At the stage start in Trapani, 3 very different bodies of water awaited the 16 vessels entered in the Cap Istanbul: first, there was the south of Sicily, then the Peleponese, followed finally by the Aegean Sea. The weather conditions announced at the start forecast low and unstable winds, a perfect cocktail for a war of nerves that would last a little over 7 days. The pace in the first three days was slow, in the region of 5 knots on average. After this period, Domaine du Mont d'Arbois tried to descend a little to the south of her original route, with the result that she actually came to a standstill for nigh on three hours. The upshot of this was a drop of 5 positions, followed by an unrelenting climb back up towards the leaders to a third place that the boat and her two crew members would retain for over 24 hours. But then, the sailing conditions worsened significantly with, in particular, squalls where the wind reached more than 45 knots. Almost the entire fleet negotiated this weather system flawlessly, but the two Turkish sailors opted to abandon the race, exhausted after passing through this front. The last two days allowed the competitors to sail between the Greek Cyclades Isles, where there was no race marker to be passed. The result was pure and undiluted racing… and in the end it was Koné Elevator that came out on top, strengthening her leading position in the general ranking after her victory on the first stage.
Domaine du Mont d'Arbois crossed the finish line on Wednesday 6 June at 23h53'05'' (local time in Turkey) after 6 days 7 hours 45 minutes and 5 seconds of racing.
With two stages gone, the Gitana Team boat lies fourth in the overall ranking (provisional position). What's more, the leaders are well aware that it's far from done and dusted yet...
A fast-track apprenticeship in the complex waters of the Mediterranean…
On his arrival in Foça, Thierry Duprey du Vorsent offered us his first thoughts on the race: "This second stage confirmed to me that the Mediterranean can be pretty vicious! Sailing in the Atlantic or the Channel is another kettle of fish entirely, as things don't happen so suddenly. In the Med, there are great lashings of wind, and then long periods that wouldn't make a candle flicker. It is these kinds of conditions that make for an interesting and highly tactical sea, and I'm starting to understand the attraction of the Figaro Bénéteau 2 more and more. There's the sailing in a fleet, the close-contact racing, the boat's different settings, trying to gain every half a mile over a rival… that's the most interesting thing about the monotype, the fact that everyone's on a level playing field… As a result, I've learned no end of things alongside Kito, but there are still a certain number of other points I need to sharpen up on before this summer's Solitaire.”
Thierry Duprey du Vorsent and Kito de Pavant should be able to get at least two full days' rest before the start of the third and final stage of the Cap Istanbul, a 110-mile northbound course that will take them to Bozcaada, an island at the entry to the Dardanelle Straits.
The start should take place on Sunday 10 June at 15:00 hours. However, if the weather conditions indicate very low winds, the start may be brought forward 24 hours.