At full speed in the trade winds, and since his express passage of the equator, Thomas Ruyant (Faber France) gives all his talent and what remains of strength and lucidity after 18 days of loneliness on the Atlantic Ocean to make a dream become true, by winning at 28 years old La Charente Maritime / Bahia Transat 6,50. He leads since his successful escape from the doldrums at top speed and fights to maintain a good distance with two pursuers determined to keep the achievements of the first stage. If a crossing of the line is estimated at around 7 o’clock in the morning (French time), it will be dark in the Bay of All Saints, and it is the black goddess Jemanja who will decide whether or not she will let the wind blow in the sails of Faber France. If it is « no », as it is often, in this area around the great city of Bahia, a harsh suspense could be settled, for the arrival of this exciting Transat. A few hours before the end, no winners on the podium are already permanently engraved in the marble of the Mini’s legends
Tempest in the Minis sailor’s heads.
And in the moist heat of the Brazilian Nordeste, in order of appearance on the screen, twe find the young Thomas Ruyant (Faber France), that is used to the Bahian scene since his participation in 2007, and that observes the intensification of pressure – over the miles -of his pursuers that become more comfortable gradually as the wind turns on the back of the Minis. The differences, stable with its nearest rival, HP Schipman (Maison de l’avenir Urbatys) slowly begins to melt with the motion of Bertand Delesne (Entreprendre Durablement) that, far from having abdicated, believes in his chances in the Bay of Bahia, to keep his little credit of 3 hours at the overall. Bertrand does his best under spinnaker and surfs in the trade winds, a real treat for his Plan Manuard! 82 miles away 36 hours ago… The great Bertrand has reduced his deficit to… 58 miles on Ruyant! Schipman lives with the hope generated by his 40 short minutes ahead of Thomas at general ranking. Looking back would be a waste of energy, so with two hours and 18 minutes behind Delesne there must be very few hope to preserve his unexpected heir position. And, Ruyant knows his Finot is comfortable in light airs, a holy asset in view of the finish line in Salvador.
Series in the trade winds
Approaching Recife, Series boats fully benefit from the trade winds. They, like their predecessors the protos in those waters, lined up to Bahia, on trajectories that leave no more chances to options. Speed, and pleasure, are the words of the day. With a touch of additional pressure for Charlie Dalin (cherche sponsor charliedalin.com) that is on the way to accomplish the perfect crossing since Funchal. Of course, is overall ranking deficit is 22 hours and the idea of an overall victory should not cross his mind. But arriving in Bahia as the stage’s winner should be the one idea that crosses his mind, and Charlie, 450 miles from the finish, makes a point of principle of keeping Francisco Lobato (ROFF TMN) far away from him. A Francisco that is clearly looking for a second victory (and triple with the overall). Ricardo Apolloni (Ma Vie pour Mapei), no doubt boosted by his recent fatherhood is this afternoon’s fastest. He is at this time completing a podium that the pack of pursuers led by another Italian Giancarlo Pedote (Prysmian) will have hard difficulties to mess up with.
Minis in North Atlantic
If this The Charente-Maritimes/Bahia Transat 6.50 is about to reveal the protos winners, we will have to wait until Saturday to know the best trio for series. The fleet spreads over half an Atlantic well beyond the equator and 5 solo sailors are still suffering the vengeance of the doldrums that accompanies their painful progress towards the equator. 7 degrees North latitude, and over 1 400 miles from the finish, Emmanuel Laurent (Domaine des Thômeaux), Maxence Desfeux (Matmut) who has travelled only 3 miles between two positionings today or Caroline Vieille (Fondation Jêrome Lejeune), barely happier with a 6 miles journey, are suffering along with the Norwegian Staale Jordan (Stormy) and the Swiss Fabrice Germont (Stratus); between showers and becalmed. Transat of all contrasts and all faces, The Charente-Maritime/Bahia Transat 6.50 is ready to give us superb winners but keeps numerous solo sailors for itself.
Ranking on Wednesday the 21st of October at 3 pm:
1- Charlie Dalin (Cherchesponsor charlie dalin.com) 459,43 miles from the finish
2- Francisco Lobato (ROFF TMN) 39,21 miles to the leader
3- Ricardo Appoloni (Ma vie pour Mapei) 58,83 miles to the leader
4- Giancarlo Pedote (Prysmian) 95,67 miles to the leader
5- Xavier Macaire (Masoco Bay) 105,5 miles to the leader
1- Thomas Ruyant (Faber France) 171,82 miles from the finish
2- Henri-Paul Schipman (Maison de l’avenir Urbatys) 35,09 miles to the leader
3- Bertrand Delesne (Entreprendre Durablement) 58,44 miles to the leader
4- Stéphane Le Diraison (Cultisol Marins sans frontières) 69,61 miles to the leader
5- François Cuinet (Plan Jardin) 103,28 miles to the leader