Route de Rhum: Five ORMA skippers home, one rescued and a runaway in Class 40 Print E-mail
Tuesday, 07 November 2006
Marian MartinWhile five out of the eleven ORMA skippers were recovering from their record breaking crossing into Pointe à Pitre last night, Steve Ravussin was setting off his distress beacon at 00h28. On the radio this morning, the Swiss skipper, aboard a cargo that rescued him, was devastated by his capsize. Yvan Bourgnon (Brossard) arrived today, 6th in the ranking but still well under the previous record time. Alain Gauthier (Foncia) should arrive overnight. IMOCA leader Roland Jourdain (Sill et Véolia) is now less than 1,000 miles from his goal. The IMOCAs are accelerating now, heading to the southwest and the rum! Concerning the Class 40s, we begin to observe the results of the different options taken by the competitors and their weather routers. One thing is sure, the “pro” skippers in the fleet are impressed by Phil Sharp and his northerly option. Most think that he will not only keep his first place, but establish a comfortable lead over those behind. As usual, nothing is over yet, but once they all are in the trade winds, it will be difficult to make gains over the leader.

ORMA 60 multihulls

On the radio today Steve Ravussin explained. he had been let down by his autopilot, while he was safely sailing Orange Project in 25/30 knots of wind and choppy seas. Steve said “This is the first time I thought I might not get out alive.”

IMOCA 60 monohulls

The IMOCA fleet went through a cold front, which meant exhausting manoeuvres overnight. Roland Jourdain (Sill et Véolia) and Jean Le Cam (VM Matériaux ) and Jean Pierre Dick (Virbac-Paprec) are now faced with trying to make up a160 miles deficit they accumulated crossing the ridge and cold front.

40-footer monohulls

Gutsy Phil Sharp (as the other sailors in the class call him) is still heading fast for the low pressure system, developing behind the cold front he is going through, whilst the skippers in the south are waiting for the trade winds to build up. All agreed that the Brit – who took the riskiest option – would gain from it. Dominic Vittet thought Sharp could have a 300 mile lead by tomorrow, when he gybes to head south.

Route du Rhum photos
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 07 November 2006 )
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