LISBONNE… ALREADY!

Wednesday the 16th of September 2009
o  Three days and 700 miles later
o  Lobato – SERIES and Schipman – PROTO
o  Joys and sorrows …    
 
Three days and three nights at sea for the 84 competitors of The Charente-Maritime/Bahia Transat 6.50 2009. Three days and three nights sailing downwind in the breeze, with plenty of technical matters, lack of sleep, « starvation » and the glorious uncertainty for positions. No way to keep eyes open, humid and salty skin in heavy wet oilskin coat, the minis sailors finally found the absolute happiness of more and more franticly sail in stormy swell. For some time put away, because of the passing of the Cape Finisterre, the spinnakers are back, and the quickest to set it free are congratulating themselves tonight by listening to the rankings announced by the honeyed voice of the race director on the long waves of Monaco radio, the only way for the solo sailors to get news about the race.
 
An open competition
Francisco Lobato in series, and Henry Paul « HP » Schipman in prototypes, the most conquerors from the start, have made a small difference that they want to capitalize, maybe tomorrow, when the Portuguese trade winds will weaken. For now, the procession continues, with on the Atlantic board a game that opens, sometimes farther west, sometimes closer to the Iberian coast. At just over 400 miles from Madeira and the finish line in Funchal, everyone knows that a redistribution of the cards is about to come for the sailors in the quiet of the archipelago.

Advantage Lobato
Sure the Portuguese prodigy is living his dream. Leading the Series boats since Narrow channel of Antioche. In Portuguese waters, Francisco Lobato (ROFF TMN) would love to be first to enter the port of Funchal. He tries to achieve with energy that stunned many of the competitors with last generation prototypes. His averages speed in the trade winds is amazing and despite a significant lateral shift from his main protagonist, the proto « Maison de l’avenir Urbatys  » HP Schipman, he again – this afternoon – rammed the point home at 11 knots average speed between two positioning. In his wake, heading, at the same latitude and conditions he leads Bertrand Delesne and his proto Manuard 2009 « Entreprendre durablement » and the tenacious Thomas Ruyant (Faber France). The agile Stéphane on Diraison (Cultisol Marins sans frontière) returns from the west and Fabien Després (Soitec) out in the East are coming back to pressure on the leaders. 300 miles further north, in sight of Cape Finisterre, we welcome back Olivier Avram (Cap Monde 2), author of a fantastic and rectilinear crossing the Gulf of Biscay, after a restart form La Rochelle, after 12 endless hours of a forced stop to repair a broken spinnaker pole and sails.
 
Jorg abandons
Other favourites in this eagerly awaited The Charente-Maritime/Bahia Transat 6.50 after his explosion in early season (Ed, victory in the Transgascogne 2009), the German Jorg Riechers has a completely opposite fortune, his plan Bertrand 2009 crashed an unidentified floating object which has greatly damaged the keel, damages that do not allow to continue the race. Arrived in La Coruna, he found out that it was impossible to consider proper repairs within the 72 hours allowed… Thus, Jorg gave up with lots of regrets we believe, and becomes the second to abandon the race after Davy Beaudart, also known as a challenger in series.

Ranking at 3 pm:

Prototypes: 1. HP Schipman (Maisons de l’avenir – Urbatys) at 412,59 miles ; 2. Bertrand Delesne (Entreprendre durablement) at 16,2 miles from the leader; 3. Thomas Ruyant (Faber France) at 30,04 miles from the leader; 3. Stéphane Le Diraison (Cultisol – Marins sans frontières) at 13,17 miles from the leader…
Series: 1. Francisco Lobato (ROFF TMN) at 409,52 miles from Funchal; 2. Cahrlie Dalin (Cherche sponsor-charliedalin.com) at 79,19 miles from the leader; 3. Xavier Macaire (Masoco Bay) at 94,19 miles from the leader…