Despite winds gusting into the 30s and a grim sky suggesting the onset of winter, so in the late afternoon the wind dropped below 20 knots and the turning tide flattened out the sea to allow racing to begin on the penultimate day of the Extreme Sailing Series Act 5 at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week. Perhaps the greatest surprise given the damp overcast weather was the huge turn-out of spectators crowding to Egypt Point, and the beach surrounding the Extreme Sailing Series Race Village.
The Extreme 40 crews have been tested to the limit in the breezy conditions that have dominated Act 5, and it has been a case of ‘taming the 40-foot beast’ to the best of their abilities. Asked to compare their Extreme 40s to an animal, the skippers came up with some surprising answers!
By the time racing started later than usual at 1640 BST the wind had dropped to the teens. “It was quite windy, gusting to almost 20 knots so it wasn’t nearly as ‘extreme’ as we have had for the rest of this week: nice and flat water as well which made the tacking and boat handling a little easier, so you didn’t see too many rudders out of the water today, but still a windy day and a hard day to battle a boat around the course,” described Luna Rossa helmsman Paul Campbell-James.
Alinghi helmsman Tanguy Cariou said that in the conditions it was still hard work on board: “It was really physical, really tough for us especially at the end as you had to come in so close to the shore before tacking it was quite difficult, but I think we were quite solid and I think anything could happen tomorrow.”
The 11 Extreme 40s were divided into groups as the conditions on the penultimate day were still on the limit to race the fleet in one group with reefed mainsails but gennakers permitted after the first two races much to the publics delight. With half of the fleet racing at a time, the tactical objective for the crews was to get as far into the shore as possible on the beat to make the best of the favourable eddy off Eygpt Point and definitely out of the 2.5 knot counter current offshore. As Campbell-James put it: “There was one way to do it – to come off the line, hit the beach and push your luck on the rocks. Whoever nailed that strategy was the guy who usually came up in first at the windward mark.”
The most tense moments came on the first beat of each race when the Extreme 40s would get as close as possible into shore and occasionally not get enough room to tack. But despite some hair-raising moments none of the boats went aground.
In fact it was the strong tide that proved the major stumbling block with several crews underestimating the angle of the rope tethering the weather mark. As a result several snagged it on their rudders causing them to pop up, perhaps the most dramatic being when Luna Rossa careered off downwind seeming to gybe twice accidently before they got their Extreme 40 under control.
Campbell-James described it: “We just skimmed the windward mark on the way round and that popped the leeward rudder up. It was pretty dangerous in the big breeze with the one rudder in and one out, so we got to the leeward marks and we stuck it head to wind, did our penalty while putting the rudder back down. It was all a bit of a drama, but we managed it. Alister [Richardson] hurt his back a little bit a bit in the process.”
Team Extreme suffered the same fate in the third race and crewman Benedikt Wenk cut his hand as he attempted to get the rudder back down. Wenk required a couple of stitches and Roland Gaebler’s team had to retire from racing for the day.
Star of today’s competition was ex-Tornado sailor Pierre Pennec and the crew of Groupe Edmond de Rothschild who won three of their four races. Their third race was the tightest of the day with Leigh McMillian at the helm of The Wave, Muscat first to the top mark with the French team on their transom. There were whoops from the crowd ashore as the French crew came close to rolling past their Omani rivals. However, the real coup for the French team came on the second run when The Wave, Muscat crew thought they had crossed the finish line only to find that the race had been extended to finish on the next upwind leg. This wavering allowed the French team to overhaul them and to take their third bullet of their day by a matter of centimetres.
Groupe Edmond de Rothschild skippered by Pierre Pennec tearaway and the bows dig in, spray everywhere © Lloyd Images
Alinghi won their third race of the day and Tanguy Cariou was satisfied with their performance. “Today it was quite good, quite solid team work and good manoeuvres. We fought well against the other opponents.” In contrast it wasn’t such a good day for the Italian team on Luna Rossa who prior to their rudder incident at the top mark had suffered a broken outhaul shortly after the start of the first race.
At the close of play The Wave, Muscat continues to lead with a margin of 10 points on Luna Rossa, Alinghi third with Groupe Edmond de Rothschild fourth, now just six point shy of the podium. But as Paul Campbell-James points out it could inevitably once again come to tomorrow’s double points-scoring final race. “Leigh is in front of us as he had a really good day today, so we’ve just got to put in a solid day tomorrow and see what happens in the double points last race,” said Campbell-James. “Basically it will be man against man with Leigh which I have been doing since I was nine years old!”
