Winding up with a transat
On 6th November, ten trimarans will be setting out from Le Havre on the start of the last race of the season – the two-handed Transat Jacques Vabre. A 5,190 mile race across the Atlantic to Salvador de Bahia via Ascension Island. Gitana X withThierry Duprey du Vorsent and Erwan Le Roux, and Gitana 11 with Frédéric Le Peutrec and Yann Guichard will be rallying the port in Normandy on Wednesday evening.

The two trimarans cast off from their home port of la Trinité sur Mer yesterday afternoon, Tuesday bound for Le Havre. The deadline for arriving in Le Havre is midday Friday 28th October but most of the boats based in southern Brittany have preferred to set out earlier than actually necessary in view of the series of low pressure systems heading for Europe. Strong winds are not forecast (steady by manageable at 15-35 knots) but the sea is likely to be rough. Waves at the entrance to the English Channel are already more than six metres high and in view of the two perturbations brewing up and scheduled to reach the zone on Thursday and Saturday, the phenomenon will be accentuated with a S/SW flow for five days or so. From the archipelago of Madeira over to Ireland, the state of the Atlantic Ocean is highly chaotic. This series of lows suggests that autumn is truly on its way !

To the point that the long-range weather forecasts indicate two new perturbations coming in from the Gulf of Mexico, passing over Newfoundland, and fortunately loosing a little of their energy by next week. As the tropical zone is very hot, this gives rise to very low pressure systems which seek their source in the Caribbean, climb north to round the Bermuda high, before moving up along the east coast of the United States and running into the polar winds of Newfoundland and dart off towards Europe between 40° and 50° north. The series of cyclones over New Orleans and Florida is linked to this phenomenon. For the time being, the Atlantic perturbations have not yet hit France full on as they have been de-routed NE by a large high pressure system over Germany. Never the less, as a result of repeatedly running into highs, it is highly likely that the weather in Normandy next week be much more perturbed than it has been of late. 

Tough going ahead

Meteorological explanations of this sort support the fact that the two-handed Transat Jacques Vabre is likely to be a tough edition this time round. Tough because the Atlantic will be chaotic off Ushant and Cape Finisterre, tough because the Azores High is a long way off being back in place by the middle of next week. All of which means that the depressions will be rather low in latitude, generating westerly winds and that the NE trades will be very low and not that active. The first part of the race is going to be physical, difficult from a tactical point of view and hard on the gear. This could be anyone's race until the Cape Verde islands are behind the fleet anyway. 
This end-of-season race is of capital importance in determining the rankings in the Multihull Championship. It counts triple (with a weighting factor of 3 on the scoreboard). If Frédéric Le Peutrec and Yann Guichard (Gitana 11) are to hold onto their third place, they have to finish ahead of Michel Desjoyeaux (with whom they are currently equal on points). If they are to make it to second place, they have to make sure that there are two boats between them and Franck Cammas if they win the race, a minimum of three trimarans if they make second or more. For Thierry Duprey du Vorsent and Erwan Le Roux (Gitana X), finishing already gets them to sixth place in the Multihull Championship. But, if the weather is a rough as current forecasts indicate, then they are likely to gain one place at least over Armel Le Cléac'h holding just an 11 ½ point lead over them. Both boats will be in Le Havre for ten days or so which gives them the opportunity to take stock of the scale of the climatic challenge and to participate in the activities which are livening up the Norman harbour town throughout the week.

Programme of activities in Le Havre :

Friday 28th October
*12h00 : all boats required to be present in the Paul Vatine Dock in Le Havre
Saturday 29th October
*10h00 : 50-foot monohull prologue off Sainte Adresse
*14h00 : IMOCA 60-foot monohull prologue off Sainte Adresse
*18h00 : inauguration of the official Transat Jacques Vabre village
Sunday 30th  October 
*10h00 : 50-foot multihull prologue off Sainte Adresse
*14h00 : ORMA 60-foot multihull prologue off Sainte Adresse
Wednesday 2nd November
*11h00 : safety briefing session for competitors
Thursday 3rd November
*9h30 : crews meet local schools
*16h00 : competitors regatta on First 7.50 on the Eure Dock
Friday 4th November 
*12h00 : official crew photo shoot
*19h00 : official crew presentation
Saturday 5th November
*15h00 : monohull start off Sainte Adresse
Sunday 6th November
*8h30 : competitors briefing session
*10h00 : multihulls leave the Paul Vatine Dock
*15h00 : multihull start

ORMA trimarans entered in the Transat Jacques Vabre :

Banque Populaire - Pascal Bidégorry & Lionel Lemonchois 
Brossard - Yvan Bourgnon & Charles Caudrelier 
Foncia - Armel Le Cleac'h & Damian Foxall 
Géant - Michel Desjoyeaux & Hugues Destremau 
Gitana X – Thierry Duprey du Vorsent & Erwan Le Roux
Gitana 11 – Frédéric Le Peutrec & Yann Guichard
Groupama-2 - Franck Cammas & Franck Proffit 
Sodebo - Thomas Coville & Jacques Vincent 
TIM Progetto Italia - Giovanni Soldini & Vittorio Malingri 
Orange - Stève Ravussin & Yvan Ravussin

Provisional rankings of the Multihull Championship :

1-Pascal Bidégorry - Banque Populaire (16 points)
2-Franck Cammas - Groupama-2 (21 points)
3 eq-Frédéric Le Peutrec - Gitana 11 (27 ½ points)
3 eq-Michel Desjoyeaux - Géant (27 ½ points)
5-Armel Le Cléac'h – Foncia (36 points)
6-Thierry Duprey du Vorsent - Gitana X (47 ½ points)
7-Giovanni Soldini – TIM Projetto Italia (117 points)
8 eq-Thomas Coville – Sodebo (147 points)
8 eq-Yvan Bourgnon – Brossard (147 points)

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...