At 13.00 CET on Saturday 21st April, Artemis Offshore Academy sailors Sam Goodchild and Nick Cherry set off on the 3890nm race across the Atlantic in the 11th edition of the Transat AG2R La Mondiale; from Concarneau to Saint Barthelemy. Flying the flag for Great Britain and the youngest crew in the fleet, Sam and Nick are taking on the some of the finest competitors in the Beneteau Figaro 2 class.
After a final weather briefing, the sailors headed down to the docks for the last time: “We’ve just rigged the boat for windy conditions. Conditions at the moment are clear skies, sunshine and the forecasted 20 knots of wind, so similar conditions to the prologue.” At 11.00am CET, the 16 Figaros said their final emotional goodbyes, and headed out of the harbour one by one to the applause of a growing crowd of spectators who provided a great atmosphere and added to the emotion of the departure.
Nick Cherry and Sam Goodchild on board Artemis 23 © Artemis Offshore Academy
The fleet crossed the start line at 13.00 CET, with Goodchild and Cherry setting off in great shape. Artemis 23 made a great start as Artemis Offshore Academy performance director, John Thorn details: “The race started with a chilly North Westerly wind of around 15 knots, (gusting up to 25 in the rain squalls) Conditions were sunny, with patches of heavy rain. The spectator boats have turned out in force off Concarneau churning up the sea, and cheering on the double handed sailors as they head out to open ocean. Sam and Nick set of in great spirits buoyed on by a good first leg and rounded the first windward mark in 4th position. Nearing the next mark, Artemis 23 is creeping into 3rd. As usual for a race start in France, there are masses of spectator boats, creating rough and confused waves making it a very difficult race start, especially for the boats
Prior to the race, Goodchild reported: “I’m feeling good, looking forward to getting out there after months of preparation. We have fairly bad weather predicted for the next three days, so I’m looking forward to getting through that and eventually seeing the Caribbean on the horizon.” To which Cherry added: “Conditions from tomorrow (Sunday) are looking pretty heinous, with strong winds and rough seas.” Weather conditions are set to take a turn for the worse with rain, big waves and winds of up to 50 knots setting in off Cape Finistère, a point on the course notoriously difficult at the best of times.
The masses of spectator boats made for a difficult start.
These conditions are expected to moderate somewhat by the time the fleet arrive there on Monday. After which the course turns South from Cape Finistère and heads off towards a virtual turning mark near the Canary Islands; the temperatures will increase and as the wind turns and comes from behind, the downwind spinnaker conditions should make for much more comfortable sailing.
La Transat AG2R La Mondiale is famous for it’s varying and challenging weather conditions and the claustrophobic living conditions will only add to the pressure. After leaving Concarneau at 13.00 CET on Saturday 21st April, the fleet hope to cross the Atlantic in 23-25 days.
For daily updates on the race and Artemis 23’s progress visit www.artemisoffshoreacademy.com and the Transat AG2R La Mondiale official race tracker.
Get all the latest news and track the race on your phone or ipad with the La Transat AG2R La Mondiale app or visit the official La Transat AG2R La Mondiale website.
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Race: La Transat AG2R La Mondiale, start time 1300 CET
Route: Finistère, Concarneau to Gustavia, Saint Barthelemy
Specification: Double-handed, one design transatlantic crossing
Yacht: Figaro Beneteau II
Teams: Artemis, Banque Populaire, Bretagne Crédit Mutuel Performance, Cercle Vert, Cornovaille Port de Peche, EDM/Pays Basque Enterprises, GAES, Gedimat, Hotel Emeraude Plage Saint-Barthelemy, La Solidarité Mutualiste, Les Recycleurs Breton, Nacarat, NC1, NC2, One Network Energies, Sepalumic, Skipper Macif, Vendee
Competing Nationalities: French, British, Spanish
Current weather conditions for the start 21.04.12 - NW winds of up to 20 knots
There was a sense of triumph for the all female duo aboard GAES Centros Auditivos as they crossed the Equator into the Northern Hemisphere yesterday morning. The GAES girls are now just under 3,000 miles from the finish line and toasted Neptune one last time on this race to request safe onward passage to their final destination of Barcelona. Caffari and Corbella were also celebrating the completion of the repair to the damaged ballast tank over the weekend which involved slowing the boat right down to avoid too much movement. The duo then had to take it easy for a further 48 hours before they were satisfied that the repair was strong enough to withstand normal racing conditions.
