Proving the racing is as intense among the tail of the fleet as it was among the pacemakers, four Class 40s finished into Itajaí, Brazil between 2307hrs last night (Sunday) and 0818hrs this Monday morning. There was just 1hr and 40 minutes between seventh placed Groupe Setin (Manuel Cousin and Gérald Quéouron) and the all-girl duo Philippa Hutton and Pip Hare who finished ninth this morning on Concise 2.
Last night local heroes were the Brazilian duo Eduardo Penido and Renato Araujo who became the first Brazilian duo ever to finish the Transat Jacques Vabre. The Olympic gold medallist Penido and entrepreneur Araujo sailed a superb race, their first major ocean passage together, to take sixth place on the former GDF Suez which won Class 40 into Itajaí in 2013.
Penido said: "It's great for us, but we had a lot more difficulties than we thought we would. It was harder than expected! But this is it, this is what we wanted. It was the goal: to be pushing day after day and to find our limits. Wind and waves, under spinnaker at night it was amazing surfing at over 20 knots, it was amazing! But the result is that we did it, we have done all we hoped for. The first part was terrible during the three depressions we tried to be careful, take care of us and the boat. It was our baptism of fire! Finally, we have not had a serious problem, no big damage. French sailors arrived ahead of us so congratulations to them! It's fantastic they are so good to sail the boat so quickly, hats off to them, to all those sailors because it was hard! "
The girls on Concise 2, having held seventh and eighth positions during the last ten days, were unlucky to come away with ninth. Their race was made all the harder when they were stuck in the Azores high for more than three days in very light winds. They had to make a big repair in their main spinnaker and suffered an ongoing problem with their autopilot which did not work on port gybe forcing them to hand steer for days on end. They finished a frustrating 35 minutes behind SNBSM Espoir Compétition (Valentin Lemarchand & Arthur Hubert) after nearly 29 days of racing.
Philippa Hutton Squire (RSA), co-skipper Concise 2 (GBR): “We lost the windex and the anemometer is very loose. The race itself was all tough and very long. It has been so close for the last 10 days, so close, it has been really close and intense. I think we are very happy with our race. It is a pity about the result. But we worked nicely together and we enjoyed it.”
Pip Hare (GBR) co-skipper Concise 2 (GBR): “ We made some mistakes. But to have racing so close after four weeks, it was so close, is just great racing. It is brilliant. But there is always next time to do better. It is nice to be back in Brazil. I think for us we had problems downloading the weather. We struggled getting the right weather information. That was a struggle. We had problems with our instruments, our speed and wind instruments from Day 1. We made some mistakes and to be fair we had no sailed much together. We were maintaining, looking after ourselves in the first week and only really started to push hard after one week. We just found our feet and settled into it. The pilot did now work on port tack and we had to steer continuously for a week.”
Class40 Transat Jacques Vabre 2015
1-Le Conservateur (Yannick Bestaven & Pierre Brasseur) in 24j 08h 10' 09'' (10,21 kts on the water)
2-VandB (Maxime Sorel & Samuel Manuard) en 24j 10h 04' 31'' (10,19 kts on the water)) à 1h 54' 22'' from first
3-Carac-Advanced Energies (Louis Duc & Christophe Lebas) en 25j 21h 29' 52'' (9,60 kts on the water)) à 1j 13h 19' 43'' from first
4-Solidaires en peloton-ARSEP (Thibaut Vauchel-Camus & Victorien Erussard) en 26j 09h 34' 00'' (9,48 kts on the water)) à 2j 01h 23' 51'' from first.
5-TeamWork40 (Bertrand Delesne & Nils Palmieri) en 26j 22h 25' 45'' (9,42 kts on the water)) à 2j 14h 15' 36'' from first.
6-Zetra (Eduardo Penido & Renato Araujo) en 28j 10h 37 '30'' (9,01 kts on the water)) à 4j 02h 27' 21'' from first.
7-Groupe Setin (Manuel Cousin & Gérald Quéouron) en 28j 18h 08' 10'' (8,66 kts on the water)) à 4j 09h 58 '01'' from first.
8-SNBSM Espoir Compétition (Valentin Lemarchand & Athur Hubert) en 28j 19h 14'05'' (8,80 kts on the water)) à 4j 11h 03'56'' from first.
9-Concise 2 (Phillippa Hutton-Squire & Pip Hare) en 28j 19h 48'20'' (8,57 kts on the water)) à 4j 11h 38' 11'' from first.