The second night of the Transat Jacques Vabre has been a hard one for most of the co-skipper pairs, particularly those which chose the northerly route. In the IMOCA class Edmond de Rothschild, Safran, and Maitre CoQ have turned around due to damage to, The British Class 40 Team Concise, taking the most northerly route, is heading to Cork and in the south the Ultim trimaran Prince de Bretagne has capsized 140 miles from La Coruna. Both skippers onboard Prince de Bretagne are safe. Conditions will deteriorate today but the multihulls will see some improvements to the weather in the evening.
Conditions last night were not as bad as expected, an autumn depression with many big squalls, large waves came from the southwest in and then gave way to northwest winds. The seas remain rough but are better for those in the east, toward Biscay and close to the Spanish coast, but worse for those IMOCAs in the west.
At the head of the southerly group Alex Thomson and Guillermo Altadill still lead the IMOCA 60s chased by Bastide-Otio, MACSF, AEROCAMPUS and Spirit of Hungary in a southwesterly wind of 20kts which will veer to become more westerly. Those in the west will approach the centre of the low pressure today, suffering the worst of the southerly 30 knot winds that are forecast to go north and increase to 35 knots. After the worst of the battering they will be able to cautiously slide south and head out of the low.
The Class40s don’t have the same opportunity to sail out of the low today. They are lead by Nico Troussel and Corentin Horeau on a relatively southerly route in 20kts of southwest breeze they have this for 36 hours, continued with 4 meter waves adding to the difficulty. They have a new front approaching this evening. There is nearly 80 miles of lateral separation between leaders Bretagne Crédit Mutuel Elite in the south and Le Conservateur which is fourth sailed by Yannick Bestaven and Pierre Brasseur.
It must be hard for the Class 40 duos to look at the tracking of the fleet and not feel envious of the Ultimes. They are through the worst of the weather, in a westerly 15-18 knot breeze with Sodebo Ultim, Thomas Coville and Jean Luc Nélias leading Macif by nearly 40 miles. Onboard Prince de Bretagne which was capsized by a large gust last night, Lionel Lemonchois and Roland Jourdain await assistance . The Multi 50s are in a tight group 200 miles from the NW corner of Spain with Thierry Bouchard and Oliver Krauss leading as the only boat on the southwards tack while their rivals still work west.