Normandy Channel Race - An almighty battle

Normandy Channel Race 2011
© Jean-Marie Liot
The Normandy Channel Race 2011 Class40 fleet is continuing to battle one another along the English Coast and there is an almighty battle at the head of the fleet for this second edition of the race.

NORMANDY CHANNEL RACE 2011 - CAEN LE 22 MAI 2011 PHOTO © JEAN-MARIE LIOT/NCR2011 - MENTION OBLIGATOIRE POUR TOUTE UTILISATION AUCUNE UTILISATION SANS ACCORD - Normandy Channel Race 2011
© Jean-Marie Liot

There is an almighty battle at the head of the fleet for this second edition of the Normandy Channel Race. Since the start, 10 boats have been riding along neck and neck in some breezy sailing conditions. At this lunchtime’s radio session, Yoann Richomme, co-skipper aboard Des pieds et des mains, explained the situation: 'It’s lively and wet! At the moment, we have 25 knots of breeze and big seas'.

At the front of the fleet, the top three at the 1400 GMT ranking were within three miles of each other, but the proximity of the boats doesn’t seem to be affecting the leaders, Fabien Delahaye and Bruno Jourdren, Port de Caen – Ouistreham:

'We don’t have a lot of visibility so we’re just concentrating on our race, our strategy, downloading the weather and trying to make headway'.The fleet is making towards Plymouth Sound and is set to pass the South-West tip of England early tomorrow morning. There are still 750 miles to go, so it’s very much game on.

NORMANDY CHANNEL RACE 2011 - CAEN LE 22 MAI 2011 PHOTO © JEAN-MARIE LIOT/NCR2011 - MENTION OBLIGATOIRE POUR TOUTE UTILISATION AUCUNE UTILISATION SANS ACCORD - Normandy Channel Race 2011
© Jean-Marie Liot

There have been two retirements from the race. The Class40 Livewire, skippered by Stuart Dodd and Steve Kennington, is no longer racing. Last night the English duo reported issues with their ballast tanks, automatic pilot and power. At the first course mark, Stuart and Steve opted to continue their route towards Cherbourg to attempt to effect repairs but in the middle of the night, announced their retirement.

For their part, Christophe Coatnoan and Sébastien Figue, respectively skipper and co-skipper of the Class40 Partouche, contacted the race committee at 1400 GMT today.

The weather conditions encountered over recent hours were, according to Christophe, 'too risky' to reasonably continue: 'It’s very windy and we have big seas. Since the start Sébastien has been sick. He’s exhausted! We’ve turned back and are making for Ouistreham. All’s well but conditions are lively'.

The wind is easing gradually but remains fairly strong. However, over the coming hours, sailing conditions are set to become more manageable. This should give the skippers, and the boats, the time to breathe a little before the next major difficulty, Tuskar Rock.

Class40
1. MARIE TOÎT - CAEN LA MER 742.9 0.0 50 10.60' N 3 46.60' W 23/05/2011 17:00 4.0 230 8.7 246 6.3 252.2 5.1 199.0 0.00
2. PORT DE CAEN OUISTREHAM 743.2 0.3 50 09.88' N 3 45.96' W 23/05/2011 17:00 5.8 205 8.0 243 5.5 248.8 4.9 194.2 0.00
3. INITIATIVES SAVEURS 745.3 2.4 50 09.48' N 3 42.77' W 23/05/2011 17:02 20.0 235 8.7 239 5.5 243.1 4.8 192.2 0.00
4. L'EXPRESS - SAPMER 745.4 2.5 50 11.04' N 3 42.84' W 23/05/2011 17:00 8.8 231 8.7 236 6.5 248.1 5.0 195.7 0.00
5. MARE.DE2 745.8 2.9 50 11.24' N 3 42.16' W 23/05/2011 17:00 9.4 232 9.5 232 7.1 250.9 4.9 194.6 0.00
6. DES PIEDS ET DES MAINS 745.9 3.0 50 09.04' N 3 41.36' W 23/05/2011 17:00 9.2 234 8.8 235 6.2 235.6 4.8 193.7 0.00
7. TALANTA 746.2 3.3 50 11.60' N 3 41.64' W 23/05/2011 17:00 9.4 226 9.0 231 6.6 246.0 4.9 192.0 0.00
8. DEFI GDE - TZU HANG 750.3 7.3 50 13.84' N 3 36.16' W 23/05/2011 17:00 7.8 229 9.1 227 6.6 253.4 4.8 188.5 0.00
9. RED 750.9 8.0 50 14.28' N 3 35.40' W 23/05/2011 17:00 9.8 226 8.9 228 6.9 256.2 4.8 188.9 0.00
10. PHESHEYA RACING 759.5 16.6 50 25.80' N 3 24.44' W 23/05/2011 15:30 8.4 294 8.6 290 7.4 273.5 5.2 183.8 0.00
11. GRYPHON SOLO 2 772.6 29.7 50 27.04' N 3 08.24' W 23/05/2011 17:00 9.2 229 5.1 196 6.0 264.2 4.6 173.0 0.00
12. 40 DEGREES 774.6 31.7 50 28.84' N 3 06.08' W 23/05/2011 17:00 8.4 226 8.2 225 6.9 270.0 4.5 167.5 0.00
13. SPLIFF 795.5 52.6 50 21.62' N 2 26.33' W 23/05/2011 17:00 5.9 231 6.0 232 5.1 245.8 3.5 147.1 0.00
14. OCEAN ELEVEN 809.0 66.1 50 27.56' N 2 06.64' W 23/05/2011 17:00 5.6 275 5.6 275 3.2 232.6 3.4 134.9 0.00

ABD LIVEWIRE 0.0 49 38.77' N 1 37.26' W 23/05/2011 17:00 0.1 057 0.1 057 0.00
ABD PARTOUCHE 0.0 49 51.76' N 1 29.56' W 23/05/2011 17:00 8.8 118 8.8 118 0.00

Normandy Channel Race website