Something happened to the kid François is stopped and is out of the classification. This means he had given up, retiring from the race. Something bad happened to him or the boat. No news about that yet.
Sure? Tracking only says he is "not located", meaning there is no GPS Signal...
And there he is in the 9am ranking, placed 2nd, 12 miles behind the jackal...
Sorry, I was out. And happily François stopped boat was not a problem with him or the boat but only an electronic glitch . I am very happy that it is so.
The race is better than ever and in 24 hours, as I have previewed they will find very difficult conditions and I am not talking about stormy conditions but quite the opposite: almost no wind at that gate.
Regarding what I have said last night regarding the two ways to pass that gate (North and South) it is clear know that the best way from the South and the leading trio that was pointing to pass it North (following Armel) are now coming down to pass it from South. of course, this means that the ones that have been pointing South since the beginning had won a lot of miles and they are Stamm and Alex.
Since the moment they were almost all at the same latitude, till choosing the best strategy to pass the next gate and the high pressure center that is over it, Stamm gained to the leader 25.2Nm and Alex 10.8Nm and I bet they are going to continue to win for some more time. Stamm is only at 10kn from the third and it is possible that in 24 hours he can catch Jean-Pierre and overtake him.
That would be great after the problems that had slowed down Stamm. Let's see again those incredible images of him going up that mast, at speed with the boat pounding heavily on waves. I confess that I had never saw that, I mean a guy going up on the mast without slowing down a lot, or stop
Not a new boat, It was released in 2009. Why post about it? Well do you know of any boat with more than 55ft that in the last 3 years have sold more than 100 boats? Its that is truly amazing in these years of crisis and that means something. Contrary to what many people think sailors chose the right boats to buy, the ones that go with their sailing program/money almost always if not always a best seller is a great boat for what was designed for. This one is no exception.
This is a Philip Briand (Hull) and Garroni (interior) design, and a very good one, that is built by Jeanneau at a very competitive price, not to say low because it seems a bit ridiculous to talk about low when we are talking about a bit less than half a million of Euros. Go and see what you would buy with that on Halberg Rassy or XC yachts and you will be surprised about the difference in size. The quality is also good, better than in smaller Jeanneau.
I like the boat a lot, regarding conception and interior design. This boat has a very modern hull/Keel/ruder and even what regards B/D (31%) it has one that in a boat with this size and weight (21 450kg) is more than adequate.
I also like the interior and that garage with winch and all that is needed to put a dingy of considerable size inside without any effort. It is a fast boat too.
The only think I don't like in the overall design is the transom design that looks a bit voluminous. I understand that there the design is complicated by the needs of the garage and also in what regards the height needed by that master aft room, but even so I think they could have done better.
They are trying to pass the gate before the Anti-cyclone is on the way but I guess they will get weak wind over the gate.
As previewed Stamm is almost catching Jean-Pierre and is winning miles to everyone. Only 2.4Nm to pass it and have won also some miles to the leader.
Alex is confusing me. Where the hell is he going? the only explanation I can get is that he thinks everybody is going to get caught on that high and that he is coming charging from the South with the wind on a much better angle. It seems a long shot to me
On the racing division, surprise surprise, a 40ft boat has very good chances not only to win the race but to get line honors too, I mean win in real time. The 40ft is racing against for instance a Swan 80
The boat is this one, Vaquita, a 40class racer:
And the surprises don't finish here, just behind that Swan 80 comes a very special 54ft, a performance cruising boat the JP54, a Guillaume Verdier design and a concept by Jean- Pierre (3th on the vendee Globe right now) regarding what is for him a perfect cruising boat. You can see him on this video talking about the JP54:
The surprises doesn't finish with the JP54. Not far away comes the new Pogo 50 performance cruiser, a much more simple and incredibly less expensive boat. Amazing how the Pogo is near that Swan 80 and ahead of a Carol Marine 60 a 1999 Farr racing design. There is one for sale and they say about the Carol marine 60:
The last (and considered the fastest) of the three race designed Farr 60's she and her sisterships continue to dominate the winners circles. One sistership won three major NYYC awards this past Summer of 2010 and S&S has been dominating on the West coast.
Well, it seems that it is not a match in a Transat for a 2012 "cheap" cruising Pogo 50, that even has a swinging keel to go to the beach
Armel was the only one that tried to pass the gate on the most direct route and has I have previewed he got caught in weak winds and is making only 5.8k speed. He will be in trouble for 10 hours or so. If he can make it still in the lead he will will be deserving the title of Champion of the weak winds: That's the second time he have attempted a stunt like that. The first time all specialists were saying that he would not make it without losing lots of time... and he did it. Can he make it a second time?
All the others have followed Alex and dived South. Alex is already changed course and is pointing to the gate and the others will follow soon.
In fact it seems that on this Video, that has posted more recently than the last course actualization, François is already pointing to the gate...at speed. However after crossing it he will also have a zone with weak winds and he knows that when he says: "I am going to cross the gate and after that...we will see"
The organization is giving first place to François but I think that Armel has played masterfully again: Maybe he will lose some miles now but then we will be much more South then the others, getting more wind and going like a rocket.
I hope he gets lucky with the icebergs because I think he is going to dive South, a lot, before turning to the next gate and somewhere along the way he has a very good chance to beat the 24 hours world speed record again on this race.
Regarding speed, Alex told the press that he had been several times over 30K. One man on a boat over 30K, that is frightening. One thing is going over 30 on a VOR with 11 guys, one at the wheel and two guys controlling each sail. One guy controlling everything at over 30K? Jesus
The boat that is leading the cruising division is a big one but far from being the bigger one on the fleet. It is a 62ft but it has such a big advantage to everybody else (except a smaller sister) that deserves a big praise here. It is not even a performance boat, just a very good bluewater boat, even if its performance looks like one from a performance boat.
It's the boat that won last year European boat of the year contest in the category of Luxury yachts, the Oyster 625. The testers said that they were impressed with its sailing performance, well it seems they were not the only ones, I am impressed too Have a look at the boat. It does not like a fast boat to me. Appearances can be deceiving, but that's a luxury boat for sure
To the North, there is an older Oyster 565 doing almost as well or even better if we compare the size. Great ocean cruising boats the Oysters, but I guess that all know that, as all know also that they are expensive
On the next size of boats the distinction goes to a Swann 48. The boat is one of Swan bestsellers, a recent model (1995/2003) designed by German Frers, a fast boat that can do very well in heavy weather. A very expensive boat, like all the Swan, a performance cruiser with a good cruising interior.
Then a reference to Ocean cruising cats that as usual, on a downwind Transat are faster then comparatively sized monohulls. The one that is making better regarding its size is a Catana 431 that is not far from that Swan 48.
The catana 431 is not a new boat (it has about the same age of that Swan) and has been replaced in the Catana range by the 42 (or the 47):
Some images of the boat and the current Catana range
an then, two boats are impressing me, one because it is just a bluewater cruising boat with no performance in mind doing amazingly well, the other that should be theoretically faster, but it is slightly behind, is a bigger inexpensive mass production boat, the first of the inexpensive modern boats (if we don't consider the Pogo 50 that is on the racing series), a Hanse 531 that manages to be ahead of a First 50. The other one, the one that is not a performance boat, that is ahead of these two is a favorite of mine, a XC-50, a production bluewater boat in the same class of Halberg-Rassy and as that one, a great but expensive sailboat.
the 431 has been replaced recently by the Hanse 445. This is the 431:
This is the 445
I will leave the boats below 50ft for another post