Commenting on completion of the repair, Caffari said:
“I am relieved that we have completed the repair and hope that we have done good enough job for it to withstand the final miles of the race. We had gained miles on the boats ahead before our slow down and then lost them all again and some which was pretty frustrating, however, we did take full advantage of the conditions with Anna climbing the mast to carry out a rig check.”
Project Manager, Joff Brown, added:
“The girls have done a great job on the repair, and really we just need to keep our fingers crossed. We’re pretty confident it should be ok, but when you’re doing repairs at sea with limited materials, it’s really difficult to estimate how reliable it’s going to be. However, we’ve had really good results in the past with the special Sicomin Resin we use for working in damp and wet conditions, so it should be ok. They’ve just got to try and judge the conditions onboard really, try and avoid the big repeated slams and maybe throttle back if conditions are bad. Unfortunately they’re now upwind for most of what’s left of the race.”
At the 0900hrs ranking, Caffari and Corbella maintain their 6th place position. The Barcelona Word Race continues to be led by Virbac-Paprec 3, who are now a little over 1000 miles from the finish line. Mapfre are in second place with Renault Z.E. holding third.
GAES Centros Auditivos in the Barcelona World Race supporting Comic Relief with Babybel-made red noses!
Currently sixth in the rankings, record breaking British yachtswoman Dee Caffari is now heading North towards Barcelona on her fourth lap of the planet. Racing with Spanish co-skipper Anna Corbella, they are the only all female crew taking part in the race and both girls send their support to Comic Relief from the South Atlantic.
To support Comic Relief, please visit: www.comicrelief.com
On Sunday 23rd January Caffari will be celebrating her birthday in the South Atlantic aboard GAES Centros Auditivos, making this the third occasion she will have notched up another year on a round the world voyage. However, the difference this time is that Caffari will not be alone as she has the company of her Spanish co skipper, Anna Corbella onboard to help her get in the party mood. Having climbed several places during the week, GAES Centros Auditivos has now entered some volatile weather conditions and dropped back down to 9th place in the 0900hrs rankings this morning.
Speaking about the weekend ahead Caffari said:
“Any celebrations onboard will be short and sweet as we have some really tricky conditions to get through and our focus will be making sure we are pushing GAES Centros Auditivos as hard as possible. I think I might have a few presents onboard to open and, who knows, maybe I will even find a birthday cake stashed away somewhere.”
Commenting on the next few days, GAES Project Manager Harry Spedding added:
“A high pressure off the east coast of Brazil is going to become more stable and move east into the South Atlantic. This will squeeze next to the St Helena high that is already formed in the centre of the ocean. For the majority of the fleet this will mean a few days of complex weather, with squally conditions and potentially light winds. Those that get south fast enough will have a good run to get towards the light area situated near Gough Island. The followers, a group to which the girls will probably belong, are going to have a tough weekend and lose a few more miles on the leaders. They will hope that these miles might be made up as there may be a compression as the fleet approach Gough Island”
Foncia and Virbac Paprec 3 have returned to their number one and two spots respectively and are currently speeding along at 20 knots plus. Estrella Damn has been relegated to third place as the pack to the north east experience lighter conditions than the front runners. At the 0900hrs ranking today, Caffari and Corbella onboard GAES Centros Auditivos were in 9th place, thirty miles behind closest rivals Boris Herrmann & Ryan Breymaier on Neutrogena.
Whilst most are winding down for the festive period, record breaking British yachtswoman Dee Caffari and her Spanish co-skipper Anna Corbella have begun the final countdown to the start of the Barcelona World Race. The only female duo taking part in the race will be making the most of the remaining time they have with friends and family before they line up against a fleet of 14 other IMOCA 60’s on New Year’s Eve.
Speaking ahead of the race Caffari said:
“Anna and I have been preparing for the Barcelona World Race since March and have trained really hard to ensure we are a cohesive team out there on the water. The race village was really buzzing when I left Spain yesterday and after a whistle stop Christmas at home, I will be back out there and ready for our big race.”
This will be the second edition of the Barcelona World Race – the only double-handed race around the globe which starts and finishes in Barcelona and sails around the three capes: Good Hope, Leeuwin and Horn. The length of the course is approximately 25,000 nautical miles (46,300 km) along the Great Circle line, the shortest route traced on a map across the world and although it is a non-stop regatta, some outside assistance is permitted subject to rules and penalties.
