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"It's been an exciting journey".


Finishing in New York on Friday morning, Thibaut Vauchel-Camus wins The Transat bakerly 11 hours ahead of Louis Duc.

The two solo sailors had not followed the same course at all after the first gale off the Azores, and uncertainty about victory reigned until 200 miles from Long Island...

Crossing the finish line anchored off Sandy Hook, Thibaut Vauchel-Camus won the British transatlantic race after 17 days 12 hours 42 minutes and 56 seconds at sea, averaging 9.04 knots over the 3,804 miles covered between Plymouth and New York. The skipper of Solidaires en peloton-ARSEP managed to make the break after the ice exclusion zone under Newfoundland, following Isabelle Joschke's abandonment (water ingress) and Phil Sharp's mainsail damage. This left only "southerner" Louis Duc, who set off solo after the first gust of wind off the Azores, heading southwest.

Despite several technical problems, most notably when his electronic windvane was ripped off in the third low-pressure system, Thibaut Vauchel-Camus never gave up, and the end of the race was long and hard, with alternating fronts and calms. Further south, Louis Duc believed for a long time, counting up to 800 miles of lateral separation in the middle of the course! True to his choice of a southerly route, the skipper of Carac found himself confronted on several occasions by the Gulf Stream's counter-current, which creates very rough seas on its long curve towards Europe.

There are still five solo Class40 sailors at sea, plus Loïck Peyron (Pen Duick II) on his way back to Quiberon following a series of technical problems: the sailor from La Baule should reach the Breton coast by the middle of next week. But for Japan's Hiroshi Kitada (Kiho), New York is still a long way off, and still against the prevailing winds! He's not due to finish until the end of next week, with two new lows to contend with before he can catch sight of Long Island... The next solo sailor expected to cross the finish line should be Britain's Phil Sharp (Imerys), who is struggling in light headwinds while his mainsail is torn: this third place on the Class40 podium should therefore be awarded on Saturday lunchtime (French time)...

Thibaut Vauchel-Camus (Class40 - Solidaires en peloton-ARSEP):

"The English transatlantic race lived up to its reputation: you had to see it to believe it... and I did! It was hellish at times. As much as the beginning was nice because it was slipping, it was riding, it was easy sailing, leaving England on a reach to finish downwind in the Bay of Biscay, in contact. But the first low off the Azores put us back on track! It was strong: I saw 58 knots on the anemometer... And I surfed at over 27 knots: I don't know if that wouldn't have been better against the wind. Because at those speeds, you don't really know what's going to happen! At night, it's really impressive, and you can't get very far. I went right up to the hood! I nearly broke my back when I went forward on the winches. And I broke some teeth...

Dans cette première dépression, j’ai perdu ma girouette puis au deuxième coup de tabac en bordure de la zone des glaces, là où Isabelle (Joschke) a dû abandonner, j’ai perdu tous les aériens. Et évidemment, je suis parti en vrac parce que le bateau était sous pilote à ce moment-là… Et donc la grand-voile a déralingué, le foc solent s’est déchiré, le bateau est tombé d’une vague brutalement et une cloison a cassé et deux se sont décollées… Avec le courant du Gulf Stream, il y a parfois une houle et des vagues de dingues ! De véritables canyons. Alors de nuit, sans vraiment de lune et avec une grosse couverture nuageuse, on ferme les yeux avec le stress. Mais si le bateau a souffert, on voit qu’il est sacrément costaud.

Louis Duc (Class40 - Carac) :

In this first low-pressure area, I lost my windvane and then, at the second blow on the edge of the ice zone, where Isabelle (Joschke) had to abandon, I lost all the aerials.

And of course, I lost control because the boat was under pilot at the time... And so the mainsail de-rigged, the solent jib tore, the boat fell off a wave suddenly and a bulkhead broke and two came loose... With the Gulf Stream current, there are sometimes crazy swells and waves! Real canyons. So at night, with no real moon and heavy cloud cover, we close our eyes in stress.But if the boat has suffered, you can see that it's pretty damn strong.

Edouard Golbery (Class40 – Région Normandie) :

"It's going well. We've got some pretty hairy conditions downwind, but it's really good to be sailing flat. I spent 15 days on a 35° incline with guys throwing water jumps in my face. I didn't know upwind sailing very well, but now it's fine. I don't want it anymore! I hope the finish is just around the corner. I'm really happy. It's unexpected to be here, given my experience. I've pushed myself to unimaginable limits. Physically, I don't know how I did it. Well done to Thibaut, he had a great race and he's lucky to have made it. I've got three liters of water left to finish. I'm allowed a glass every 15 minutes. The watermaker isn't working, so I'm having to ration myself...".