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The Sunday of the Jackal
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.
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.