“This will be my fourth lap of the planet and I am hoping that my experience in the Southern Ocean will give us the edge over some of our competitors. This time around I am really looking forward to having some company down there outside of my race rivals!”
The Barcelona World Race starts at 12:00 (GMT) on Friday 31st December and of the 15 IMOCA 60 boats in the fleet just two British skippers will be taking part in this year’s edition, Dee Caffari on GAES Centros Auditivos and Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss. The race is expected to last around three months and the time to beat has been set by the winner of the first edition, Paprec-Virbac 2 skippered by Jean-Pierre Dick and Damian Foxall, who covered the course in 92 days, 9 hours, 49 minutes and 49 seconds.
Aviva has been a longstanding supporter of Dee Caffari and her inspirational record breaking sailing achievements, assisting her to three world records including becoming the first woman to sail solo, non stop, around the world in both directions. As Founding Partner of Caffari’s sailing campaign, Aviva is pleased to extend this support to Corbella and GAES for the Barcelona World Race
Tomorrow six round-the-world IMOCA 60 racers will be on the start line for the fourth consecutive Artemis Challenge at Cowes Week including Britain’s Mike Golding and Dee Caffari. Joining the renowned round the world skippers, competing for the £10,000 charity prize fund, will be sporting stars Zara Phillips, Amy Williams, GMTV presenter Emma Crosby and former England rugby international Martin Bayfield. Bayfield played the role of Robbie Coltrane’s body double ‘Hagrid’ in the Harry Potter films and whose co-stars James and Oliver Phelps, known as the Weasley twin characters in the same films, are back for a second time. Amy Williams, Olympic Gold Medalist in the skeleton bob at the last Winter Olympics commented: “I’ve always wanted to give sailing a try. I’m sure life out at sea is pretty different to life on the skeleton bob track!”
British yachtswoman Dee Caffari, will take part in the fourth edition of the Artemis Challenge at Cowes Week tomorrow. Dee will be joined onboard by former rugby player turned presenter Martin Bayfield who, since retiring from the game, has played the role of Robbie Coltrane’s body double ‘Hagrid’ in the Harry Potter films in addition to carving out a presenting career.
Dee will be competing aboard her Open 60, GAES Centros Auditivos, in the annual IMOCA 60 sprint round the Isle of Wight that attracts some of the biggest names in ocean racing. Teams will be competing for a generous £10,000 prize fund and Dee will be hoping that a win may boost the coffers of her charity of choice, Toe in the Water. Lloyd Hamilton, Director of the charity will also be a guest of the Dee Caffari Racing team, adding some additional muscle to the existing race crew of Joff Brown, Harry Spedding, Tim Carrie and Scott Gray.
Held annually, the Artemis Challenge at Cowes Week enables teams to race for the charity of their choice and, as an ambassador for Toe in the Water, this year Dee was keen to show her support. Speaking about her work with the charity, Dee Caffari said:
‘I joined the Toe In The Water team in Dartmouth last year and sampled the powerful effect competitive sailing has on the injured servicemen recommended to the programme as part of their rehabilitation. Listening to what the charity does is impressive but when you have been able to see firsthand the impact competitive sailing can have on each individual in the programme it is truly amazing.’
The tri service initiative, Toe In The Water, aims to inspire men and women who have sustained often traumatic injuries, including the loss of limbs, to move beyond their disability and to become re inspired by life. Competitive sailing is a physically and mentally challenging adventurous sport and provides a unique opportunity for injured men and women to sail and race on equal terms with their able bodied contemporaries. The charity receives no statutory funding and relies entirely on voluntary contributions from individuals, trusts and companies.
Dee Caffari added:
‘Everyone has a role to play within the race crew, everyone is important for the overall performance and this feeling of being a valued team member has often been lost as a result of the injury sustained. It is incredible to see the self-confidence and self esteem return as these guys are re-engaged and re-integrated as part of a high performance team once more. I am delighted to be racing on behalf of Toe In The Water at the Artemis Challenge this year and have Lloyd Hamilton onboard, one of the Directors of the Charity.’
Later this year, Dee will be taking part in the Barcelona World Race onboard GAES Centros Auditivos with her Spanish co-skipper, Anna Corbella. They will be the only all-female crew taking part in the race that leaves Barcelona on 31st December 2010.
