Hey Paulo! Aren't you supposed to be cruising?
I will see if I can dig up a better avatar than that odd photo of my much beloved dog, Mr. Otto (M/Pitbull/14.5 years old).
The first leg of the Figaro came down to mostly being in the right place at the right time... or, in the case of Michel D. and Armel L., not being in the wrong place at the right time. In those conditions, we are the playthings of the gods (as I believe the saying goes), though this is to take nothing away from Yann Elies' victory.
Tracking leg two as we speak. Morvan has been staying on the inside most of the time, with a brief move to the west for some reason, but then soaking back to the east, as he approached Cape Finisterre. Really looked to me like he picked the layline perfectly, with Tannyères and Livory too far inside. Just past Finisterre Morvan remained the easternmost boat, with Nicol quite close but further west.
At the point near O Porto de Corme the entire fleet seems to suddenly realize that Morvan's inside line is the winning move and they all turn east and consolidate. But by this time Morvan is gone (if you can call a lead of less than 2nm "gone"
). The tracking map can be deceiving if you don't keep an eye on the distances, because it looks like big gaps opening up but actually not very much. If Morvan runs into light air at some point, the entire fleet will compress, and then we're back to nail biting again.
I swear that there are not many races of this calibre where the competition is so close. The Tour de France a la Voile, of course, but not too many others. The "big guns" remain within striking distance - Desjoyeux, Hardy, Beyou, Le Cléac'h, and, of course, Eliés.