Unlike the boats in the Ultim Class (multihulls of more than 30 meters), Ocean FIfty (multihulls of 15 meters) and Class40 (monohulls of 12 meters), the competitors in the Imoca category did not take the start of the 16th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre on Sunday in difficult weather conditions. “The decision not to send us away was taken very late, only an hour before leaving the dock this Sunday. This is due to an exceptional weather situation, which deteriorated on the files from Saturday evening. To this was added a logistical complexity: the organizer had already made the decision to stop the Class40 and the Ocean Fifty in Lorient. However, there was not enough space in the ports of southern Brittany to also accommodate the forty IMOCAs,” explains navigator Yoann Richomme (Paprec Arkéa).
The sailor and his friend Yann Eliès will therefore have to be patient. While the Class40s and the Ocean Fifty will find refuge in Lorient and wait for the elements to calm down, a departure is not envisaged for several days from Le Havre for the Vendée Globe monohulls. “The weather conditions will deteriorate in the coming hours with very violent winds. The weather phenomenon that is coming is of the magnitude of the storm Xynthia which hit France in February 2010. At sea, forecasts call for 80 knots, gusts of more than 100 knots (more than 185 km/hour) , of a sea with troughs of 12 meters. This is clearly not practicable and no help could provide assistance to a sailor if necessary. The problem is, another storm is forecast for Saturday. We are stuck until this weekend, until a weather “opening” which is not possible before next week,” explains Richomme.