Tom Laperche sets the pace in the second stage of La Solitaire du Figaro


Vigo (Pontevedra)

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At 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 29, 2021, the second stage began between Lorient and Fécamp, with a first section of 6 miles turning three buoys before heading towards the underwater plateau of Rochebonne (100 miles direction southeast) in which they would turn a buoy to ascend to the island of Ouessant before facing the navigation through the English Channel towards the arrival.

At 08:00 hours today, Monday, August 30, 2021, the La Solitaire du Figaro fleet is about 70 miles from Ouessant after more than 18 hours of racing; Sailing with good wind conditions – 64 ° at 17 knots of intensity – which allows the Figaro 3 monotypes to have speeds close to 14 knots.

At the top of the fleet, five loners have a slight advantage of almost a mile over the sixth and seventh, and more than 2.5 miles until the eleventh classified. Tom Laperche (Bretagne – CMB Performance), who was third in the first stage of this regatta, is the current leader practically from the start in Lorient. At 0.8 of a mile he is pursued by Pierre Quiroga (Skipper Macif 2019) -second in the first stage-; which is in the sight of Gildas Mahé (Breizh Cola), Xavier Macaire (Groupe SNEF) -winner of the first stage- and Eric Péron (French Touch).

“Aside from a small loss on the part of the pilot, which caused me to lose a bit of distance, it goes quite well with the gennaker. It is on starboard tack, and it goes quite fast. The boat whistles a bit. The wind should drop during the day. But we are quite advanced on the road “Tom Laperche is confident, in the first hours of this day, that it will not leave much respite to the 34 employers who have worked hard since the beginning of this second stage.

Eric Peron, well attached to the main group aboard French Touch, would comment: “Constant wind, waves on deck, good speeds, it’s wet! I’m well equipped, but I’m still wet. I have a helmet with a visor that protects me well, but my boots are full of water! We spinnaker down to Rochebonne. Then “The wind increased in crescendo. We went up with the gennaker, the boat is going quite fast, between 18 and 14 knots. She is relaxing a bit.”

As you approach the Iroise Sea, located between the islands of Sein and Ouessant, the weather conditions will change according to today’s forecast: “In the afternoon and the following night, the crossing of the Iroise Sea and the subsequent ascent to the Western Channel will continue to be carried out with moderate and unstable winds of about 15 knots, oscillating between the NE and the ENE. The sea ahead will continue to be unfavorable, with waves from the northeast of 1.5 m. The long-term conditions for patterns to advance will become exhausting. ”

And for Tuesday, meteorologist Pascal Scaviner, from METEOCONSULT, is not making it easy either: “The fleet will be mainly in the English Channel. They will advance at an average of 7 knots, with a very unstable NE wind of 17 to 20 knots and a bow sea. It will be advisable to be careful with this type of meteorological situation, which always favors the formation of small localized depressions, and which could cause significant and temporary drops in the strength and direction of the wind. This situation will force skippers to define a strategy when turning, in order to limit the number of course changes. Some will choose to stay close to the direct route, while others may be tempted to head further north to reduce the number of turns. The fleet should head west and north-west of the Channel Islands in the afternoon and then, at night, to the former near the north coast of the Cotentin.

The NE wind will strengthen in the afternoon and overnight north of the Seine Bay for the former, with speeds of between 20 and 25 knots and gusts of 30 knots. The sea will continue to be rough and straight ahead, with waves of up to 1.5 m ”.

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