Juanpa Cadario: Route du Rhum, segundo puesto para Armel Le Cléac´h en IMOCA 60

Route du Rhum, segundo puesto para Armel Le Cléac´h en IMOCA 60

Foto copyright AFP

Fuente info RDR

A good second for Armel Le Cléac'h

He has been the form sailor of the season Armel Le Cléac'h, winning both AG2R and dominating the Figaro du Solitaire which he won for the second time….conclusively.

That Le Cléac'h finished second overall in the highly competitive, evenly matched IMOCA Open 60 fleet which contested this ninth edition of the Route du Rhum-La Banque Postale today speaks volumes for the clinical execution of Roland Jourdain's second consecutive victory.

Le Cléac'h, known as the Jackal for his predatory powers, hovered, shimmied, pushed but in the end had to follow Jourdain, but the skipper from Gousesnac'h, Finistère who finished second to Michel Desjoyeaux in the 2008-9 Vendée Globe was pleased with his second overall, describing the victory of Jourdain as ‘a perfect race'.

Finishing 7hrs 55m 11s after the winner Roland Jourdain it is significant that he sailed only 22 miles more on the water than the victor, and always managed to keep himself in contention. The frustrating seemingly random pattern of calms, and wind sucking rain showers took their toll on Le Cléac'h in the latter stages of the race, never quite able to get back on equal terms with Jourdain.

While Jourdain and Michel Desjoyeaux are leaving the IMOCA Circuit, meantime, to race on the MOD 70 70 foot one desgn multihulls, Armel Le Cléac'h is presently focused on going one better than in 2008-9 and winning the next Vendée Globe. He said that he has learned more about his boat, what further modifications might be made for 2012.

After having to abandon last year's Transat Jacques Vabre – which he raced with his childhood friend from Morlaix Bay Nico Troussel, who lies second in the Class 40 fleet due to mast track troubles and abandoning in Concarneau, Le Cléac'h said today he felt that he needed a good result to bounce back.

Other than that TJV one year ago Le Cléac'h has maintained an excellent record with the 2007 Finot-Conq design which, pre-start in Saint Malo, he admitted might suffer in some conditions against the new generation VPLP/Verdier designs, but now he adds second in the Route du Rhum-La Banque Postale to second in the Artemis Transat and runner up in the Vendee Globe. Now his imminent schedule is to be home quickly for the birth of his first child.

Le Cléac'h has had to be careful with his electrical supplies through the race, after water damaged his main generator on the first night, finishing with no diesel and very carefully managing his power consumption. Under the circumstances, he said was pleased to finish.

In the race for the third place on the podium it is three of the race's four remaining VPLP/Verdier designs fighting it out: Jean-Pierre Dick (Virbac-Paprec 3) was hanging on to third by just 12 miles from IMOCA World Champion Marc Guillemot (Safran) was quickest this afternoon in forth, with 2004-5 Vendée Globe winner Vincent Riou (PRB) now 35 miles behind Guillemot in fifth.

Details : Armel Le Cléac'h

Crossing the finish line in Guadeloupe today Sunday at 14 h 08m 07 s (CET) (13h08m07s GMT /09h08m07s locql) Armel Le Cléac'h (Brit Air) takes second place in the IMOCA Open 60 monohull class in the Route du Rhum- La Banque Postale 2010 .

The elapsed time on the course is 14d 06m 07s .
His average speed on the water is 11.80 kts on a distance of 3979 miles.
On the theoretical course distance of 3539 miles Armel Le Cleac'h sailed an average speed of 10.50kts.
He finished 7hrs 55m 11s after the winner Roland Jourdain.

News from other classes:

Meantime on the Class 40 race course Le Cléac'h's friend Troussel in the south of the main pack finds himself with race leader Thomas Ruyant (Destination Dunkerque) now moving south west to consolidate and perhaps keep more of a cover on Troussel (Crédit Mutuel Bretagne), whose lead is now back to 38.5 miles as he makes his slant SW.

In the Multi 50's Lionel Lemonchois (Prince de Bretagne) has 160 miles to sail with a lead of 43 miles over second placed Lalou Roucayrol (Région Aquitaine – Port Médoc) and Andrea Mura leads the Rhum class by 151 miles

Armel Le Cléac'h (Brit Air) quotes:

“ The decision to go in the North was not really easy to make. And then there
were many transition zones to manage. At that times you needed to be absolutely full on.
Bilou did very well in those situations, I believe I did it as well but just after him. He really sailed a perfect race.” 

“ I'm happy with this second place. We had a really good season with Brit'Air She was not the newest boat but I knew her very well and I had spent a lot of time with her. We really did great things with this boat. We had a few second places (Vendée Globe, The Transat and now the Route du Rhum but they have all been good. In IMOCA, we will see the level rise again in the next years. Our Transat Jacques Vabre was a bit difficult, that was necessary to bounce back.” 

“We had difficult decisions to make at the very beginning of the race. You
needed to choose that option knowing that it would have consequences for
the 15 next days. When you see Michel and Arnaud both heading South at the time, that 
certainly gives you a few doubts. “

“ I'm really tired because of the numerous manœuvres required and also the speed to maintain, you need to hold on in those conditions you are on your knees to stack you sails. It's a bit of a war. 

“ I'm happy to have finished. In the first night I discovered I had water on the boat and I had lost one alternator. I had to save energy : shut down the computer, switch off the boat lights at night. I ran short of gazoil since yesterday. It meant I had no way to charge the batteries, I could not cant the keel either. So I am really happy to be here.

If I have an entry on the Vendée Globe in 2012, I will use this boat but we will have worked on her to make some improvements. We have a few ideas now on how to save some weight, to modify the aft deck layout. Options you can take to increase the performance. To participate in the Vendée Globe that is important

My best memory is at the start. I was a bit nervous, that's usually the case when you start this kind of race and, as I was sailing by the Pointe du Groin, I realized how many people were standing there and watching us sail away. It was quite emotional and I felt very small.


Lalou Roucayrol (Région Aquitaine – Port Médoc):
“You just need be under the right cloud and make the most of it, more than your rival will do, but in fact that is the Russian Roulette. There is a lot of rain so you can get a shower, the wind is blowing and under the squalls up to 17 knots. I am in a kind of corridor of wind, there is nothing at all in front of me and at the moment I am sailing in between 0.2 and 3 knots of wind. I don't even have the pilot on. I have the helm locked off since 3am. You have made such long, hard efforts through the race and it will all be down to the final hours. We were at the right place but now it is Russian Roulette in these final hours.

Thomas Ruyant (Destination Dunkerque):
“The end of the race is super-tough and the weather does not make anything obvious to deal with. We would have liked to have better conditions for the final stretch. I just had a squall and had up to 30 knots with the wind from the W-SW with short choppy waves and a cross seas, very disorganized And the boat was really slamming a lot. I don't like to hurt the boat but we do have some of this to go through. I am really concentrating on the weather and the conditions for the finish. Here I am going south earlier than I expected to take care of the boat and have it all intact. I am in headwinds and not really on the course to the finish”.

Nicolas Troussel (Crédit Mutuel de Bretagne): “Thomas is nicely placed, now positioning himself to the south. I am getting a bit closer in terms of distance to the finish. He must feel under pressure but if I want to catch up on him I need him to make a mistake. I am going sail well until the end. When I took this (southerly) option it was for a different reason. I am happy to be up where I am. It is not much fun though because we are upwind and the usual conditions are reaching under spinnaker.
To see the others (like Le Cléac'h) finishing now I am certainly envious but we are getting closer.”