The weather forecast for tomorrow is looking good – 11-15 knots and sunshine, which will mean the Extreme 40s can, once again, race as one fleet for the for the final day of Act 5.
Extreme Sailing Series Act 5 at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week
Current overall standings, day 6 (11.8.11)
Position / Team / Skipper & crew / Points
1st The Wave, Muscat (OMA), Leigh McMillan / Kyle Langford / Nick Hutton / Khamis Al Anbouri 138 points
2nd Luna Rossa (ITA), Max Sirena / Paul Campbell-James / Alister Richardson / Manuel Modena 128 points
3rd Alinghi (SUI), Tanguy Cariou / Yann Guichard / Nils Frei / Yves Detrey 117 points
4th Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (FRA), Pierre Pennec / Christophe Espagnon / Thierry Fouchier / Hervé Cunningham 111 points*
5th Red Bull Extreme Sailing (AUT), Roman Hagara / Hans Peter Steinacher / Will Howden / Luke Cross 104 points
6th Oman Air (OMA), Sidney Gavignet / Kinley Fowler / David Carr / Nasser Al Mashari 101 points
7th Team GAC Pindar (GBR), Ian Williams / Mischa Heemskerk / Andrew Walsh / Jono Macbeth 93 points*
8th Niceforyou (ITA), Alberto Barovier / Stefano Rizzi / Daniele de Luca / Simone de Mari 81 points
9th Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Adam Beashel / Richard Meacham / Andrew McLean / Chris Ward 73 points
10th Aberdeen Asset Management (GBR), John Pink / Rick Peacock / Greg Homann / John Gimson 69 points
11th Team Extreme (EUR), Roland Gaebler / Nahid Gaebler / Benedikt Wenk / Dan Morris 51 points
12th Artemis Racing (SWE), Santiago Lange / Andy Fethers / Michele Ivaldi / Phil Jameson 23 points*
by Colin Merry
This evening, after twenty days, four hours, fifty six minutes and ten seconds at sea the Class 40′ ‘DMS’ skippered by Pete Goss crossed the strange coincidence his position matched the amount of years he had been absent from the single handed race scene. For my part I was proud to one of the team that helped to get him to the start line. I will now break open my bottle of rum and have a few.in ’Pointe-a-Pitre in Guadalupe. It was a tremendous effort by Pete as he hadn’t raced single handed for fourteen years and to do it in the very competitive Class 40′ fleet is further testament to his determination and tenacity! By
More Information from Pete’s Team
Pete Goss completed the 2010 Route du Rhum single-handed Trans-Atlantic race at 16:58 UTC yesterday (20/11/10) after nearly three weeks at sea.
Arriving in Pointe-a-Pitre in an elapsed time of 20 days 4 hours 56 minutes and 10 seconds gave Goss 14th place out of the 44 Class 40 boats that took part.
After being out of single-handed competitive sailing for 14 years Pete said that he was delighted with the result and the boat: “It was always our aim to finish in the top third and as the first Brit home, which we have achieved. I didn’t get as many miles under the keel as I would like before we started, but the boat has been fantastic; we suffered no damage and I really feel at home on her.”
Pete paid testament to Tony Lawson’s Team Concise and especially boat Captain Tom Gall, saying: “Every time I went to do a job he had already been there with a little modification or tweak that makes all the difference. I can honestly say that DMS is the best prepared boat I have ever been on – a brilliant job by someone who in my view will go far.”
Title sponsor Dave Summers of Disc Manufacturing Services said he was delighted to work with Pete who saw at first hand the floating detritus that he and DMS are campaigning to eradicate with their message to ‘Pack it In!’ They hope that the striking message painted on the side of the boat and the unique and colourful urban artwork will have made people think and encourage them to consider reducing plastic packaging, much of which is sadly ending up in the sea. DMS itself is aiming to eliminate all plastic packaging by 2012.
Pete’s other sponsors GAC Pindar, Girlings, CSR and Talisker have joined the huge numbers who have been following Pete’s progress via the tracker on his website and posting messages of support on the site. Pete said the he would like to thank them all for their support, which has not only allowed him to compete, but also spread the serious message of reducing plastic packaging.
Speaking of the winner, Pete said: “I would like to congratulate Thomas Ruyant on Destination Dunkerque for winning the Class 40 division; an outstanding job by a young up and coming sailor who will be one to watch. I look forward to shaking his hand and buying him a beer.”
