Groupama Race - a yacht race with various options!

20  Oct.  2014 -  23h 17

WITH NEARLY TWENTY HOURS OF RACING UNDER THEIR BELTS, THE FRONT RUNNERS ARE SPREADING OUT. THE TWO REAL-TIME FAVOURITES, "CRUSADER" AND "KEEL  BILL GROUPAMA", CHOSE OPTIONS WELL TO THE EAST OF THE REST OF THE FLEET.  ASTERN OF THEM, THE TIME HAS COME TO RE-ORGANISE. MEANWHILE "OPT CATCH  ME", LESS ADVENTUROUS PERHAPS, MADE THE SMART CHOICE OF THE DAY.

In a 15 to 20 knot SE'ly wind, which is expected to freshen, the seven  yachts racing over the World's longest Olympic sailing course are running up the East Coast under spinnaker. The three yachts flying asymmetrical spinnakers are in front. "Catch Me OPT" has been continuously gybing from one tack to the other for eighteen hours, so as to stay close to the direct course. At present, she is virtually second in real-time, 1 nautical mile (about 1.8km) ahead of "Keel Bill Groupama". The two logical leaders found stronger wind well to the East of the rest of the fleet.

LEAVING OUVÉA TO PORT - A FIRST!

Never tried before, in four Groupama Races, the New Zealanders went East about Ouvéa, gybing off Shark Pass of this island reckoned to be the"closest to Paradise". On board "Keel Bill Groupama", Franck Cammas and his crew went West about Ouvéa. They thus let go of their most direct opponent. They later headed North to look for wind. They have just, however, gybed to go the way of the rest of the fleet. They are counting on the wind backing S'ly, which would put them on a direct course for Grand Passage, at New Caledonia's extreme North

THE NEW ZEALANDERS ARE TWO HOURS AHEAD OF FRANCK AND HIS CREW.

At present, the leader is the New Zealand yacht which has a lead of about 30 nautical miles over Franck Cammas and his New Caledonian crew. Having gybed, the latter are on the most favourable tack. Before the start, the New Zealanders, on board their Elliot 35 Super Sport built of carbon fibre, couldn't have been clearer in their objective - "We have come to smash the race record!" Will they deliver the goods? Nothing is less certain, especially since the hoped-for wind change in favour of"Keel Bill Groupama" will surely reduce the gap. Further down the field, the courses and options are more straight forward. The fleet is already closing up. "BCI Radical Concept" and "Chairman" are separated by only 3 nautical miles - they could well be in sight of one another. "XLR8 Province Sud" is sailing on her own, 
headed by "Mange Mieux Bouge Plus".

"BCI RADICAL CONCEPT"'S MAGNIFICENT SPINNAKER RUN.

"BCI Radical Concept" is the leader on handicap. All the same, Philippe Mazard's crew are looking ahead - by telephone, they said they were "saving themselves for the 300 nautical mile upwind sail", which they expect to start in the morning. In sixth place (on handicap) this  morning, "Crusader" is now second, one hour behind the Caledonian Young 11. The Sydney 38 "Mange Mieux Bouge Plus", double winner in 2012 is third on 45 minutes. The first yachts are expected in the Grand Passage a little before midnight. 110 nautical miles for the tail of the fleet - 57 nautical miles for "Crusader".
As for the race record - will it be beaten or not? Voilà la question ! 
(apologies to Shakespeare…).


Current Real Time Placings

  1. Crusader
 
  2.  Catch Me OPT
  
  3. Keel Bill Groupama

  4. Mange Mieux Bouge Plus
 
  5. XLR8 Province Sud
  6. BCI Radical Concept

  7. Chairman PAO Production

Current Handicap Placings


  1. BCI Radical Concept

  2. Crusader
 
  3. Mange Mieux Bouge Plus
 
  4. Chairman PAO Production

  5. XLR8 Province Sud

  6. Catch Me OPT

"Keel Bill Groupama" is not racing for a handicap place.

Groupama Race - a yacht race with various options!
@Eric Deroche/Aerial Prod 2014
Cet article a été lu : 2361 fois

 Pour suivre l'actualité de la Groupama Race, abonnez-vous à notre lettre d'information.

captcha