Match-racing airs on the approach to Lisbon
The first offshore leg of the Route des Princes is gradually drawing to a close. Musandam - Oman Sail, which had been leading the fleet since Monday, finally secured the win this Wednesday after 2 days 23 hours 41 minutes and 38 seconds, managing to contain the attacks from its closest rivals. Aboard Edmond de Rothschild, line honours are now obviously out of the reach of Sébastien Josse and his men, but they’re still battling with Virbac Paprec to hold onto their third place and the very precious points that come with it.

The 800 miles of this first leg between Valencia and Lisbon and its long hours of close-hauled sailing will soon be but a memory in the wake of the trimaran Edmond de Rothschild. Whilst the frontrunners cross the finish line one-by-one, Sébastien Josse and his crew are giving their all offshore of the Portuguese coast in a bid to make the capital and engage in a final duel with Jean-Pierre Dick’s men.

At the 1200 GMT ranking, the two one-designs were neck and neck with around 70 miles to the finish. The trimaran fitted out by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild still boasted a slight 1.5-mile lead over Jean-Pierre Dick’s men. However, the die has not yet been cast, as the weather conditions over the finish zone seem to want to keep up the suspense till the last. Indeed the finish promises to be complicated and stressful in the light airs. Given the weather system reigning in the Lisbon region today, Race Management has opted to shorten the course to the entrance of the Tagus River rather than in the famous river itself as initially planned.

The final miles of the race, which are turning into a real match race for Edmond de Rothschild and Virbac Paprec, promise to be thrilling watching, though they will be particularly stressful for Sébastien Josse’s crew, who will have to exploit and get the best of every little wind shift in order to leave their pursuer in their wake. We won’t know the outcome of this duel until late afternoon as the latest ETAs shows Edmond de Rothschild on the finish line at around 1630 to 1700 hours GMT.

Ranking on 12 June 2013 at 1200 noon (GMT)
  1. Musandam – Oman Air (Sidney Gavignet), finished at 11h41m38sec GMT
  2. Spindrift Racing (Yann Guichard) 11.4 miles astern
  3. Edmond de Rothschild (Sébastien Josse) 68.5 miles astern
  4. Virbac Paprec 70 (Jean-Pierre Dick) 70 miles astern
The crew of Edmond de Rothschild on offshore 1

Sébastien Josse / Charles Caudrelier / Thomas Rouxel / Olivier Douillard / Jean-Christophe Mourniac / Florent Chastel




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