“The weather conditions were very varied from the start in Dùn Laoghaire, with the hierarchy being turned on its head on a number of occasions. We started out with a headwind in Saint Georges Channel and in the Celtic Sea as far as the Fastnet, then we caught up with the front and entered a ridge of high pressure. At the end, we had to traverse a windless zone offshore of Portugal and concluded with a steady breeze as far as the entrance to the Tagus. As such we were served up pretty much the whole range of weather conditions and ultimately the result was only decided on the home straight: you constantly had to be in contact with the others and that requires a great deal of concentration and effort. We wisely shifted our position on Tuesday afternoon, so as to complete our weaving trajectory in the zone of high pressure. It proved to be a pretty good option, but the zone of transition with the calms offshore of Porto completely reshuffled the cards. The weather models weren’t in agreement and we were unlucky as far as that was concerned. You try to hang onto the data you have, but it doesn’t always pan out quite like that on the water. Indeed, once we were caught up in the calms, we saw Spindrift Racing hit a little more pressure further to the East, but it was too late for us to catch up with them again… There’s always an element of risk in an option! Over the last two miles, we could’ve pulled something out of the bag, but we lacked clear-headedness.”
Originally set to encompass a 1,215-mile playing field, the second leg concluded after just 915 miles. In fact, the weather conditions reigning offshore of the Portuguese coast led Race Management to reduce the course to the first passage mark off the entrance to the Tagus River. It was a decision welcomed by the sailors, who were happy to finish after over two days of testing sailing.
The five crews competing in the European Tour now have two days to recharge their batteries. A well-deserved rest is on the menu then after the first two legs, which have really put them under pressure, both physically and mentally. Edmond de Rothschild Group and its adversaries will get back down to business again for the first of the Cascais City Races, which will be contended over three days here rather than the usual two.
Leg 2 - Finish times Cascais on Wednesday 12 September
- 1. Spindrift Racing, finished on 12 September at 05h37’36’’ UTC
- Foncia, finished on 12 September at 06h26’49’’ UTC
- Musandam – Oman Sail, finished on 12 September at 06h33’22 UTC
- 4. Edmond de Rothschild Group, finished on 12 September at 06h37’36’’ UTC
- Race for Water, finished on 12 September at 06h53’30’’ UTC
Standing in the European Tour (after leg 2 from Dublin - Cascais)
- Spindrift Racing – 11 + 46 + 1*+ 12 + 2* + 50 = 122 points
- Foncia – 12 + 50 + 3 *+ 10 + 46 = 121 points
- 3. Edmond de Rothschild Group – 10 + 42 + 2*+ 11 + 3*+ 38 = 106 points
- Musandam – Oman Sail – 9 + 34 + 8 + 42 = 93 points
- Race for Water – 8 + 38 + 9 + 1*+ 34 = 90 points
* corresponds with the points’ bonus awarded to the top three boats at the end of the coastal section which kicks off each offshore leg.
The crew of the MOD Edmond de Rothschild Group
Offshore : Sébastien Josse (Skipper), Olivier Douillard, Florent Chastel, Christophe Espagnon, Antoine Koch, Thomas Rouxel
The European Tour in five legs
The second event in the Multi One Championship, after the Krys Ocean Race (a transatlantic race between New York and Brest contested in early July), the European Tour comprises five legs: the five competing crews set off from Kiel bound for Dun Laoghaire (Dublin) on 2 September, prior to setting sail for Cascais (Portugal) and Marseille (France), not to mention Genoa (Italy), where the finish will be decided on 2 October 2012 and with it the name of the winner of this first edition. In total there are over 5,000 nautical miles to cover in five weeks!
Kiel City Races: from 31 August to 1 September
Leg 1 – 1,238 miles: Kiel – Dun Laoghaire (Dublin), start Sunday 2 September
Dun Laoghaire (Ireland)
Dublin City Races: from 7 to 8 September
Leg 2 – 975 miles: Dun Laoghaire (Dublin) – Cascais, start Sunday 9 September
Cascais City Races: from 14 to 16 September
Leg 3 - 558 miles: Cascais – Cascais (Around Portugal Race), start Monday 17 September
Leg 4 – 1,071 miles: Cascais – Marseille, start Thursday 20 September
Marseille City Races: from 28 to 29 September
Leg 5 - 672 miles: Marseille – Genoa, start Sunday 30 September
Finish of leg 5: Tuesday 2 October
Closing race: Wednesday 3 October