This Wednesday at the end of the day, the fleet of the Drheam Cup / Grand Prix de France de Course au Large still has 89 boats at sea. Fourteen of them arrived in the port of La Trinité-Sur-Mer. Among them, the Ocean Fifty Leyton led by Sam Goodchild, the most French of the British, who won in his category, followed by Sébastien Rogues (Primonial) and Erwan Le Roux (Koesio). Albator, led by Philippe Frantz, came third in the crewed IRC, with Alexis Loison, the regional starter, on board.
In La Trinité-Sur-Mer, there were 3 Ocean Fifty, 1 Ultime and 5 Multi 2000 and 4 IRC crew. At the end of the day, the Multi 2000 BlackCap, Chateau Du Launay crossed the finish line. The “small yellow trimaran” Acapella – la chaîne de l’espoir, led by Charlie Capelle and based in La Trinité-Sur-Mer will be the next boat to reach the pontoons. It will be followed by the first Figaro Bénéteau 3 – Basile Bourgnon (Edenred) in the lead – expected at the beginning of the night.
The fleet is currently racing in a steady westerly flow, which should ease off and turn north overnight. Tomorrow, the competitors still in the race will be sailing upwind in light airs as they approach the finish line in Quiberon Bay. To note: 14 boats will retire.
Mano a mano in Ocean Fifty
At 12:58 pm on Wednesday, Leyton crossed the finish line as the winner, after a memorable maneuver with his opponents over the 1000 mile course. He was only 23 minutes ahead of Sébastien Rogues (Primonial). To think that the six 15-meter trimarans were still racing and crewing in the Fastnet a week before the start in Cherbourg-en-Cotentin. This time, during the Drheam Cup / Grand Prix de France de Course au Large, the six sailors once again tacked the famous lighthouse, but solo.
After an express crossing of the English Channel in just over three hours, they engaged in merciless duels, negotiating a vast low-pressure area with very little wind on the direct route, and squalls that are always very complex to manage single-handed on these machines that are as powerful as they are fickle, and that are often compared to go-karts in terms of the sensations they provide at the helm.
During the course, there were no less than four successive leaders: Thibaut-Vauchel Camus (Solidaire en peloton-Arsep) at the beginning, Sébastien Rogues (Primonial) at the Fastnet, Erwan Le Roux (Koesio) in the descent to the BXA buoy in front of Royan, and finally the Briton Sam Goodchild (Leyton) in the long ascent to Trinité-Sur-Mer, who managed to escape in the final. Two years ago, Sam Goodchild had already won the event, but at the helm of a Figaro.
Sitting on Leyton’s port float with his feet in the water and his eyes glazed over, Sam Goodchild looks back on this slightly crazy race: “What a fight with Seb (Rogues) and Erwan (Le Roux)! Each one had their little moment in front, but fortunately I was the one who got it at the finish. I don’t know what state the others are in, but I’m not fresh at all. What is certain is that I didn’t let go of anything. I’m proud of myself with what I gave. Even on a Figaro stage, I’ve never been so far away… I’ve never slept so little. On a Figaro, you can go and sleep, but on an Ocean Fifty, you have no choice except when the wind is stable, which has not often been the case since Cherbourg-en-Cotentin. On a Drheam Cup and over three days, you can get into the red, but on a transatlantic race, you have to know how to lift your foot off the pedal to last. Did he scare himself? “I had a few scares, but in the end, I gained a lot of confidence in myself and in my boat, and that’s my greatest satisfaction in this race. When you take a 30-knot gust of wind in the bay, you freak out, but when you’re all alone in the middle of the night in the open sea, you have to manage the situation. Right now, all I want to do is sleep”.
A few minutes later, Sébastien Rogues (Primonial) arrived on the pontoon, a magnificent second. The two sailors congratulate each other, and immediately resume the race on the pontoon, while the technical teams have taken over the controls of the two trimarans.
Seb Rogues: “Did you sleep after BXA? Sam : ” No, I was afraid to fall asleep and wake up on the rocks at Belle Ile… ” Seb : ” The files announced that the wind was going to ease, and I told myself that as soon as it did, I would go to sleep… but the easing never came and I didn’t sleep. I cracked, reefed, changed genoa, and fell into the arms of Morpheus for fifteen minutes. I had to. I could hear too many people talking to me on the boat. Sam: “I started to have hallucinations. I could see crew members leaving to maneuver, but no, I was all alone. Seb: “I had the whole catalog of hallucinations, and on the AIS I saw dozens of luminous points. A real video game.” Sam : ” Well yes, we passed the Mini 6.50 fleet that was racing from Les Sables d’Olonne to the Azores. I met some of them at ten meters who were yelling at me, asking me what I was doing there at 25 knots! I answered: “and guys, I’m racing too. I’m doing the Drheam Cup! Seb : “Oh well, I thought they were fishermen.
It’s time to break out the champagne before taking a long nap. The two sailors admit that they hardly slept a wink for three days.