A very busy night, upwind in the Channel with difficult conditions. The first 24 hours of the Transat Jacques Vabre have been tough for the Class40 crews, who are preparing to cross the finish line in Lorient in the next eight hours.
For the first part of the race – which turned into a long navigation with heavy waves, showers of rain and gusts exceeding 35 knots – Alberto Bona chose a route as near the French coast of the Channel as possible, seeking the best compromise between speed, current management and protection of the boat. Indeed, in the first 24 hours of navigation, there was no shortage of damage among the Class40s: shortly after departure, the collision between Movember of Bertrand Guilloneau and Kito De Pavant and Seafrigo-Sogestran of Cédric Chateau and Guillaume Pirouelle; during the night the dismasting of Ian Lipinski on board his Mutual credit; and finally the collision with an unidentified object of Dékuple, which has Italian Pietro Luciani, vice-president of Class40, as co-skipper.
With these premises, Bona’s conservative navigation – who has chosen to remain “low” towards the French coast – is actually a strategy: staying in contact with the leaders of the fleet while avoiding any strain; sailing upwind and minimising, as much as possible, hitting the waves unconditionally. In fact, there are still around 90 miles to sail along the Breton coast, all of them in very harsh wind conditions.
The Class40 IBSA should arrive in Lorient around midnight on October 30; after starting in fourth position, at 3:00 pm Bona and Santurde settled among the top ten of a still very provisional ranking, affected by the wind and the current.