TRANSAT JACQUES VABRE
Bennett and Larsen win Open 50 class
Pindar Systems round Ascension
Thursday 22 November 2001 –
These two ‘gladiators’ were notorious for being unstoppable in their mission to win from well before the start gun was fired, and inexhaustible at pushing their older generation 50 footer at 110% the whole way. Mike Golding commented last night on his fellow Anglo Saxons’ victory: "So much about sailing is about preparation, maintenance and keeping in contact with the latest technology. Even though ‘Saving’ is the faster boat, sailing isn’t just about that one element - it’s the whole package, and Alex has shown he can deliver that."
In fact Bennett’s nearest rival, Saving (Le Youdec/Bacave), had no weather router, whereas One Dream One Mission had Lee Bruce to guide them through the black spots in this classic double-handed transatlantic race, which crossed the Equator for the first time. In the final downwind stretch in light airs, where Saving should have excelled, instead they suffered from technical problems and admitted to be racing at not quite such an infernal pace. This did not stop ‘Saving’ being a nemesis for Alex and Paul right from start to finish, and even in the last 40 miles Alex & Paul would not slack off, adding in their own typical style: "It’s all on until the fat lady sings!"
With this victory, Alex Bennett, the 25 year old skipper who came fifth in the 1999 Mini Transat and was part of Pete Goss’ Team Phillips crew, should catapult himself towards his ultimate dream and mission in life: to take the start of the 2004 Vendée Globe.
In the Open 60 fleet, the last three boats have arrived. Miranda Merron with French co-skipper Fred Brulé, brought Un Univers de Service across the finish line at 1929hrs 45s GMT on Wednesday 21st November, to take 9th place in the rankings behind Bobst-Group - Armor Lux (Stamm/Riou). They covered 4,565 miles in 18 days, 7 hrs, 39 mins, 45s, at an average speed Speed #speedsailing of 10.38 knots. The girls recorded the lowest average boat speed Speed #speedsailing but knowingly stuck to the rum line and thus beat in by just 45 minutes Sollac Atlantique, skippered by French Figaro experts Seeten & Drouglazet.
Finally, Richard Tolkien and Robert Wingate on board This Time crossed the line at 0102hrs GMT exactly in 10th place to close the Open 60 class race. They are delighted to have completed the race in 18 days 13hrs 12 minutes, just 12 minutes inside the goal, which they had set themselves, to finish 48rhs after the winner. They have exceeded the boat’s potential and average speed, as they covered 4522 miles on the water at an average speed of 10.4 knots, an increase of 2 knots since it won the Transat Jacques Vabre Transat Jacques Vabre #TJV2015 in 1995 under Jean Maurel’s helm.
Pindar Systems, skippered by Emma Richards & Mikaela Von Koskull, were delivered from hell yesterday. Emma wrote in her first email, after problems with their Sat C stopped all communications for 50 hrs: "The reward came at 1800 this evening, when we passed very close to the rugged landscape of East Ascension island – or ’Assumption’ island – as we have only assumed it was here after 5 days blindly following the compass through various bad tacking angles. So now we only have 2 and a half Fastnet races to go – all downwind!" Their ETA with 1240 miles to go is currently Monday 26th Nov.
The other multihull left on course is Nautica, and skipper Yvan Bourgnon called briefly to the Paris Race HQ to say that they have incurred significant structural damage to the central hull and forward bars. They are trying to find solutions to keep their boat together until the finish, which is only 350m away. "The central hull could simply split in two, both if we go too slowly or too fast," said Bourgnon, "and we hope to just get Nautica safely to port by Saturday." They are sailing towards Bahia at 10 knots.
Multihull Rankings (Time reference + difference from leader)
1-Groupama (Franck Cammas-Stève Ravusssin) 14d 09hrs 03m 25s
2-Foncia (Alain Gautier-Ellen MacArthur) 14d 12hrs 35m 10s + 3hrs 31m 45s
3-Fujifilm (Loïck Peyron-Loïc Le Mignon) 14d 22hrs 11m 35s + 13hrs 08m 10s
4-Bonduelle (Jean Le Cam-Jacques Caraës) 15d 09hrs 31m 40s + 1d 00hrs 28m 15s
5-Belgacom (Jean-Luc Nélias-Michel Desjoyeaux) 15d 15hrs 28m 05s + 1d 06hr 24m 40s
6-BanquePopulaire (Roucayrol/Parlier) 16d 02hrs 21m 53s +1d 17hrs 18m 28s
7-Fila (Soldini/Lochmazeur) 17d 1hr 40m 8s +2d 16hrs 46m 43s
Multihull Positions at 1300hrs GMT – DTF (nm)
Postn Boat Latitude Longitude Speed Hdg DTF DFL
8 Nautica 12 49.60’ S 31 58.20’ W 10.8 244 382.0
9 Pindar Systems 9 17.20’ S 17 57.36’ W 15.8 258 1242.4 860.4
Open 60 Monohull Rankings (Time reference + difference from leader)
1-Sill Plein Fruit (Jourdain/Le Cleac’h) 16d 13hrs 23m 41s
2-Ecover (Golding/Hutchinson) 16d 18hrs 40m 55s + 5hrs 17mins 14s
3-Casto-Darty-But (Moloney/Turner) 16d 20hrs 10m 52s + 6hrs 47mins 11s
4-SME-Négocéane (Sanso/Dumont) 17d 01hrs 23m 40 s +11hrs 59mins 59s
5-Voila.fr (Gallay/De Pavant) 17d 03hrs 23m 20s + 13hrs 59mins 39s
6-Fila (Laurent/Rufini) 17d 04hrs 12m 38s + 14hrs 48mins 57s
7-Temenos (Wavre/Paret) 17d 05hrs 30m 53s – 16hrs 07mins 12s
8-Bobst Group-Armor-Lux (Stamm/Riou) 17d 16hrs 55mins 13s + 1d 3hrs 31mins 32s
9-Un Univers de Service (Merron/Brulé) 18d 7hrs 30mins 45s + 1d 18hrs 7mins 4s
10-Sollac Atlantique (Seeten/Drouglazet) 18d 8hrs 25mins 18s + 1d 19hrs 1min 37s
11-This Time (Tolkien/Wingate) 18d 13hrs 12mins + 1d 23hrs 48mins 19s
Open 50 Monohull Rankings & Positions at 1215hrs GMT – DTF (nm)
1-One Dream : One Mission (Bennett/Larsen) 18d 16hrs 34mins 45s
Postn Boat Latitude Longitude Speed Hdg DTF DFL
2-Saving (1000hrs GMT) 13 01.50’ S 38 29.16’ W 8.6 256 2.2 1.5
3 Setrabio 7 48.76’ S 33 53.32’ W 11.2 204 442.3 441.5
4 Tredici 1 16.20’ S 32 17.60’ W 8.0 196 830.8 830.1
5 BranecIII 0 07.56’ N 32 07.52’ W 8.0 208 913.5 912.7
6 Olympian Challenger 5 56.72’ N 28 38.44’ W 6.7 194 1311.1 1310.3
Also in this section
TRANSAT JACQUES VABRE : FILA finish, Pindar Systems to round Ascension
TRANSAT JACQUES VABRE : Sill’s sweet victory, Ecover sweeps second from Casto-Darty-But
TRANSAT JACQUES VABRE : Multihull podium filled, with Fujifilm finishing in third
TRANSAT JACQUES VABRE : Gautier & MacArthur finishe second 3hrs after Groupama