The entries for the Artemis Challenge at Cowes Week 2010 are:
1. Artemis Ocean Racing: Simon Hiscocks
2. Akena Verandas: Arnaud Boissieres
3. Toe in the Water: Steve White
4. GAES Centros Auditivos: Dee Caffari
5. Veolia Environnement: Roland Jourdain
6. VE1: Ryan Breymaier
Having spent the last 3 months in Spain, Dee and her team are looking forward to bringing her Open 60, GAES Centros Auditivos, back to the UK. The next few days will see the team welcome guests and sponsors aboard for some sailing followed by preparations for the delivery trip back home to Gosport.
On completing the Vuelta a Espana on 1st July, Dee looked back on the race saying:
“If you ignore the mountainous regions, our circuit of Spain has been completed. Just before dawn we ghosted across the finish line off Barcelona, one month to the day since we departed. The Veulta Espana a Vela has been interesting, exciting, frustrating and fun. Overall we would return. It has been good to line up against the well practised and experienced French teams as well as the equally talented and newer Spanish teams.
We have had a great opportunity to comprehensively test the modifications we have made to the boat, GAES Centros Auditivos. After three months in the shed it has been a relief to be back on the water, however, a full night’s sleep is definitely high on the priority list. With short stages and short stopovers all the teams and their shore crews have struggled with finding a rhythm although it has been interesting to see how this has produced greater interaction and assistance between teams and their shore crews – with Franglais and Spanglish definitely being the language on the dock. The prize giving tonight will be a chance to celebrate Marc Guillemot and Safran’s victory, however, for our next event sixth is not a place I am hoping to finish!
Overall rankings in the Vuelta a Espana
Vuelta a España a Vela, final rankings, after 6 legs
Place, Boat, Skippers, Nationality, Total pts (Leg 1, Leg 2, Finisterre, Leg 3, Gibraltar, Leg 4, Leg 5, Palamós, Leg 6)
1. Safran, Marc Guillemot, FRA, 11,5 (1+2+0,5+1+0,5+2+1+1,5+2)
2. PRB, Vincent Riou, FRA, 18,5 (2+1+1+2+1,5+6+2+2+1)
3. Estrella Damm, P.Ribes/ A.Pella, ESP, 32 (5+5+2+4+1+4+5+1+5)
4. W Hotels-Nova Bocana, P.Rivero/ A.Piris, ESP, 32 (4+4+1,5+3+3+8+3+2,5+3)
5. Movistar, I.Martínez/ X.Fernández, ESP, 35,5 (3+3+2,5+6+2,5+10+4+0,5+4)
6. GAES Centros Auditivos, D.Caffari/ A.Corbella, GBR/ESP, 49 (6+6+3+5+2+12+6+3+6)
7. Central Lechera Asturiana, J.Merediz/ F.Palacio, ESP, 59,5 (7+7+3,5+7+3,5+14+7+3,5+7)
8. Pakea Bizkaia, J.Mumbrú/ C.Sanmarti, ESP, 68 (8+8+4+8+4+16+8+4+8)
Dee Caffari and Anna Corbella reached the finish line of Leg 4 of the Vuelta a Espana a Vela in the port of Calpe at 1157hrs BST today. On the South run through the Atlantic GAES Centros Auditivos held their own with the leading group on this, the longest of the six legs of the competition. As expected, the Mediterranean dealt conditions that resulted in a loss of speed that saw them drop back from their closest race rivals.
GAES Centros Auditivos enjoyed a very good first half of the race, crossing the Gibraltar Strait in fourth place behind Safran, PRB and Estrella Damm.
Commenting from the dockside, Dee Caffari said:
“The first half was magnificent. The spinnaker went up all the time and we have not changed the configuration of the sails since we left the Vigo estuary and this allowed us to get away and put us back in front of the fleet.”
Anna Corbella added: “Tactically, we suffered in the Mediterranean resulting in us being left behind. Overall we are pleased with our performance although it is clear that we still have many things to learn to gain better performance from the boat.”
Marc Guillemot onboard Safran was the first boat to cross the finish line securing his third win of the competition. Estrella Damm and PRB completed the podium with W Hotels and Movistar crossing the finish line in fourth and fifth places respectively.
At the end of leg 4, the Vuelta a Espana a Vela is led by Safran, followed by PRB in second. Estrella Damm is the highest ranking Spanish in third whilst GAES Centros Auditivos retains sixth place overall.
Leg 5 begins this Sunday with a short sprint of 140 miles to Palma.