So what next for the 48-year-old Westcountry sailor and adventurer; does this race signal a return to solo ocean racing? Pete said: “I have had an absolute ball in this race and loved every second of it; I had forgotten how much I enjoy solo ocean sailing. It has been a whirlwind; this whole adventure came out of the blue. Six months ago the good ship DMS was a dusty new hull in a shed, but the whole team have pulled together like one big family and mounted a successful campaign. You don’t do these things on your own and I want to give one final big thank you to everyone who has supported this campaign. So what is next? I honestly don’t know, but for now I am going to have a cup of tea and spend some time with the family before deciding.”
Rookies to legends, the IMOCA class skippers are as one when it comes to being ready to go, they say.
Challenge and Adventure’s Colin Merry in his daily check-in wrote today how things were hotting up in St. Malo and he spoke of the atmosphere there. “We are now well sorted on DMS. She has now passed all her safety checks and is virtually ready to go. Not so with all the boats though. I see anxious faces on some of the Skippers as they seek to come within the scrutineers beady eye! For others it is a mad dash yet again to the Chandlers for some forgotten item. Or to replace a broken piece of equipment.
Tom (boat captain on DMS) was splicing more spare sheets and making chocks for the spare anchor to sit in yesterday. All done in almost a leisurely way. This air of calm is one that now pervades DMS. The reason being, that Pete and Tom have been working hard with a set plan of objectives for each and every day that we have been here. The hard work has paid off and we are sitting pretty. I myself was spared the job yesterday of donning wetsuit and cleaning the hull as Tom reckons we can do it nearer the start date. Instead I mounted the ‘Argos’ unit on the guard rail and attended to the sponsors flags that we are flying. Then I went food shopping! (someone has to be house mother you know!) Shopping in St. Malo can be fun, as for a short cut you can walk around the city wall when the streets get too crowded. Of course, when on the wall loads of opportunities arise for photography. So I include a few of my shopping shots!
Even on a cold day such as Wednesday the crowds are out in force. Whilst on the wall I grabbed a pic. of the 50′ tri’s lined up like dragonflys. The sheer volume of people is amazing!
Christopher Pratt (DCNS) is the rookie in the IMOCA Open 60 class is keeping up to speed with his sponsor and media commitments. After the talent search programme of his sponsors DCNS – which is one of France’s largest naval defence construction and shipbuilding companies – which he won, there are very many young students from the major colleges visiting the boat to meet the skipper here.
PRB’s visitor programme is very comprehensive. The sponsors of 2004-5 Vendée Globe winner Vincent Riou have 300 guests most days to see the boat, and they have been running such a programme since the new boat was launched and sailed her maiden race around Spain in June. On board PRB everything is ready for the start.
Latest launched IMOCA Open 60 is of course that of Michel Desjoyeaux and his team are busy each day with the fine details, while the skipper catches up with his sleep and de-stresses after the remarkably quick six months build of his new boat.
Each afternoon the double Vendée Globe winner catches up with a two hour nap.
And Marc Guillemot, the IMOCA world champion and winner of the last Transat Jacques Vabre is also in great shape, ready for the off. He will be signing copies of the book he co-wrote with his wife after his 2008-9 Vendée Globe.
Jean-Pierre Dick will show Belgian comic actor François Damians over his new VPLP-Verdier design and then Loick Peyron, who JP will pair up with for the imminent Barcelona World Race, will be here this evening.
On Friday Arnaud Boissières will host world match racing tour leader Mathieu Richard aboard Akena Verandas, as well as Christine Janin, the first French woman to climb Everest.
Armel Le Cléac’H of Brit Air has been home with his family and will arrive this evening, whilst Roland Jourdain, the defending champion, is totally chilled out and ready with his new Veolia Environnment. Routing is of course forbidden in this class, and so preparations with external advisors is paramount leading in to Sunday.
Groupama made for a lonely looking boat as she lay all on her own in the outer harbour. This not because she has been excluded. No, they just couldn’t get her into the lock! She is sporting a much smaller rig for this race because the normal rig would be too much for one man to handle.
An indication of the attention to detail that the Groupama team approach their projects is shown in the extent of changes made to the giant trimaran in order that one man (Frank Cammas) can handle this beast. As well as the obvious switch to a lower-aspect rig the boats ergonomics have been re-evaluated and modified with the installation of a hand and leg driven system for the winches and the hydraulic system. This with many other mods. should enable one (very fit) man to manage this 103′ behemoth!
The skippers will all be at the top of their game as they head out
by Colin Merry
Today’s update on the prestart activities for Pete Goss and DMS from Colin Merry had a great suprise. Raphael Dinelli paid Pete Goss a visit prior to Pete’s departure in the Route du Rhum 2010.
