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Transat Jacques Vabre: the north-south battle rages in Imoca, a huge surprise to come?

In Fort-de-France.

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Transat Jacques Vabre: the north-south battle rages in Imoca, a huge surprise to come?

In Fort-de-France

“Nothing is going well, play your games!” With the Ultim class match over, the battle in the Imoca monohull category is in full swing with a thrilling standoff between two groups of boats with radically different strategic choices. On one side, the supporters of a route to the north, who had headed west very early on, and on the other, the big favorites who had waited for the Canaries to turn towards the west in their turn after having skirted Africa.

It is impossible to know who is right at the moment even if the ranking currently gives the advantage to the sailors of the second option. This Thursday, Thomas Ruyant and Morgan Lagravière (For People) are in the lead, followed by Yoann Richomme and Yann Eliès (Paprec Arkéa) at 25.3 miles. Sam Goodchild and Antoine Koch (For the Planet) complete the leading trio at 82.9 miles.

You have to go down to sixth place, at 153.2 miles, to find the trace of the ex-leader, the first Imoca of the northern group. But the hierarchy is perhaps misleading (see map below) because even if they are sailing several hundred miles further north, Justine Mettraux and Julien Villion could benefit from ideal conditions on the descent towards Martinique in the coming days. . They are ready to slide down the slide which will take them to their destination at very high speed.

“We are faster than the northern option at the moment but that does not mean that the southern option will win,” underlines Yoann Richomme. “After difficult conditions last night, it will be more comfortable for them,” adds the sailor. Luck favors the bold it seems, the mixed duo could therefore create a huge surprise if their choice turns out to pay off even if there were still 1,362 miles to go before arriving in Fort-de-France. The finale could be sumptuous and breathtaking. “We are going to grit our teeth one last time to get through this front properly. Once we head south, all that awaits us is nothing but good: speed, gliding and going quickly towards the West Indies. The summit is not far,” explained Julien Villion.

In the Ocean Fifty category (15 meter trimarans), the fight is drawing to a close and the tandem Thinaut Vauchet-Camus and Quentin Vlamynck (Solidaires en peloton), if it is not struck by bad luck, is heading towards a well-deserved victory since he dominated the debates from start to finish. With a lead of 117 miles at midday this Wednesday, his triumph is no longer in doubt. The duo is expected this Thursday at midnight in Martinique.

Finally, on the Class40 side (12 meter monohulls), the fleet has passed the Canaries and it is Amarris in the hands of Achille Nebout and Gildas Mahé which occupies control of the classification ahead of ex-leader Alla Grande Pirelli, falling behind by 36.9 miles.

Follow the rankings and live mapping by following this link.

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