A striking contrast. While the Transat Jacques-Vabre boats remaining at the dock are preparing to be hit in port by storm Ciaran, the three Ultims in the lead, who left on Sunday, saw their progress stop on Wednesday off the coast of Madeira.
“At the moment, max speed 5-6 knots (11 km/h) is nice but it’s not very efficient! I would say that it’s peaceful and tense at the same time because we don’t really know what’s going to happen when you go through something like that,” summarizes Charles Caudrelier, at the helm of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild.
The winner of the 2021 edition and his partner Erwan Israel are on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. (6:00 p.m. GMT) neck and neck with the SVR-Lazartigue of the duo François Gabart/Tom Laperche and the Maxi Banque Populaire of Armel Le Cléac'h and Sébastien Josse, off the coast of Madeira.
“There, the wind has really just left us, we are completely stopped. It was planned from the start, but it's true that there is a very uneven distribution of wind in the Northern hemisphere: too much for you, not enough for us," Gabart, who led the session, philosophized at the session. floats from the start to this zone of calm.
At the port of Le Havre, where the IMOCAs which were to set off on Sunday are still stationed, the atmosphere is completely different. 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.
The objective is to withstand the gusts of wind brought by storm Ciaran on Wednesday evening. It “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 François Gourand, forecaster at Météo-France.
In Lorient, where all the Class 40s and the Ocean Fifty arrived on Monday and Tuesday to take shelter before the storm, "it's going to be very, very hot", estimates Francis Le Goff, director of the race.
The departure date of these three fleets (Imoca, Class 40 and OCean Fifty) is still uncertain, the organizers announced on Wednesday.
“No window is possible before Monday for the two classes of boats moored in the port of Lorient, which of course does not mean that a departure will take place on Monday. For the Imoca, the possible departure on Sunday remains a hypothesis under study,” detailed Mr. Le Goff.
Rankings of the top three in each class Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. GMT:
. Last (32 m)
1. SVR-Lazartigue 6,217.6 miles from the finish in Fort-de-France (Martinique)
(François Gabart, Tom Laperche)
2. Maxi Banque Populaire XI 0.2 miles from the first
(Armel Le Cléac'h, Sébastien Josse)
3. Maxi Edmond de Rothschild at 2.7 miles
(Charles Caudrelier, Erwan Israel)
. Ocean Fifty (15 m)
1. Solidarity in a platoon, arrived in Lorient in 20 hours 44 min
(Thibaut Vauchel-Camus, Quentin Vlamynck)
2. Le Rire Médecin 45 minutes away
(Luke Berry, Antoine Joubert)
(Sébastien Rogues, Jean-Baptiste Gellée) at 1:46
. Class 40 (12 m)
1. Alla Grande Pirelli, arrived in Lorient in 1 day 10 hours and 5 minutes
(Ambrogio Beccaria, Nicolas Andrieu)
2. SNEF Group, at 1 hour and 15 minutes
(Xavier Macaire, Pierre Leboucher)
3. Inter Invest, 1 hour and 20 minutes
(Matthieu Perraut, Kevin Bloch)