This Thursday, September 8 at 2:45 p.m., with a slight delay on the schedule initially planned due to squalls having disrupted the exit from the port, the kick-off of the 4e edition of the Duo Concarneau – Challenge BFR Mare Haute was given in the bay of Port-la-Fort, off Beg-Meil. Propelled by a solid south-westerly flow blowing between 18 and 25 knots, the 69 competing duos then set off on the English (in the crosswind). While Yal Poupon and Victor Le Pape (1051 – Bihannic – Groupe Asten) were a little too hasty to do battle but quickly repaired before continuing on their way, the tandems Louise Comont – Thomas Menou (Action Sant) and Lo Bothorel – Romain Le Gall (987 – Les Optiministes – Secours Populaire 17) got off to the best start.
Still, at this stage of the race, the Game
was just beginning. And what Game
! The long 120-mile downwind leg which opens up promises a few tricks and other off-track excursions. The most experienced sailors will certainly attack flat out while the less seasoned will play the card of caution more, as we have already seen during the first miles depending on the sail configurations of each other. “The descent to Les Sables d’Olonne will certainly be very fast, on a direct route, with a steady wind but also a fairly long swell and optimum angles of progression. The first should overtake Petite Barge around 11 p.m. – midnight next night”, explains Herv Gautier, Race Director.
What next? Once the Vendenne brand is in the wake, the pairs will join the north-west cardinal Rochebonne upwind, on starboard tack, on a slightly obligatory tack. Same thing then, on the port tack, to go up towards the Birvideaux. “Again, the speed
will have the best part but the game promises to open up more afterwards, between Groix and the Mare des Glnan, with a little knitting”, announces Herv. “The general situation has finally changed very little since yesterday. However, we expect the wind to start to ease below 10 knots on Saturday in the second part of the night and then drop to less than 5 knots the following day before strengthening again in the evening », specifies the Race Director, whose the latest files suggest the arrivals of the leaders in the second part of Friday night Saturday Concarneau. In summary, it is speed
great V that the Ministries will swallow the 285 miles of the course but the challenge for them will be to succeed in going fast while preserving the equipment as well as possible. In short, to place the cursor in the right place, as always.
Note: Mark O’Connor – Ewen Loret (840 – Bad Beag) were victims of a damage approximately one hour after the start. The Franco-Irish duo are doing well and are receiving support to bring their Pogo home. PICTURES