The Class40s of the Transat Jacques Vabre Day 12

Class40 in the Transat Jacques Vabre Day 12 – Compression in Cape Verde

by Denis van den Brink Nov 18, 7:23 AM PST
November 18, 2021

Since last night, the six “historic” leaders of the Transat Jacques Vabre made in Class40 have come up against the vast area of ​​weak winds distributed around the archipelago of Cape Verde, and on the island of Sal, which the competitors of the 12.19 m long class must set off to starboard before starting to cross the Atlantic towards Martinique.

The result is a spectacular change in the standings, with a change of leader in favor of the Belgian-French duo Gerkens-Hantzperg of the Max 40 Volvo. The six protagonists who have paved the way in Cape Verde so far, with whom Crédit Mutuel (Lipinski – Pulvé) and the astonishing British duo of Tquila, Brian Thompson and Alister Richardson, have been linked since dawn, benefit always with a slight gap to the south, which will favor their approach to the archipelago. However, it is now the group elegantly named “2nd Division” by Cédric Chateau (Seafrigo – Sogestran) that must be sought to find real changes in the classification, because the positions are calculated in relation to the direct route, which starts due west. . This morning, 4th place is proudly held by Axel Tréhin and Frédéric Denis (Ocean Rescue Project) and 5th place by the wonderful daughters of La Boulangère Bio, Amélie Grassi and Marie Riou. This upheaval in the classification should not erase the reality of the placements on the water, with a clear advantage for the boats furthest to the south. On the other hand, the compression of the head of the fleet is very real, and 17 boats, including Legallais de Pierre-Cazenave-Péré and Kevin Bloch, are less than 100 miles from each other.


While the battle becomes more and more indecisive on this 11th day of racing, while the halfway mark has just been crossed, the Class40 fleet mourns its first retirement, that of HBF-Reforest’Action by Kito De Pavant and Gwen Gbick. Their bowsprit did not resist the long wake session downwind in the strongest part of the trade winds. The two men are now heading north towards Gibraltar and the Mediterranean. We also note the stopover this morning in La Palma in the Canaries of Sabrosa40 Lenzi – Lanternes de Paris to the duo Tanguy Duchatelet – Fabrice Renouard. A temporary technical stop.

Which route to the trade winds?
The problem of the day, and of size, is how to negotiate this compulsory passage to Cape Verde. You have two options: a crossing as close as possible to the island of Sal for the most direct route possible. Or look for an exit to the South, in a vast reversal movement to avoid site effects, by staying away from the calm which extends beyond the archipelago and by letting yourself be drawn into a north-facing trade wind. Is that we can imagine being reconstituted at the latitude of Guinea-Bissau.


Another topic of current events of the Class40, the possible rationing of food and diesel. Many crews are worried this morning about the relative slowness of the race since the start of Le Havre. Several optimists had predicted a 19-day Transat. At the start of the 12th day of racing, and while the real crossing of the Atlantic has not yet started, with the prospect of a more lazy trade wind than ever, it is the question of refueling that arises. here and there. Food, but also the diesel needed when the hydrogenerator and solar panels are insufficient to recharge the batteries on board, could run out. From then on, the first food restrictions and rationing were revealed by some crews:

Creation of the Lamotte module: Luke Berry declared: “As for the rations: like all competitors, we are starting to think that we will be limited in food. So on my side, I took the lead by skipping meals to prepare for days 21-21. -23? (We only have 20 days of food). Achilles for his part has a different approach. He eats everything now and will see at the end. He wants to be dry and salient for his beach body ready on arrival (lol)! ”

Edenred: Emmanuel Le Roch said: “This deckchair has a particular slow flavor! Each passing day takes us further away from the finish line. The countdown is no longer done … we add days … already from Portugal after having made the water, gas and oil counts, we tighten our belts. But there, it is a dietetic cure! ”

Redman: Antoine Carpentier said: “We started rationing, we only ate two meals today, it’s calm, we are really hungry! Right now we’re kidding, but in ten days I’m not sure that’s the case … we’ve only planned 19 days of food and for those who know me, they know it’s a big one. problem and the worst part is that Pablo shares with me the passion to eat well. The water problem is not a problem, we had planned two days more than the food, who knows why? The last problem is the energy on board! Even though we have solar panels, we have to do one or two motor loads per day! We started to cut as much as possible on board devices so as not to consume too much, I even cut the power station which allows us to have the wind information, the driver of the car, the on-board computer for two hours. this afternoon … we’re pointing a lot. ”

Show of the day

Gain of five places this morning for Freedom. Thibaud Lefevere and Thomas Bulck are in 32nd position after having covered 300 miles over the past 24 hours, averaging over 12 knots. A performance comparable to that of the sisters Julia and Jeanne Courtois (Saint James – Biscuiterie de l’Abbaye) who jumped three places in the general classification. We also note Serenis Consulting (Galfione – Péron) in 23rd place.

