Photo du bord Class40 Amarris
22 November 2023 - 17h25

Class 40’s winning plotline….Hitchcock or Tarantino?

With less than 200 miles to the finish and the winner due across the line tomorrow mid-afternoon UTC time the Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre Class 40 title looks increasingly like it will be decided between crews who are Italian, are ex Figaro aces or those who have put their faith in the North.

Through the last 24 hours the three groups have been converging at very different speeds. From the north Ian Lipinski and Antoine Carpentier (Credit Mutuel) 150 miles due north of Martinique have seen their southerly course slowed to just five knots, so too the French Figaro duo Xavier Macaire and Pierre Leboucher (Groupe SNEF) who opted some days ago to go directly west towards the island have been slow. It is the Italian-French duo Ambrogio Beccaria and Nico Andrieu on Alla Grande Pirelli who continue to profit. 

“It’s a bit like a Tarantino film, where everyone gets shot at the end,” joked Beccaria. “According to my routing, it may be Influence2 that wins or us or Groupe SNEF… In any case, none of us can control the situation.” 

Most routings show less than two hours between the leaders from the three directions. And into that final analysis the timings from the first leg from Le Havre to Lorient need to be taken into account. Recall that Ambrogio and Andrieu hold a 1h 1m 48s lead over Groupe SNEF. Also Credit Mutuel dismasted and their final aggregate time calculation effectively gives them no chance of winning. 

On Ammaris in fifth place in the north,  Achille Nebout reported, “We’re waiting for the wind to hoist the gennaker. Based on the routings, it should work out to the finish, but we remain sceptical, because the wind is very unstable. A lot can happen.” 

The race’s weather expert Christian Dumard proposed today, “We see very little wind for SNEF, but the NE’ly wind should gradually build. We can see that Crédit Mutuel is coming down in a fairly strong Easterly wind. And for Ambrogio there is a strengthening Easterly wind too and so for the moment, we see Ambrogio first and Crédit Muteul second.” 


A good choice made by Alla Grande Pirelli

In the South Beccaria on Alla Grande Pirelli added, “We’re trying to do the best in our group and it’s all going well. We have had the spinnaker up since the Canaries,” explained Ambrogio Beccaria.“We were the first to gybe when we were keeping in check second-placed IBSA,” 

“ For us the outcome will be decided when we get to the French West Indies chain: will there be any wind there or not?”  wondered Antoine Carpentier in the lead, aboard Crédit Mutuel.” 

Britain’s Alister Richardson and Brian Thompson (T’quila) still hold ninth place and have high hopes of improving. Thompson reported, “We can describe today in one word… ‘scorchio!’….it is so hot, not much wind across the deck. We have the spinnaker up and there is not much apparent wind and it is unbelievably hot. We need to drink so much water after even one gybe. Tactically we did not have a great 24 hours as we did not hold our own against Everial but IBSA we have been fine against. It is close. Most likely we will get headed down to the finish line but we have had to go much further west than anyone expected. The wind has stayed resolutely right, in the 100s when we expected it to be in the 80s, so we had