With all the safety checks passed we can now get down to the task of stowing all the gear that is going with the boat and removing everything that is not vital to the dockside. Mark Wylie (Eastern Electornics) looks up to his ears in it as he operates no less than three computers at once! But rest assured he is on top of his game, and the installs and glitch sorting are going fine.
We had a most welcome visitor to DMS yesterday in the form of Raphael Dinelli. You may remember that Pete turned back in to the teeth of a massive storm in the Southern Ocean during a Vendee race to rescue him. Since then they have been firm friends and it was touching to see them meet again.
Once again close of play found us winding down in the ‘Bar de Legends’ where we met James Boyd. Editor of www.thedailysail.com and Raphael!
Forgive me for getting on the other side of the lens but I couldn’t resist a couple of pics. with James and Raphael!
Joined by Marco Nannini and Richard Tolkien both Class 40 skippers we spent a pleasant hour talking boats.
Challenge and Adventure’s Colin Merry reported today on the goings on in and around the race village for the Route du Rhum. “Amid the building carnival atmosphere that is gripping the town of St. Malo work goes on to prepare the fleets for the coming race. The crowds of mainly French people keep increasing in spite of the weather. For instance, Saturday with a 40knot storm with it’s accompanying heavy rain did little to disuade the crowds from descending on the race village! “
“On DMS (Pete’s boat) as on the other boats work progressed at a pace. Whilst Pete and Tom got on with the technical aspects myself and Henriette went out to get the shopping list fullfilled. 20ltr. water cans for emergency water, coloured dye packs, 50ltrs. of drinking water, igniter for the gas burner,ten rolls of kitchen roll,white electrical tape, ptfe tape etc etc. I think without Henriette’s knowledge of the town I would still be out looking now! “
“With Pete and Tom finally happy with the day’s work we wandered around the other Class 40′s whilst Tom (a self confessed Class 40 geek) pointed out some of the subtle differences in the interpretation of the Class 40 rules. He certainly knows his stuff and I am hoping to remember some of the info that he knows so well. It is amazing to see so many same class boats in one place and yet not one seems to have much if anything in common with the others.
After this informative walk around we retired for a well earned drink in the ”Bar de Legends”. The walls in this pub are filled with photos of famous sailors and daring deads! Well worth a visit if you are in St.Malo.”
8:30 am – 10:30 amRennes Atalante conference.
10:00 am Opening of the race village.
11:30 am – 1:00 pmChallenge Handivoile (SNBSM).
2:30 pm – 5:00 pmLes Saintoises Trophy (SNBSM).
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm . Journal du Rhum – Témoin : Pierre-Louis Castelli – France Inter
17h00 – 17h20: François Angoulvant – Fermiers de Loué (Class40)/ Joris de Carlan – Generik Exp’hair en beauté (Rhum) / Samuel Manuard – Vecteur plus (Class40)
17h20-17h40: Vincent Riou – PRB (Imoca) / Jean Paul Froc – Eurosanit (Rhum) / Jean Paul Criquioche – Groupe Picoty (Class40)
17h40-18h00:Yves Le Blevec – Actual (Multi50) / Yvan Noblet – Appart City (Class40)/ Pierre Yves Lautrou – L’Express/Sapmer (Class40) / Christopher Pratt – DCNS 1000 ( Imoca)
7:30 pm Sound and light show.
8:00 pm Closure of the race village.
10:00 pm Sound and light show.
Challenge and Adventure’s Colin Merry was aboard Pete’s Class 40 DMS as they made last preparations for his departure for St Malo, France for the start of the Route du Rhum. He reported in that they reached speeds of 18 knots. Colin will update us on the delivery and preparations in France next week to St Malo to join 86 other skippers for the start of the Route du Rhum.
Pete is looking forward to his return to solo sailing aboard this brand new Class 40 racer and the Challenges of this 3500 mile grueling race.
Find out more about Pete Goss and Team Concise onboard Class 40 DMS HERE
Find out more about the Route du Rhum HERE
Below is a close-up numeric overview of this exceptional 2010 line-up in the Route du Rhum.
0: the number of skippers who will celebrate their birthday during the race. However, it is worth noting that Race Director Jean Maurel, will celebrate his 50th birthday on the arrival of the frontrunners in Guadeloupe, on 10th November.
1: the number of Olympic medallists registered in this 2010 edition. Indeed Damien Seguin (Class40 Des pieds et des mains) won silver at the Paralympic Games in Beijing in 2008 aboard a 2.4.