Quotes of the day

Everial: Stan Thuret
“50 miles from the Sahara. Right in front of Dhakla. And there comes out of nowhere a boat. Rather, a boat. A very frail canoe of 7m perhaps. With an engine. 3 African fishermen on board. They come as close as possible to my wind. The 147 is surfing at 15 knots in 3m waves. The two boats approach respectfully. I wake up Mathieu from his nap. We’re on the Cotten Oilskin Bridge. And they also have the same oilskins. The 3 shaken fishermen then raise their arms in a sign of greeting and encouragement. We give them back that momentum all the more. We have a smile on our face and so do they.

Avanade: Maxime Cauwe
“Things are going well aboard Avanade and even more so since Jules managed to restart the emergency autopilot. We can finally spend more time on the settings, go on more structured watches where we do navigation, adjustment etc … rather than being riveted to your helmsman’s seat Another complicated day of knitting in light airs before putting the turn signal on the right and off you go for the long trip in Martinique! ”

Exploring technology for good – Enguerrand Granoux
“We decided to fight. We therefore alternated 1 hour at the bar, 1 hour sleeping or at least trying, always dressed if ever we had to go quickly and help the one outside! The night was sporty! 20/25 knots at 130 wind, the boat set off with impressive acceleration, all with the full moon! Incredible show! The game consisted of comparing the speed of the boat on the pos report every hour (position and speed of the fleet every hour)! Victor mastered his subject perfectly with a good average speed of 13.5 knots over an hour in the middle of the night! Not easy but we managed to hold out until sunrise! At this moment the wind continues to rise, we say to ourselves that it is time to go under the small Spinnakers. We barely have time to finish our maneuver and take shelter when the wind drops, neither one nor two, we still change sail for a bigger spinnaker! We finally breathe and we take off our oilskins to breathe a little! Fault ! We see the display go from 15 knots to 25/30 knots in 2 minutes! When it’s going to pass, we take the helm and take advantage, the boat overspeed on each wave it’s super impressive, a first point at 20 knots a second in 21.8 knots, a new record validated by Enguerrand! We wonder if the boat will hold up, if the bowsprit will not explode! But everything is holding up well, we really have confidence in the boat! ”

Milaï: Anna Beaugé
“Strange weather on the sea planet!” As the tropical depression approaches, the observed wind has nothing to do with either forecast, so we are moving at a turtle pace, each length covered being a good gain to be made. The fleet is we settled down a bit, there is the accordion effect of the different weather systems, we saw the leading peloton stop for an hour or two, and we always look in the mirror, those who shoot behind . have reappeared: they are small, almost all gray and some spotted. The weather is very mild, gray, quite humid, during the day; the light is very whitish, the sky is complex, a few scattered rains … ”

Seafrico РSogestran: Ch̢teau C̩dric
“After 24 hours of magic, full steam ahead towards the island of Sal with averages above the average of our comrades, Seafrigo-Sogestran is back in the” league 2 “fray. The atmosphere on board was up to date. concentration today to avoid leaving. course, which could lead to damage. We really pulled on the boat and it held up well to the infernal rhythm that we imposed on it. It is therefore a little burnt that we join our comrades of the 2nd group (the group of leaders being a little detached) We will have to remain lucid because the rest of the scenario will play with our nerves on very open water tactically.The result of the races in 24/36 hours.

Calliste Antoine: Croatia full of life
“Lighter day for the wind and the speed, we slept a lot. Inceeritud of the night, without motor for energy and with a speed too low for the generator it will be complicated (7.5 knots of speed to have juice . We took stock of food today, it’s limited for the routing to 23 days of racing, otherwise we caught up with the fleet in front but the fleet behind us also came back, it smacks of the second start in Cape Verde.

Olivier Magr̩: E.Leclerc РVille-La-Grand
“48 hours very active with this good wind, so we made the most of it! (409nm over 24 hours! That’s a lot of miles! Now we’re back to an old enemy, calm! It’s getting pretty calm, especially during the night tomorrow until Friday morning. I still dare to hope that the files will improve but there is often little room for that unfortunately. ”

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