La Charente-Maritime/Bahia Transat 6.50 – Challenging conditions

La Charente-Maritime/Bahia Transat 6.50 2011
© Pierrick Garenne / GPO
La Charente-Maritime/Bahia Transat 6.50 started on Sunday 25th September 2011 and is heading to Salvador de Bahia, Brazil via Funchal, Madeira / Portugal. Current weather conditions are challenging the fleet.

The weather situation on the water is as complicated to understand as it is interesting to monitor. Also, two trends stand out. First, the majority of both fleets sail upwind on port tack (wind comes from the left) attempting to move westward at speeds between three and six knots. The wind is not strong and makes sudden changes in both strength and direction. Last night some boats experienced very localized gusts of over 20 knots while also experiencing light airs.

Tere was no change of leader in either fleet. Jorg Riechers (753 - Mare.de) still holds the top spot for Prototypes, Eric Llull (566 - Noble Cocoa) leads the ranking for Series. Sébastien Rogues (719 - Eole Generation - GDF Suez) is still second for Prototypes and is staying right with the German and there is less than three miles between them. If the leaders continue their respective routes, it is behind them that situation will be interesting. David Raison (757 - TeamWork Evolution), who stayed with the group of West supporters for a long time, headed South since last night. This is not the case with four other competitors who stick to their guns... Three prototypes, Aymeric Chapellier (788 - La Tortue de l'Aquarium - La Rochelle), Nicolas Boidevezi (719 - Défi GDE) and Bertrand Delesne (754 - ZOne Large) were the most westerly of that group (heading 268°), heading away from the direct course, therefore accepting they have more miles to sail. Their idea is to contact the cold front, cross it, and catch the winds to the northwest. Guo Chuan (487 - Vasa), who is currently ranked second in the Series has the same idea. Chuan is sailing west and is 50 miles (laterally) from the leader. Chuan may again drop down in the rankings but believes in this western option. Will he be right?

Jean-Marie Oger (774 - Brazil Forest - E. Leclerc) has arrived to La Coruna after striking an unidentified floating object with his keel. Oger did not know if it was a whale or something else, but the 'object' hit the rudders. One of the rudder's fittings was rammed and damaged the transom. He has managed to make repairs unassisted and will set sail again as soon as possible.

The Italian Andrea Pendibene (520 - Intermatica - ITA 520) said he wanted an escort boat to get to La Rochelle after sailing toward Vendée. He is expected in La Rochelle this evening after being forced to withdraw from the race due to electrical problems.

Prototypes rankings on the 30/09/2011 at 12h00 (UTC+2) -- 33 boats
1. Jorg Riechers (753 - Mare.de) - 603,3from finish
2. Sébastien Rogues (719 - Eole Generation - GDF Suez) - 606.28 from finish
3. David Raison (757 - TeamWork Evolution) - 618.78 from finish

Series rankings on the 30/09/2011 at 12h00 (UTC+2) - 46 boats
1. Eric Llull (566 - Noble Cocoa) - 660.27 from finish
2. Chuan Guo (487 - Vasa) - 666 from finish
3. Davy Beaudart (674 - Innovéa Environnement) - 668.94 from finish

Weather forecast by Météo Consult
Today: Ridge based in Madeira in Gijon in 1019 hPa collapsed towards the Portuguese coast. The low flow is organized in the S and SW. Cold front rain-storm centered near 11W, from Ireland to the latitude of Porto to 12 TU. It shifted slightly to the east this afternoon. It lost its activity tonight being rejected to the north. Stormy low at 1010 hPa centered at 12 TU per 41N/21W. It travelled back to the north this afternoon and tonight. A 18 TU, is centered at 42 ° 30N / 21 ° 10W and 0TU to 1006 hPa 40N/20 ° 42 ° 45W. New stormy cold front associated with the depression centered at 12 TU per 40N/20W 32N/25W up. It shifted to the east. It is positioned at 18TU and by 42N/17W-38N/18W 21N/24W. A 0TU is its axis and is 42N/15W-37N/15W 30N/21W.

Tomorrow: Minimum three low pressures west of Portugal. The first storm centered at 6TU by 44N/19W hPa to 1006 peaking up on site to 1011 hPa. The second is formed by 6TU 34N/16W to 1011 hPa. There it will grow significantly in the afternoon at 1007 hPa backwards towards the west at 18 TU to 34N/19W by TU. In between, the cold front will lose its activity. The wind will turn to the east near 40 parallel. The last to 1012 hPa is by 35N/10W 6TU. It will head to the Moroccan coast in the afternoon.

Trend later: Sunday stormy depression centered 35N/19W back quickly to the Azores. Ridge is formed on the 10W. Another stormy low in formation on the Moroccan coast. This whole system is shifted gradually to the west to the beginning of next week.

La Charente-Maritime/Bahia Transat website