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LOUIS DUC'S FINE CAREER

"We arrive with great pleasure at having taken this beautiful project to the other side of the Atlantic, but with a bitter taste that says: we'll have to keep going, we'll get there!”


20.05.2016


Taking 2nd place behind Vauchel-Camus among the Class40s, Louis Duc has had a superb run on his former Lombard design.


The sailor from Normandy was always in the fight alongside the successive leaders, until he decided to head south-west on his own, leaving the leading group for an option that was not far from bearing fruit... Louis Duc left his mark on Class40 racing by not hesitating to sail alone on a more southerly route from the Azores onwards: arriving in New York on Friday May 20 at 09h 24' 40'' (i.e. 15h 24' 40'' French time), the solo sailor took second place in 17 days 23 hours 54 minutes 40 seconds, having covered 3,947 miles at an average speed of 9.14 knots on the water. He concedes the winner Thibaut Vauchel-Camus 11 hours 11 minutes 44 seconds, or around sixty miles...

An outsider at the start of Plymouth due to the age of his Lombard design (an Akilaria Mk2 launched in 2008), Louis Duc was one of the driving forces behind The Transat bakerly in Class40. Always in contact with the future winner during the first part of the race, the skipper of Carac already stood out by tackling the Azorean low via a tighter route, skimming the center in order to emerge under the leading trio (Isabelle Joschke, Phil Sharp, Thibaut Vauchel-Camus), some thirty miles further south. This option was confirmed over the following days as the leading group turned due west towards the ice exclusion zone, while flirting with the anticyclone.


By mid-course, the lateral gap had reached 800 miles! But Louis Duc then had to reposition himself to the North-West as a new low-pressure system passed over him, and then steer against the Gulf Stream. Rejected several times to the south due to weather conditions, the solo sailor was unable to cross the path of the leaders, now a duo following Isabelle Joschke's withdrawal due to water ingress. And at the end of two weeks at sea, still 120 miles further south, the sailor from Normandy was still in a favorable position for the finish when a new front passed over the fleet, a front which took its toll on the Briton's mainsail. A big lull behind this last gust of wind put him back in line with Thibaut Vauchel-Camus 200 miles from the finish, but ahead of Phil Sharp: the hierarchy was established right up to the finish line in New York...

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