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Ambrogio Beccaria has Class 40 finish line and victory ‘in sight’


With less than 140 miles to go to the finish line of the Transat CIC solo race across the North Atlantic from Lorient to New York Italy’s Ambrogio Beccaria appears to have dealt with the last weather hurdle earlier today – a nasty unsettled area propagated by a small low pressure centre – and is on course to win his second major Class 40 Transatlantic title in succession.

He leads French rival, good friend and former co-skipper Ian Lipinski by 21 miles.

After losing his masthead Code Zero sail Beccaria was still having some nervous moments trying to work with his smaller fractional zero in light downwind conditions.

But while the breeze is due to pick up, the solo racer from Milan, Italy’s first ever winner of the Mini Transat who seems set to add to his Transatlantic honours said he was finding the final miles hard to fathom as was in dense fog,

The nautical engineer who trained in La Spezia, reported: “ It’s quite a psychedelic end of the race because there is this really dense fog. Last night I had lightning very very near the boat, I was scared to death for at least one hour. One of the wind instruments was not working, the sattelite communication is not working, now it is all working but I was really afraid. Today there is the really dense fog, sometimes it’s sunny and others just super foggy, all of that together is creating a feeling of a mystery arrival. It’s feeling like I’m not sure New York is really over there but I hope to find out tomorrow morning. In the very light wind now I am struggling slightly with just the fractional zero but I hope it will last only seven or eight hours and then we can use a bit of gennaker to go to New York downwind, that would be nice.”

Four more IMOCA solo racers finished over the course of last night. In 15th Paul Meilhat (Biotherm) lacking a fully operational port foil , Japan’s Kojiro Shiraishi (DMG MORI Globa One) in 16th had his best result since his 2020-21 Vendée Globe. In 17th Guirec Soudée (  only just held off the 23 year old Violette Dorange (DEVENIR) by 12 minutes. And young Brit James Harayda (Gentoo Sailing Team) is due in for an excellent 19th position.

Becalmed at some 800 miles from the finish line, Swiss German Ollie Heer was expected to  start making progress towards New York today when the winds were due to return. Heer has a perilous set up with very limited power and is having to hand steer for many hours at a time but, needing the miles and the finish for a Vendée Globe qualification, he is determined to get to the finish.

And things are looking up for Clarisse Crémer (L'Occitane en Provence, IMOCA) in the Azores where her technical team are making good progress with repairs and she aims to leave soon and be in before the line closes


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