behind Soudée and young French rising star Violet Dorange is the Brit James Harayda who is overcoming the many small problems which are the inevitable product of a shoestring project needing cash. Like on his last solo major event - the 2022 Route du Rhum - he sailing an excellent race.

With less than 220 miles to go he is going to push hard to steal 18th place off Dorange which will require a gain of 32 miles and that would put him third on an informal non daggerboard podium.

Le Turquais said after finishing, "It was truly an exceptional race that I had dreamed of doing for years, and here it is done. The conditions were extremely favorable to me, which allowed me to run a fairly fast race. I treated it as a sprint and kept a fairly high pace until the finish. I slept very little these last two nights when there was a great match with Isabelle Joschke (MACSF) and Alan Roura (HUBLOT). In terms of intensity, it looked like a stage of Solitaire du Figaro."

After 48 hours in slow, tough, light conditions - so light at times the leader was pointing back to France momentarily, the Italy v France duel continues between former co-skippers who won the 2022 Normandy Channel Race together. Ambrogio Beccaria on Alla Grande Pirelli again has the upper hand over Ian Lipinski (Crédit Mutuel) with a lead of six miles with 340 to sail.

Beccaria pays a rich tribute to his friend and rival, "Today I am feeling exhausted, totally exhausted but now without the sea state and now with steady winds it is wonderful, it is sunny warm and dry and so I have not slept enough and I did not have the time to do anything else but the work on the speed of the boat and try to not lose miles to Ian and find a good strategy. So today is a bit like my Sunday....I did my option and it worked and so I am happy about that. It has been hard to find routes as I don't have the masthead zero and so in the light winds I have to work to different angles. And so yes, I am sailing with my FRO in light winds and not doing so bad. And it is wonderful to be here with Ian as her is someone I really, really appreciate, to have this battle with him is special, there is no better mate to have this fight with, I can't wait to see how it ends in hopefully less than two days. When the high pressure moves there is another front coming with more wind and more waves."

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