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Here come the roaring 40's!
A long, and busy night in Pointe-à-Pitre saw more and more finishers completing the Route du Rhum La Banque Postale, and it is only set to get more hectic when the Class 40 fleet start arriving late Wednesday or Thursday depending on how cruel or kind the winds on the approach to Guadeloupe turn out to be. Notable finishes last night included Michel Desjoyeaux (Foncia) and Arnaud Boissières (Akena Vérandas), the two IMOCA Open 60 skippers who chose the southerly routing option. Desjoyueax arrived in sixth position, just under one day behind fellow Vendée Globe winner Vincent Riou (PRB). He joked about going south for the sun early but admitted that there was very little to choose between the two options before making his choice “ I did what I wanted. From time to time you try things when you don’t know if they will be good or not so good. I expected to have 50 miles of deficit in the south of the Azores amticyclone and it was 150. There the mass was said.” Desjoyeaux said. “I have had time to digest this. Now we move on. Life goes on.”The only IMOCA skipper left at sea, Christoper Pratt on DCNS 1000 – who has been battling with no electrics since last Thursday morning, was due to finish this evening (CET/Paris). Having sailed a very competitive and creditable first half of the race, the young skipper from Marseille, was enjoying a boat-for-boat sprint to the line against Servan Escoffier (Saint Malo 2015), due to finish seventh of seven in the Ultime multihull fleet.
But it is the Class 40 race which has race watchers twitching with anticipation as Thomas Ruyant closes to within 380 miles of the finish on Destination Dunkerque, with a lead now of only 59.8 miles ahead of Nico Troussel (Crédit Mutuel de Bretagne) who has closed back around 20 miles on the leader over the last two days, but the leading trio – Germany’s Jorg Riecher on Mare.de, are now filing in a line towards the NW corner of the island, all knowing what the possibility of an overnight shut down of the breeze might do.
Britain’s Pete Goss holds 13th position, approaching Guadeloupe from his more southerly routing reported light winds today, and looks set to suffer slightly less wind on his course in to the island, but the Cornish skipper admitted he is delighted with his race so far:
“ In my particular circumstances I was parachuted into the race out of the blue, and jumped on the boat and went. At the start of the race in Saint Malo I had done four days of single-handed sailing in 14 years. I had not really sailed the boat much. The boat is immaculate, I am not criticising the boat, and Tom Gall the boat captain, Tony Lawson and Team Concise have been great, but it is about building a relationship, and as I said then, (at the start) I now feel ready to start the Route du Rhum. If you look beyond this race, then this is effectively a training race. I was a bit rusty at the beginning, but I have a bit of experience and so I did not break anything. I am loving it.”
And Marco Nannini, the London based banker racing UniCredit, who has built a following of thousands for his unmissable blog (marconannini.com), said on today’s radio vacation:
“This for me is about me being an office worker
who one week before the race I was sitting behind a desk in the office. I am
not a French pro and I did not come here expecting to perform as a French pro.
I held my own, especially in the first part of the race and I was very proud of
what I was achieving, then of course
experience comes in and I made a bad mistake, but here I am, still racing
absolutely enjoying every minute of it, in this adventure. I have seen things I
have never seen before. I was caught in an electric storm last night, which
scared the hell out of me. It is for me a great adventure, and so the blogs,
sharing it with others, makes it so much more enjoyable. I receive many, many
messages on the boat, reading my blogs – and I am talking thousands and
thousands –every time, it is fantastic.” MORE CLASS 40 QUOTES UNDER CLASS 40 NEWS>>>>>>