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LinkedOut Leads the IMOCAs to Transat Finish

The IMOCA 60s follow the trimarans into the finish of the Transat Jaques Vabres in Martinique, with Thomas Runyant and Morgan Lagraviere on LinkedOut cruising in with a comfortable victory.

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LinkedOut post-race
IMOCA LinkedOut skippers Thomas Ruyant and Morgan Lagraviere win the Transat Jacques Vabre, arriving first into Fort de France, Martinique, on November 25, 2021. Jean-Louis Carli / Alea

Charlie Dalin has added a second-place finish to his victory in the previous edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre. Along with partner Paul Meilhat, Dalin crossed the finish line aboard their boat Apivia 20 hours 12 minutes and 21 seconds behind the winner, LinkedOut. The pair covered 6,642.18 miles at an average speed of 14.64 knots.

Speaking on the finish line Dalin said, “We set out to try and do a double, but we were missing perhaps two or three ingredients, a touch of success, a touch of speed in certain conditions.”

Apivia led the fleet in the early stages of the race but from Day 5 the lead changed many times between the leading three boats. “We are very happy with this second place. In the end, the final stretches made it impossible to come back. It was a very intense three-boat race,” conceded Dalin.

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After more than twenty days at sea the difference between fourth and fifth in the IMOCA class was just 21 minutes 40 seconds between Britain’s Sam Davies on Initiatives Coeur and an all-French crew aboard Arkéa-Paprec. Italian Pedote took sixth.

After a long and hard-fought battle all the way up the Brazilian coast to the finish line in Martinique, Sébastien Simon and Yann Eliès sailed their 60-foot monohull, Arkéa-Paprec, to a fourth-place finish. They completed the course in 20 days 17 hours 8 minutes and 30 seconds covering 6,670.9 miles at an average speed of 13.42 knots.

Sam Davies and co-skipper Nico Lunven will be very pleased with their fifth place considering the age of their boat Initiatives Coeur which was built in 2010. Their race stats are evidence of a skillful performance both driving and navigating; total distance covered 6,440.1 miles averaging 12.94 knots. Davies has a new boat on the way and this result will act as a shot over the bows of her rivals.

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Davies said after crossing the line, “I think if someone had told me that we were going to be playing alongside the new boats for the whole race, I wouldn’t have believed it. We are super proud. It was a hard and long race. It went very well on board. The magic of ocean racing is that we never stop learning. This was my third Transat Jacques Vabre with this boat and I never get bored.”

Davies and Lunven’s 20 days at sea also raised enough money for a further 26 children to receive life-changing heart surgery as part of the Initiatives Coeur campaign.

About 1 hour 45 minutes behind Initiatives Coeur came Italian Giancarlo Pedote and co-skipper Martin Lepape. They guided their boat to sixth place having covered a total of 6,464.13 miles at an average of 12.95 knots.

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A seventh IMOCA also crossed the line Sunday morning. Fortinet-Best Western sailed by Romain Attanasio and Sebastien Marsset took 7th place 20 days 20 hours 10 minutes and 10 seconds after leaving Le Havre on November 7th.

As the IMOCAs continued to cross the line, the three leading boats and their crews were honored at the official prize-giving ceremony in Fort-de-France, Martinique.

The IMOCA podium:
1. LinkedOut (Thomas Ruyant – Morgan Lagravière)
2. Apivia (Charlie Dalin – Paul Meilhat)
3. Charal (Jérémie Beyou – Christopher Pratt)

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The ceremony was also an opportunity to honour Apivia for her victory in the IMOCA Globe Series 2021 circuit. Apivia’s second place in the Transat Jacques Vabre race sealed the overall season title following wins in the Rolex Fastnet (in August) and the Défi Azimut (in September). Charlie Dalin and Paul Meilhat beat LinkedOut who finished second on 131 points – 12 points behind Apivia.

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