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Fabien Delahaye (LEGALLAIS) is 3rd on The Transat CIC in Class40 (before jury)

Always in the Class40 peloton since the opening phase of the Transat CIC French skipper Fabien Delahaye finished in third place in Class40 early today. The skipper of Legallais Team Voile crossed the finish line this Friday at 08:58:56hrs UTC after 11 days, 21 hours and 28 minutes and 56 seconds at sea. After having to retire from last Autumn’s Transat Jacques Vabre, third is a very welcome result for Delahaye and his new Lombard design which was launched just last year….

HIS RACE IN NUMBERSFinish time: 08:58:56 hrs UTC Elapsed time: 11 days, 21 hours, 28 minutes and 56 secondsDistance sailed: 329979 nautical milesDelta to first: 0 days, 5 hours, 11 minutes and 1 secondsAverage speed (on the great circle): 10.33 knots

Aboard his Lombard LEGALLAIS design launched last August, Fabien Delahaye delivered a very good performance on what is his first solo race on this new Class40. Delahaye has a well rounded CV  coming to Class40 after a successful career in the Figaro (2nd in the Solitaire in 2011, 2nd in the Transat Paprec in 2014), and on the VOR75 (winner of the Volvo Ocean Race in 2018 with Dongfeng ) and, going further back, and as co-skipper in Class40 (1st and 2nd in the Transat Jacques Vabre - Normandie Le Havre in 2013 and 2019 with Seb Rogues on GDF Suez).

Up in the 'top 5' from the off,

Delahaye actually led the race at three days when the leaders were just passing well to the west of Ireland.  The two leaders Ian Lipinski (Crédit Mutuel) and Ambrogio Beccaria (Alla Grande - Pirelli) extended away and if the gap did open for a while, the skipper of LEGALLAIS hung in there and made a good third place.

Delahaye after finishing

What state of mind are you in?

I'm washed out, knackerd, I don't have much energy anymore.

You raced at the front and finished 3rd, how do you view your race? I had good and bad. I was good and in the match from the start, we were a good trio. We made the right choices in approaching Ireland. We did well with Nicolas d'Estais (CAFÉ JOYEUX) and Ian Lipinski (Crédit Mutuel) and afterwards, I had a great crossing up to the ridge. I was pretty much in the lead. I was happy with my race because I did things simply, but tried to look after the material. Everything was going very well technically. I was pretty super happy during that whole section. Afterwards, there was the ridge which allowed me to repair a few small things. And then, we had to manage this big depression which we god downwind. This is something that I had no reference points on, neither in Class40, nor with the boat in these harsh conditions. I think I was too conservative. It's easy to say i now but I was too careful in how I handled it. I let Ambrogio and Ian pass and afterwards, when you see the level of these guys..., the gaps remained the same roughly and it was impossible to come back.


3rd is a great result with a boat launched last year…

The boat is brand new. Last year, we broke it in the Transat Jacques Vabre – Normandie Le Havre. This is the boat’s second race. In any case, what is reassuring is that we were able to bounce back after the damage to the Jacques Vabre. We have a boat which today is solid and which crossed the North Atlantic without incident, so that’s very positive. And we're starting 2024 with a podium so we're going to say that we couldn't have dreamed of a better start.


You just mentioned small technical problems. Could you come back to this a little?

There are little things every day but it wasn't much. These were really just small details for me. I finished with a boat at 100% of its potential, which is rather reassuring. There was a bit of structure at the very beginning, on a bulkhead. It was not something important, The foam burst in a poorly structural place but it still had to be replaced. That was the big part of the job! Otherwise, everything is perfect on board in terms of stuff. I broke a piece of the rudder down mech. I also had a couple of little things in electronics, but not much either. I have a GPS that doesn't want to work anymore, I had a 100% functional pilot until I finsihed. I really haven't had any problems with the boat, it's great.


What lessons do you learn from this transatlantic crossing on the North face?

This is my first solo transatlantic race in Class40. It's positive. This allowed me to gain a lot of experience in how to manage this boat which is starting to be a big boat. I know him much better today than 15 days ago. It allows us to take a lot of bearings alone, on the management of life on board too, to validate or not the little things we have done. There are a lot of positives. We emerge from a Transat like that!





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