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LAST NIGHT...

"" I wasn't interested in the choices of the other competitors because my goal was to get the boat to NY by taking it to its and my limits." Erik Nigon"


19.05.2016


The first Class40 is expected overnight in the United States, or at dawn in France: Thibaut Vauchel-Camus seems assured of victory!


Weariness, fatigue, disappointment, but also courage, determination and diligence. The mix of these contradictory feelings can be felt in contact with the solo sailors still at sea. For there are seven of them in Class40 en route to New York, some with the buildings almost on the horizon and others with the Gulf Stream more than 700 miles from the goal, while Loïck Peyron still has to sail more than 1,000 miles before he sees the Breton coast... For while The Transat bakerly was rather cooperative for the first finishers in Ultime trimarans and IMOCA monohulls, the Multi50s (with the exception of winner Gilles Lamiré) and above all the Class40s took all the blows the Atlantic can dish out in May.


"I learned a lot. Above all, I realized that I had physical limits, the limits of a 51-year-old man. And when I think about my future lifestyle, I believe this experience will add a lot to it..." Hiroshi Kitada

Since the Azores, there has been a succession of lows, particularly on the direct route (great circle route) taken by almost all the solo sailors still at sea. Four for the first, six for the last, as two new disturbances form off New York in the next few days! Japan's Hiroshi Kitada (Kiho) has been seriously shaken by a series of technical problems (torn sail, water leak...). And the solo sailor still has a week's sailing ahead of him, with a particularly choppy sea on Thursday, caused by a strong easterly wind against the Gulf Stream current!


For Thibaut Vauchel-Camus (Solidaires en peloton-ARSEP), on the other hand, the finish line is fast approaching, and the problems of yesteryear have almost been erased: he should finish early tonight in New York with a good margin of maneuver over his pursuer, Louis Duc (Carac). For a while, the latter had been very worrying with his southerly finish, a choice made just after the Azores. And the option almost paid off, except that the skipper had to put some north into his course, and ended up in line with the leader... He should concede around ten hours at the finish.


"The challenge was to arrive before Vers un monde sans Sida! And it was hot all the way, with the two most extreme routes. The northern route I took was shorter, but more complex from a weather point of view. But it was a rich and interesting crossing." Pierre Antoine


As for Phil Sharp (Imerys), despite his torn mainsail, he's still in third place for a Friday night finish without too much risk of being worried, since Edouard Golbery (Région Normandie) and Robin Marais (Esprit Scout) are still more than 450 miles from New York! These two sailors should fight it out right up to the finish line, since although they are some 60 miles apart in latitude, they are almost equidistant from the finish... And watch out for Germany's Anna-Maria Renken (Nivea), who, because of her position even further south, could come back very strongly in the next few days!


But the day was also marked by the finish between northerner Pierre Antoine (Olmix) and southerner Erik Nigon (Vers un monde sans Sida). 36 hours before Long Island, the two Multi50 skippers were almost together, and only four hours separated the two solo sailors, who had a lateral separation of up to 800 miles! And while the winner covered 3,720 miles, his runner-up accumulated 4,550... Incredible finish for such different trajectories and totally opposite weather conditions, at least as far as the longitude of Nova Scotia. Pierre Antoine climbed to third place, alongside winner Gilles Lamiré (French Tech Rennes Saint-Malo) and runner-up Lalou Roucayrol (Arkema).


As for Loïck Peyron (Pen Duick II), who had to turn back due to the accumulation of technical problems and water leaks, he should reach the Quiberon peninsula next Wednesday with more peaceful weather conditions than yesterday, when the south-westerly wind was blowing at over thirty knots... With calmer seas and plenty of sunshine, the sailor from Baulois should enjoy a moderate downwind breeze, which will be much more pleasant throughout the weekend.

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