Shining for nearly 80 days, Armel Tripon still shone at a press conference for having conquered Everest of the seas. It is the same euphoria that “threatens” the 14 skippers still in the race and who, day after day, are getting closer to home.
Jealous, us? Not even. Those who watched Armel Tripon’s reunion with the floor on Monday morning were given a vaccine against the disease without a prescription or age limit. As on board L’Occitane en Provence, Armel Tripon tried to respond to the injunction of a fellow photographer who asked him to look serious like someone coming back from Hell. An impossible exercise for the Nantes skipper, carried by happiness. Pushing open the doors, looking for a hint of frustration behind it was hardly wasted.
“The timing of this race is pretty incredible,” said Armel Tripon this morning in Les Sables-d’Olonne. It is unique, over its duration, on the seas and landscapes encountered, but above all on the commitment we put into it. Sometimes you find yourself having to fix something and put the race aside for a while. On a deckchair, that does not exist. These moments of parenthesis are mind-blowing. We also have time to appreciate things, the universe around us, this wild and raw nature. It feels very intense. I am proud to have completed completing my mission. I think it was a real challenge to be at the start in such a short time. See the level of engagement on this race which is crazy. It’s nice to see that everyone has their own problems and goes to the end. It’s a great philosophy. Everyone is struggling to get to the end ”.
It is this philosophy that drives Clarisse Crémer on the water, currently at the gates of the Bay of Biscay. The Navigator of Banque Populaire X is 517.1 miles from Les Sables, which she should join early in the morning on Wednesday, probably before 10 am, when the channel will no longer be accessible. Pushed by the front of a new low that will succeed Justine, Clarisse is making good progress in the Atlantic, reassured by the ability of her boat to withstand the roller coasters that mark her route.
At roughly the same speed (16.7 knots), Jérémie Beyou (Charal) hurried to bring his IMOCA back to port. The ETAs see him on the line for now on the night from Friday to Saturday: he has 977.1 miles to go. 90 miles to his northwest, but much closer in the standings (around 10 miles), Romain Attanasio (Pure – Best Western®) is working hard to stay in touch. He is also expected on Saturday.
We will have to wait a little longer to know the epilogue of the match which, less than 2,000 miles from the lead, pits Arnaud Boissières (La Mie Câline – Artisans Artipôle, 1761.1 nm), Kojiro Shiraishi (DMG Mori Global One, 1,795.4 miles), Stéphane le Diraison (Time for Oceans, 1,865.3 nm), Alan Roura (La Fabrique, 1,871.6 nm), Pip Hare (Medallia, 2,030.0 nm) and Didac Costa (One Ocean One Planet, 2,038.5 nm). Let the young Swiss man summarize the situation in writing and this morning: “It’s going to be war. It could be a pretty memorable finish. I think our fleet will arrive fairly grouped together. Who will be in the lead? Not easy. On paper, it’s Kojiro who wins, but for the rest of the trio… Yellow? Blue? Orange? “The youngest must hurry: he’s almost out of coffee.
Manuel Cousin (Groupe Sétin), who is 700 miles behind (2,724.0 nm from the finish, to be exact, at 3 pm), at the gates of the doldrums. It’s never a bad omen for a coffee lover, but it’s a bit far to supply the Swiss with black gold. The adopted Vendée is currently leading the game in this three-way match between Clément Giraud (Compagnie du Lit – Jiliti) and Miranda Merron (Campagne de France, 2937.7 nm). First slowdown, Manuel Cousin was advancing at 10.9 knots over 4 hours this afternoon, worse than Clément Giraud (14.9 knots) and Miranda Merron (14.0 knots).
At 4,717.6 miles from Les Sables, Alexia Barrier (TSE – 4myPlanet) holds the upper hand to Ari Huusela (Stark, 4,788.0 miles). The two appear to have partially extricated themselves from the high pressure area which stuck them to the runway. It is not yet the trade winds in which Sam Davies (Initiatives-Cœur) is progressing outside the race, but it is starting to look like it. But for now, upwind in 18 knots of wind, things are shaking!
Clément Giraud, Compagnie du Lit – Jiliti
I took a lot out of the high pressure 3-4 days ago. There, I find myself with the squalls, the clouds, 180 miles from the earth. I had a northerly wind all the way and I got a bit screwed. Morally it was not easy. I felt like I didn’t know why, that I hadn’t anticipated enough. But I couldn’t have done anything more.
I am rediscovering a configuration of sails that I did not know, because I had not applied it from the start and it works well. I’m still learning things on my boat.
The wind direction is fairly consistent, but I have had 30 degree variations and oscillations of 8 knots for the past 3 days. I have 25 knots there. The sea is not rough, it allows me to do beautiful surfs. On the way out, I was stuck for 4 days in the doldrums, it was very hard sporting. The goal is to negotiate the high pressure well, because it is quite big. He is the one who will determine the rest of the course. I do not yet know the strategy I will adopt, because there is a strong wind for a short time, but the problem is that it will arrive at the level of the Azores, and the sea state in this area is not not favorable. We will not have to dwell on it. I’ll make up my mind at the last moment. The trick is to bring the boat and the man back in good condition, I will be careful. The man is starting to get tired. Right now, I’m taking advantage of the quieter times to try and get plenty of sleep, because I think it will be more difficult afterwards. I want to fill myself up before I go back to these depressions.
Stéphane Le Diraison, Time For Oceans
I’m happy that the sea has calmed down a bit, it was cool to sail long distances like that, we were going at 16-18 knots, but it’s demanding, because there are a lot of sea. little broken in half after chiselling for several days. It feels good to take a refreshing break there. We are a little disgusted to have to go around the parish, we go far west of the Azores, we are adding to the road. We really weren’t lucky with the weather until the end.
I’m happy to have been able to catch up with the front runners. I wouldn’t have bet on it with all the delay I had at Cape Horn. This backbone will help me, because it will slow down from the front and it allows me to pick them up. We will have to remain opportunistic. You have to succeed in being smart to succeed in leaving with them. We’re going to have a nice end of the race, with contact. We discussed it quite a bit. If we’re here, it’s because we’ve had a lot of trouble, everyone has things that bother them. Today, you have to find the right balance between competition, the desire to do the best you can and get to the end of this race. I don’t want to take the risk of breaking the boat just to gain a place. We’re not very far from the goal, so it’s not very obvious. It’s very interesting. You also have to be careful, because it’s not just the boat that is tired. This is an essential parameter to integrate.
Rankings at 3pm French Time
- Clarisse Crémer, Banque Populaire X, 517.06 miles from finish
- Jérémie Beyou, Charal, 977.07 miles from 12th
- Romain Attanasio, PURE – Best Western®, 987.36 miles from 12th
- Arnaud Boissières, La Mie Câline – Artisans Artipôle, 1 761.07 miles from 12th
- Kojiro Shiraishi, DMG MORI Global One, 1 795.38 miles from 12th
Photo Credit : B. Le Bars
– PR –