Yesterday, some 194 boats set off on the fourth edition of the ArMen Race. However, given the rather light weather conditions, which were reigning offshore of the Breton coast, solely the fleet’s two Ultimates – Edmond de Rothschild and Oman Sail – had to race the 310-mile course between La Trinité-sur-Mer, the Occidentale de Sein and Ile d’Yeu. The rest of the fleet was taken along a course spanning some 220 nautical miles or so.
Setting sail with the last group, the crews of Sébastien Josse and Sidney Gavignet put on a show-stopping performance from the opening miles, slaloming their way up through the fleet at nearly 20 knots in the Teignouse Channel. From that point, the two Multi70s became embroiled in a hand-to-hand battle, just like old times… The beat and the numerous tacks en route to Ile de Sein turned to Gitana Team’s advantage, whilst the downwind descent towards Ile d’Yeu and its series of gybes on Thursday night, saw the Omani boat gain the upper hand.
On his arrival in the port of La Trinité-sur-Mer, the skipper of Edmond de Rothschild reviewed the past twenty-six hours of racing: “The first section of the race – from the start to the Baie d’Audierne – was run in a medium to steady north-westerly breeze of around twenty knots. It was a very interesting phase, on a beat, skirting the rocks. Our on-board navigator, Jean-François Cuzon, who was sailing with us for the first time, expertly managed the situation. Shortly after passing La Teignouse, we gained a slight edge over Oman. We made the Occidentale de Sein at around midnight local time. Conditions were very decent there, despite a slight swell due to the currents. The downwind descent towards Ile d’Yeu kicked off very well. We extended away from our adversary, but I don’t think we responded as quickly in the ensuing transition phase and that enabled them to catch up and create a bit of separation. The wind was easing and we favoured ‘attack’ mode for a bit too long, focusing on the speed of the boat and less on the ‘slipping along’ mode. That was our mistake. Oman held onto its slight edge till the finish because at the end of the race, in conditions that were becoming increasingly light, there weren’t really any moves we could play.”
“We didn’t win but the race has been a very good way to get back in the saddle and commence our preparation for the Route du Rhum,” Sébastien Josse concluded.
The next meeting for Gitana Team will be the Record SNSM, the start of which will be given in St Nazaire on Sunday 22 June. In the meantime, the skipper of Edmond de Rothschild and his team will continue with fine-tuning the T-foil rudder system aboard their 70-foot trimaran offshore of their base in Lorient, Brittany.
View the photos and videos from this 4th edition at: http://www.armenrace.fr
The crew of Edmond de Rothschild in the ArMen Race
Sébastien Josse (skipper)
David Boileau, Florent Chastel, Jean-François Cuzon, Cyril Dardashti, Olivier Douillard, Antoine Koch