Solidarity with Paris.
After the finishes of the last IMOCAs yesterday, Friday, only the Multi50 Arkema – now in the Gulf of Rio and expected Sunday afternoon, and 11 Class 40s are still on the Transat Jacques Vabre race course from Le Havre to Itajaí, Brazil.
Paying respect to the victims of the attacks in Paris last night, Itajaí has all its flags at half mast. Race organisers, skippers, shore teams, families and friends attached to the race have all been very shaken and saddened by these events and all sympathise with their compatriots, families and friends in the city of Paris.
The mayor of Itajaí Jandir Bellini stated:
“As citizens of Itajaí (BRA) and Le Havre (FRA) who celebrate the cooperation and collaboration between different peoples, we are sad witnesses to horrifying acts of violence and intolerance.
In these trying times of sorrow and upset our population of Itajaí extends our solidarity and outstretch our arms to all our French brothers and sisters, and pray to heal the hearts of all the families affected by the terrible tragedy of the terrorist attacks in Paris.
The Transat Jacques Vabre is an example of a union between different peoples and respect for different cultures. The city of Itajaí proudly applauds the French people who showed the world how to promote freedom, equality and brotherhood.
You are always welcome in Brazil and Itajaí.”
There are still 12 duos racing. The third Multi50 ended their chances when they pit stopped in Salvador de Bahia. Arkema, Lalou Roucayrol and Cesar Dohy, have a NE’ly flow but their finish tomorrow is likely to be complicated as another stormy low settles over Itajaí.
The two leaders of the Class40, Le Conservateur, Yannick Bestaven and Pierre Brasseur, have eked out a few more miles on second placed V and B, Maxim Sorel and Sam Manuard and are now over 20 miles up. They are in stronger 20kts NE’ly trace winds off Salvador.
Brazilians Eduardo Penido and Renato Aruajo are leading a group of three out of the Doldrums, 39 miles up on British-South African duo Pip Hare and Philipp Hutton Squire.
Yannick Bestaven, skipper Le Conservateur (Class40)
"We had winds of over 25 knots of wind and so we sailed overnight with the large spinnaker and one reef in the mainsail. It was hard on the helm but we took shifts. This morning swapped to the small spinnaker. We are getting down South well. We arrive within four days.”