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Vintage division has echoes of the past....

At the same time as the IMOCA and Class40 skippers are racing, two sailors aboard old or older style are racing, echoing the type of boats which maybe took part many years ago. So they are inaugurating the Vintage class in the Transat CIC and the organisers hope that more of this type of boat will compete in the future/

Patrick Isoard (Uship for Children of the Mékong) and Rémy Gérin (FAIAOAHE) have very different boats: the first is now almost 500 miles and the second 1000 m from the finish. Race director Francis Le Goff recalls the challenges and prospects of their race.

THE OBJECTIVE. “A certain appeal.”

“With OC Sport we want to see that there is a place on this race for amateurs and for old boats. It is important to us to give them a second life, to bring legendary boats back to life. This is also part of a global CSR approach that can be seen on the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe and the Solitaire du Figaro. For this race, there was not much time between the publication of the notice of race and the start but we know there is more interest out there too. Having these two boats in this edition, Uship for Children of the Mekong and FAIAOAHE, with the story they tell, will lay the foundations for future development for the next edition.”

THE TWO PARTICIPANTS. “Boats with different ways of sailing.”

“They are two different boats on two different programs. We know that FAIAOAHE (20 meter long cutter rigged monohull) cannot compete with a 50 foot Open even as old as this one. It does not have the same speed and behaviour in the sea and this is quickly noticed. Moreover, FAIAOAHE cannot move forward in light airs and heavy seas and must anticipate all weather systems to avoid being trapped there. On the other hand, Uship for Children of the Mekong has possibilities to speed up, escape a system and is quite a bit more responsive.”

“It’s a different race for them because they’ve been on their own for quite a while. Patrick Isoard (Uship for Children of the Mekong) fell behind on the first two depressions, perhaps wanting to preserve the equipment. We must not forget that they are amateurs, that they want to be careful and therefore be a little less committed than the Class40s. In recent days, he has had interesting speeds, having covered nearly 200 miles in the last 24 hours. His objective is to reach New York by negotiating the depression present at the finish line which will generate strong winds of 30 to 35 knots on average. He is expected in New York in three days. Although he is 1,500 miles from the finish, Rémy also made decent progress and is monitoring weather phenomena (they have the right to routing).

THE REST OF THE RACE. Reassuring news from Thimoté PoletLe Goff rounds up: “So we faced an important event yesterday with the dismasting of Thimothé Polet (Zeiss, Class40). The 23 year old had injured his hand, fortunately not seriously. He was rescued by helicopter and taken to hospital where he will be released in the morning. His parents and part of his team are on site to ensure his recovery so the situation is under control.

Finally, Anatole Facon (Good Morning Pouce) is still in the race (nearly 1500 miles from the finish). He is still a little far away but is making good progress and must remain vigilant. On the IMOCA side, there are still two in the race, Oliver Heer (Oliver Heer Ocean Racing) who is now making good progress despite his electrical failures. Clarisse Crémer (L'Occitane en Provence) left the Azores and should succeed in crossing the line before May 20, the line's closing date. » 


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