The second night of the Transat Jacques Vabre has been a hard one for most of the co-skipper pairs, particularly those which chose the northerly route. In the IMOCA class Edmond de Rothschild and Safran have turned around with damage, Class 40’s British flagged Team Concise which was the most northerly are heading to Cork and in the south the giant tri Prince de Bretagne has capsized 140 miles from La Coruna. Conditions will deteriorate today but the multihulls will see some improvements in the evening.
Conditions last night were not as bad as expected, a fulsome autumn depression with many big squalls, big pyramidal waves from the south in a SW then NW wind. The seas remain rough but are better for those in the east in Biscay and close to the Spanish coast but worse for those IMOCAs in the west.
At the head of the southerly group Alex Thomson and Guillermo Altadill still lead the IMOCA 60s chased by Bastide-Otio, MACSF, AEROCAMPUS and Spirit of Hungary in a SW’ly wind of 20kts which will veer to become more Wly. Those in the west will approach the centre of the low pressure today suffering the worst of the Sly wind today at 30kts which will become NWly 35kts. And so after the worst of the battering they will be able to cautiously slide south and head out of the low.
The Class40s don’t have the same opportunity to be heading out of the low today. They are lead by Nico Troussel and Corentin Horeau on a relatively S’ly route in 20kts of SWly breeze they have this for 36 hours, continued with moderate 4m waves. They have a new front approaching this evening. There is nearly 80 miles of lateral separation between leaders Bretagne Crédit Mutuel Elite in the south and Le Conservateur which is fourth sailed by Yannick Bestaven and Pierre Brasseur. Concise 2,
It must be hard for the Class 40 duos to look at the tracking of the fleet and not feel envious of the Ultimes. They are through the worst of the weather, in a W’ly regime of 15-18kts with Sodebo Ultim, Thomas Coville and Jean Luc Nélias leading Macif by nearly 40 miles. On Prince de Bretagne which was capsized by a gust, Lionel Lemonchois and Roland Jourdain await assistance.
The Multi 50s are in a tight group 200 miles from the NW corner of Spain with Thierry Bouchard and Oliver Krauss leading as the only boat on the southwards tack while their rivals still work west.
Nicolas Troussel, Credit Mutuel Elite skipper (CLASS40): “It is gusty the seas are building. We have 20-30kts and the winds will build in the evening when the depression deteriorates. I think we have three difficult days then it will get better.”
Thomas Ruyant, skipper of Le Souffle de Nord (IMOCA) “We expect to have 24 hours with difficult conditions but everything is fine on board yet. On average we have 30-35 knots with 3-4 meter waves. I can not wait to be in the south. There will be a small bit of work to do with a tack or a jibe. We expect the next files to determine that change of course based on the center of the depression. “
Jean-Baptiste Le Vaillant, co-skipper of Actual (ULTIMATE) “It’s going OK it is gusty and squally with a big sea. After seeing what happened to Lionel (Lemonchois, Prince de Bretagne) we are super careful.