1: solely Tanguy De Lamotte, skipper of the Class40 Novedia Initiatives will be celebrated during the race as Saint Tanguy falls on 19th November in France.
2 x 2: the number of members of the same family competing in the Route du Rhum – La Banque Postale. Hervé and Joris de Carlan, father and son. Franck-Yves and Servane Escoffier, uncle and niece.
3: the 60’ IMOCA monohulls launched this year, which will be taking the start. They comprise three VPLP/Verdier designs: PRB skippered by Vincent Riou (March), Virbac Paprec 3 helmed by Jean-Pierre Dick (May) and Foncia skippered by Michel Desjoyeaux (September).
3: the number of women competing in the race. Servane Escoffier (Saint-Malo 2015 in the Ultimate class), Christine Monlouis (Un monde bleu tout en vert in the Rhum Class) and Anne Caseneuve (Naviguez Anne Caseneuve in the Multi50).
3: the number of inhabitants of Saint Malo who will set sail for Pointe-à-Pitre. (Servane Escoffier in the Ultimate class, Franck-Yves Escoffier in Multi50 and Julien Mabit in the Rhum class).
5: the former winners of the Route du Rhum – La Banque Postale competing again this year (Roland Jourdain, Thomas Coville in 1998, Lionel Lemonchois in 2006, Franck-Yves Escoffier in 2006 and 2002 and Michel Desjoyeaux in 2002 ).
5: the record number of participations in the Route du Rhum held by Francis Joyon (IDEC). 5: the number of inhabitants from Guadeloupe at the start of this 9th edition (In Class 40, Willy Bissainte, Jimmy Dreux and Philippe Fiston. In the Rhum class, Luc Coquelin and Christine Monlouis. Of note is the fact that the latter is the first woman from the region to compete in the Route du Rhum – La Banque Postale).
5.25: the number of metres by which Gitana 11, the winning trimaran from the last edition with Lionel Lemonchois, has been extended.
7: the Class40s built in 2010 and registered for the Route du Rhum – La Banque Postale. Four Pogo 40 S2s (Nicolas Troussel, Régis Guillemot, Damien Grimont and Jean-Edouard Criquioche), two Akilaria RC 2 (Philippe Fiston and Pete Goss) and one Tyker 40 Evolution (Eric Defert).
7: the number of days required by Gitana 11, which was driven at a hellish pace by Lionel Lemonchois four years ago, to devour the Atlantic in one (7 days 17 hours 19′ 6”). This is the time needed to be improved on to be the fastest across the course.
7: the sailors registered in the Route du Rhum – La Banque Postale 2010 who have a record approved by the WSSRC (World Sailing Speed Record Council). Franck Cammas (Groupama 3), Francis Joyon (IDEC), Thomas Coville (Sodebo), Lionel Lemonchois (Prince de Bretagne), Sidney Gavignet (Oman Air Majan), Michel Desjoyeaux (Foncia) and Kito de Pavant (Groupe Bel).
10: the nationalities represented in this 9th edition (New Zealander, Italian, Dutch, Swiss, Belgian, German, Norwegian, Spanish, Finnish and American).
12: the size in metres of the smallest boat of the fleet. Her name is Acapella, Charlie Capelle’s trimaran and a sistership to the winning boat in 1978. She will take the start of the Rhum this year for the fourth time, a great feat considering she capsized off Spain in 2006.
22: the age of the youngest skipper of the event, Joris de Carlan. From nearby Saint Brieuc the youngster will set off on 31st October aboard the oldest boat of the fleet, Generik – Exp’hair, a 12.6 m boat built by his father and uncle in 1972 and launched in 1976.
22.50: the size of Groupama 3’s beam. As such Franck Cammas’ maxi-trimaran won’t be able to go through the locks of the port of Saint Malo. Instead she will be moored alongside the quay at the port station.
32: the size, in metres, of the largest boats of the fleet, the trimaran Sodebo skippered by Thomas Coville and Oman Air Majan skippered by Sidney Gavignet.
35: the number of amateurs competing in this Route du Rhum – La Banque Postale 2010. That amounts to 42% of the total number of participants.
60: the age of the oldest racer of the fleet, Gilbert Chollet. This Breton business manager, who has just recently retired, will be taking part in his first Route du Rhum – La Banque Postale in the Class40, Chimirec EVTV.
86: the number of skippers registered in this 9th edition. A record!
163: the size, in centimetres, of the smallest sailor in this 9th edition, Servane Escoffier.
3,543: the number of miles the 86 sailors will have to cover to get from Saint Malo to Pointe-à-Pitre.