Salvador (Brazil) (AFP)
At the end of a breathtaking regatta, Yann Eliès and Charlie Dalin, aboard the brand new Apivia monohull, won the Transat Jacques Vabre in the Imoca flagship class on Saturday night in Salvador de Bahia (Brazil).
The tandem cut the finish line 21H23 local time (1:23 French time), after a crossing from Le Havre 13 days, 12 hours and 8 minutes.
The two sailors, obviously delighted, raised their arms in the air in sign of victory crossing the finish line, facing the lights of the Brazilian city.
"They have had a great race," said Antoine Mermod, president of the Imoca class, the 18-meter boats also competing in the Vendée Globe, the iconic unmanned solo race around the world. 9th edition will be held in just one year.
"At first, they left quite cautiously, they did not try to pull too much on the boat, and then as they got caught up in the regatta game," he analyzed during a race. interview with AFP shortly before their arrival in the Brazilian port, recalling that the boat was brand new. "This is his first race, we can say that it is a boat born well," he said about the monohull left the CDK Technologies Lorient site on August 5.
The two skippers delighted the tandem victory of favorites Jérémie Beyou and Christopher Pratt aboard the Charal black foiler. These last ones made the expenses of the Doldrums, this area above the equator dreaded by sailors because of its changeable winds and difficult to predict.
- Elies the recidivist -
Entering the area 130 nautical miles ahead of Apivia, they emerged after three days with 350 miles behind.
"It was really terrible, one of the worst moments of my career", testified Saturday during a telephone conversation with his team Jérémie Beyou, who since his exit from the zone is speeding towards the finish line, no far behind the duo Kevin Escoffier / Nicolas Lunven (PRB), in a fierce battle for second place.
Yann Eliès, 45, had already won, with Jean-Pierre Dick (St Michel - Virbac), in the same category at the last edition of the race. The sailor from Saint-Brieuc, who won three Solitaire du Figaro, also won the 2013 Transat in the multihull category.
For skipper Charlie Dalin, 35, this is the second participation, after a first crossing in 2015, with Yann Eliès already. They were then on the 3rd step of the podium after an extremely hot race.
- The longest -
Le Havrais, like Yann Eliès, is a candidate for a participation on November 8, 2020 in the Vendée Globe, an emblematic race dubbed the Everest of the Seas.
The 14th edition of the route du café, the longest transatlantic race with its 4,350 nautical miles, more than 8,000 km, was won, all categories combined, Friday by the duo formed by Gilles Lamiré and Antoine Carpentier.
On board their multi-class trimaran (Group GCA - One Thousand and One Smiles), the two sailors were the fastest of the three multihulls entered, after a crossing of 11 days, 16 hours, 34 minutes and 41 seconds .
Three categories of boats, the Multi50, the Imoca and the Class40, took off on October 27th from Le Havre during this double race which was characterized by the very large number of boats involved. If there were only three Multi50s at the start, 29 Imoca and 27 Class40s were in the ranks. The first of this last category of monohulls of 12 meters are expected from Wednesday in the Bay of All Saints.
© 2019 AFP