The epic Transat Jacques Vabre yacht race from Le Havre in France to Salvador de Bahia in Brazil is now into its ninth day and the race is incredibly close and exciting.
Our heros, the Jersey based sailor Phil Sharp and his Spanish co-skipper Pablo Santurde managed to cross the line at the start in first place. They then slipped back to sixth during the first day, but battled their way back to lead the flotilla of 15 chasing Class 40s.
Yesterday for a short time they relinquiished the lead to the fantastic “V&B” with the AINA ENFANCE AVENIR also passing them into second place. But Phil and Pablo have fought back and have now regained a slender lead.
The competition is truly fierce. The two fast French boats are just a couple of miles astern of the newly re-christened ‘IMERYS CLEAN ENERGY”. Two miles is nothing in an ocean yacht race. The slightest wind shift or miscalculation and such a tiny lead will disappear as soon as you could say ”splice the mainbrace’.
As they pass the Cape Verde archipelago, there are only 13 miles of lateral separation between them, with Imerys Clean Energy on the west and V and B to the east.
Antoine Carpentier on V and B said last night.: “The wind is softening, probably because of shadow of the islands, but it meant a long detour with two gybes to move further away from them,”
In fourth place and sailing fast is ‘TEAMWORK40’ which has has made up 20 miles and is just 53 miles off the leaders. Again, that is very little margin in a race like this. There is everything to sail for.
The leaders are now just past the halfway mark and Phil and Pablo, despite their communication problems and disrupted weather files, do not seem to be giving anything away to the latest generation of French boats, which in theory ought to be quicker. They are doing a great job.
LETS GIVE THEM A CHEER AS THEY CELEBRATE “CROSSING THE EQUATOR!!
WIN A BOTTLE OF CLASSIC LADDIE. All you have to do is guess what date and time ‘IMERYS CLEAN ENERGY’ will cross the equator. You can see from the picture they have sent us from the boat that they are preparing to celebrate crossing the line with a decent dram. They only have one Wee Laddie with them (every ounce of weight counts in a race like this) – but we are going to really push the boat out and send our winner a full bottle.
You can enter by email
You can enter via Twitter
You can enter via Facebook
So – Check out the latest situation on the Race Tracker and see if you can work it out…
Enter you best guesstimate: the date and time in hours, minutes and seconds.
The usual rules apply – as in the judges make them up as they go along. They tend to be subjective and are probably unfair. The judges decision is final, no matter how ridiculous. Unfortunately cheating and bribery are frowned upon these days (we have had to clean up our act). You do have to be of legal drinking age in your country of residence in order to enter… Only one entry per person is allowed. But you could always ask your husband/wife/boyfriend/mistress to have a go…
Very best of luck. (We will work out the closing date and time for the competition soon… ha ha…). Watch this space…