Closing in
Franck Cammas threw in the towel yesterday lunchtime after having detected structural problems on Groupama-2, leaving the five remaining trimarans of the IB Group Challenge to continue racing upwind to Nice, the fleet having regrouped as they passed through the strait of Sicily.

Just two miles from the headland of Malta, Franck Cammas heard a loud cracking sound. A large crack appeared on the aft crossbeam. He decided to call it a day and to make way to the port of La Ciotat for repairs. The next event on the programme in June is the first of the season's Grand Prix in Calvi. Meanwhile back on the race course … Pascal Bidégorry took the command after Malta around 11h00 on Saturday as the rest of the fleet tacked in short seas and a 2à-25 knot wind. Gaps are now starting to open up. Banque Populaire shook out her gennaker and head for Sicily as Gitana 11 and Géant were neck and neck followed by Foncia and Gitana X who were still tacking towards the island.

 With only 600 miles to go to the finish, it looked as though the advantage would increase from 100 to 200 miles, and that the podium positions were already clear. But the Mediterranean had another trick up its sleeve. Pascal Bidégorry spent the whole night in windless holes as the chasers had wind speeds of around 10 knots, albeit a light NW, and fairly chaotic seas. As the leader was coming through the strait of Sicily at 4h00, Gitana 11 was only 50 miles astern, sailing upwind 8 miles behind Géant. At sunrise Gitana X, sailed past the port of La Vallette (Malta) au 175 behind the leader. The whole fleet has closed in like a concertina after the major gaps on Firday. No race is over until the finishing line has been crossed. The fleet still has to sail up the coast of Sardinia and Corsica before heading for Nice…

Rankings – Sunday 15th May at 04h00 (French time) :

1- Banque Populaire (Pascal Bidégorry) 450 miles from the finish

2- Géant (Michel Desjoyeaux)  + 496.2 miles

3- Gitana 11 (Frédéric Le Peutrec) + 504.1 miles

4- Foncia (Armel Le Cléac'h) + 580.5 miles

5- Gitana X (Thierry Duprey du Vorsent) + 625.4 miles from the finish

Abandon- Groupama-2 (Franck Cammas)

The content that appears on this website is protected by copyright.
Any reproduction or representation is strictly forbidden.

For further information, please refer to the legal notice section.
Enter at least 4 characters...