Foto copyright Courcoux-Marmara/Le Figaro.
Thomas Rouxel (Credit Mutuel de Bretagne)
Fuente info Scuttlebutt europe
Fast Downwind Sailing Overnight
It was a fast and demanding night for the 44 skippers racing in the fourth and decisive leg of Solitaire du Figaro 2010 who averaged speeds of more than 11 knots in high winds of 20/25 knots, gusting at more than 30. Gildas Morvan first at the Fastnet but the overall leader Armel "the Jackal" Le Cleac's is back in control. Fatigue has set in yet nobody can let their guard down for the final miles on the approach to Cherbourg. Excellent performance form Portuguese skipper Francisco Lobato and Italian Pietro D'Alì still in the leading group. The game remains wide open for the top ten spots.
It was 01h01'33'' exactly when Gildas Morvan (Cercle Vert) rounded the Fastnet lighthouse in the lead to hoist the spinnaker and start the route down to Lizen Ven and Cherbourg, followed by Corentin Douguet (E.Leclerc Mobile) and Kito de Pavant (Groupe Bel).
Despite not being localised in the latest position report at 16:00, Armel Le Cleac'h is assumed to still in the leading four, showing an exceptional control of the race. According to the latest position report the fleet is led by Corentin Douguet (E.Leclerc Mobile) at 231 miles from the finish while Eric Peron (Skipper Macif 2009) and Francois Gabart (Skipper Macif 2010), 2nd in the overall ranking and 2nd at 16 hours respectively) are hot on his heels: just 0.2 miles, that is to say... 370 metres! And where is the provisional bronze medal Thomas Rouxel (Credit Mutuel de Bretagne)? Only 2.5 miles behind...
As forecast, the wind eased to a more manageable 15 knots over the course of the afternoon. The fleet is now looking for the right place to gibe, that will probably be between 8 p.m. and midnight, to set the course to Lizen Ven mark, just off the ile Vierge, in order to reach the next mark where they are expected between midnight and 08:00. From this point it twill be clearer who made the best option for the final 140 miles to Cherbourg -Octeville, where the Race Management staff arrived today and promptly had to get their umbrellas out, preparing to welcome the leaders, expected to finish Wednesday late afternoon.
Both the young Portuguese skipper, Francisco Lobato (ROFF/TEMPO-TEAM) and the Italian, Pietro D'Alì (I.NOVA.3) showed excellent speed and strategy and were reported to be 5th and 7th respectively, whilst Jonny Malbon (Artemis) was 33rd and Isabelle Joschke (Synergie) in 37th.
Meanwhile, unfortunate Bernard Stamm (Cheminees Poujoulat) informed Race Management that, after having made the necessary repairs to sail safely, he left Kinsale shortly after midnight accompanied by his shore team to deliver the boat to Cherbourg. Matthieu Girolet (Entreprendre) opted to have his boat repaired in Ireland.
Top ten, leg four, at 14:45:00 French time Tuesday 17 August:
1. Corentin Douguet, E. Leclerc Mobile
2. Eric Peron, Skipper MACIF 2009
3. Francois Gabart, Skipper MACIF 2010
4. Thomas Rouxel, Credit Mutuel De Bretagne
5. Francisco Lobato, ROFF/Temp-Team
6. Gildas Morvan, Cercle Vert
7. Pietro D'Ali, I.Nova.3
8. Fabien Delahaye, Port de Caen Ouistreham
9. Jeremie Beyou, BPI
10. Kito De Pavan, Groupe Bel
Etiquetas: Regatas internacionales