The departures of the three fleets of boats entered in the Transat Jacques-Vabre, still docked in Le Havre and Lorient due to storm Ciaran, are still uncertain, the organizers announced on Wednesday.
“For those who are in Lorient, Class40 and Ocean Fifty, there is no possible window before Monday, which does not mean that we will leave that day. And for the Imoca in Le Havre, the Sunday window is being studied, but it still remains uncertain,” race director Francis Le Goff explained during a press point on Wednesday.
This weekend, “there is still air, there is still sea (...) these are the conditions that are in place,” he added. The 95 boats entered in the Transat Jacques were initially due to set off on Sunday from Le Havre towards Martinique.
But, in an unprecedented event in the history of the race, the organizers announced a few hours before the gun went off that only the Ultims would leave for Fort-de-France, while the Imocas remained at the dock.
The Class40 and Ocean Fifty, i.e. 45 boats, were authorized to set off but were obliged to stop in Lorient, where they have now arrived, awaiting the passage of storm Ciaran which is due to hit the island on Wednesday evening. 'West of France.
Since Monday, the technical teams of the sailors and the organization have “worked a lot to bring the boats to the dock safely,” according to the organization. In Lorient, “it is going to be very, very hot this evening, they had to have the most appropriate mooring possible to avoid damage,” said Francis Le Goff.
From Wednesday evening, Ciaran, the first big storm of the fall, “will hit the tip of Brittany before midnight” with gusts of 130 to 150 km/h on the coasts and up to 130 km/h inland, explained Tuesday François Gourand, forecaster at Météo-France.
Above the Bay of Biscay, where a large part of the fleet would have found itself, wind gusts of more than 180 km/h and waves of 12 meters are expected on Thursday.
The Ultims, faster than the other classes of boats, have already passed the red zone and are at 12:00 GMT (1 p.m. French) off the coast of Madeira, led by a leading trio made up of SVR Lazartigue, Maxi Edmond de Rothschild and the Maxi Banque Populaire XI.