Normandy Channel Race 2015: Bretagne - Crédit Mutuel leading as the fleet approaches the Isle of Wight
For now the duo made up of Nicolas Troussel / Félix Pruvot has come off best in the battle for the top spots in the Normandy Channel Race. At 06:00 GMT this morning, the Breton team boasted a 3-mile lead over its pursuers, Concise 8 and TeamWork 40; 10 boats are within 8 miles of each other and there has been one casualty since yesterday’s race start.
After a sunny start the fleet quickly made for the first course mark at the Saint Marcouf Islands in a N’ly wind of around ten knots, backing round to the West at the foot of the Cotentin.
The German crew of Mathias Blumencron and Axel Strauss on RED was sadly forced to retire at around 16:00 GMT last night due to the failure of the their mainsail head (the piece supporting the mainsail at the masthead), which they were unable to repair at sea.
With a favourable current, the Ouest Saint Marcouf mark was reached at around 20:40pm by Concise 8 skippered by English sailor Ned Collier Wakefield and Dutch sailor Wouter Verbraak, tailed by Campagne 2 France and Bretagne - Crédit Mutuel.
Reaching the Barfleur headland just before midnight, there was an intense campaign being waged in the top 4: Concise 8 was leading until 23:00pm, Campagne 2 France, Bretagne - Crédit Mutuel, TeamWork 40, Solidaires En Peloton - ARSEP and Le Conservateur nipping at her heels. Moving up into the lead, Bretagne - Crédit Mutuel continued to open up a good lead overnight.
The fleet is currently on a beat towards the Isle of Wight. At the entrance to the Solent via the East, the fleet will be punching tide from mid-morning, which could well reshuffle the cards.
Follow the race at www.normandy-race.com. The cartography with the boats’ positions will be updated every 15 minutes on the link http://normandy-race.com/index/followrace
Discover all the skippers’ accounts on the race’s social networks and feel free to attend the live link-ups with the boats at the Pavillon de Normandie in Caen between 12 noon and 13:00pm local time.
Provisional ranking Day 1 of the race:
1. Bretagne - Crédit Mutuel
2. Concise 8
3. TeamWork 40
4. