Another Vendee-St Petersburg leader change

Off the Swedish coast Franck-Yves Escoffier's Crepes Whaou! 3 edges ahead

Saturday May 22nd 2010, Author: James Boyd, Location: none selected

The match race continues at the lead of the Vendee-St Petersburg race for the Multi50s and - guess what - there's been another leader change. Yesterday morning as Yves le Blevec's Actual and Franck-Yves Escoffier's Crepes Whaou! 3 were approaching the island of Borman off southern Sweden, Crepes Whaou! 3 benefitted from taking a more northerly option and crept ahead. This morning at the 0600 sched Escoffier's red tri was 6.6 miles ahead with the boats set to pass to the south of Gotland later today.

Weather-wise the wind for the leaders is light and on the nose but is forecast to back to the northwest or NNW later today. While the leaders were able to pull out a big lead through sheer boat speed plus hitting tidal gates better back around the coast of France and the Channel, conditions look set to be relatively light all the way to the finish and this should allow those behind to regain some ground. 

While the two frontrunners have already enjoyed sailing around the coast of Sweden, these waters remain a leap into the unknown for the other crews in this first Vendée St-Petersburg race. Northern Europe is not a very common destination and they are having to adapt to it while dealing with new weather patterns, unknown landscapes and unusual languages and benefitting for example from the very short nights.

This morning third placed Crepes Whaou! 2 is on her own, 187 miles back from the leader, negotiating the relatively narrow channel between Denmark and Sweden, while fourth placed Naviguez Anne Caseneuve is rounding the top of Denmark with the remaining five boats still in the North Sea.

Former Banque Populaire ORMA 60 skipper Lalou Roucayrol skipper of Région Aquitaine Port Médoc reports: “We’re really surprised by the amount of pollution off the Netherlands. Over the coast there’s a pall of yellow smoke and in the light airs we noticed how dirty the sea was with all sorts of rubbish floating around. People really need to be more aware of that. When holidaymakers come and visit us in the summer, they send bulldozers down on the beach to make it look clean, but that’s not really a solution. When you’re sailing on a sea that is closed in, like the North Sea, it’s easier to understand, why something needs to be done. As for the race, everything is fine. We’ve found some more wind and the conditions are favourable for the boat. We’re chasing after those ahead and the two at the front of this pack are certainly within our reach. In any case, we’re going to be doing our utmost to get by them.”

Positions at 0605 GMT


Skipper Lat Spd Crs DTF DTL
  Boat Long 4 hour aver      
1 Franck Yves Escoffier 55 58.00' N 7.2 70.2 479.6 479.6
  Crêpes Whaou ! 3 16 58.36' E        
2 Yves Le Blevec 55 55.94' N 8.5 72.7 486.2 6.6
  Actual 16 34.01' E        
3 Loïc Fequet 56 05.79' N 3 120.3 666.9 187.2
  Crêpes Whaou ! 2 12 31.99' E        
4 Anne Caseneuve 57 45.31' N 5.6 66.1 786.6 307
  Naviguez Anne Caseneuve 10 33.13' E        
5 Pierre Hingant 57 45.44' N 5.8 63.9 786.8 307.2
  La Mer révèle nos sens 10 32.74' E        
6 Lalou Roucayrol 57 10.82' N 5.6 48.6 867.2 387.5
  Région Aquitaine - Port Médoc 8 16.94' E        
7 Erwan Le Roux 56 58.72' N 8.9 32.4 883.9 404.3
  Fénétré A-Cardinal 7 53.93' E        
8 Hervé Cléris 56 33.50' N 8.2 33.6 902.9 423.2
  CLM 7 47.70' E        
9 Etienne Hochedé 54 33.73' N 9 31.9 1025.7 546
  Pir² 5 51.85' E        


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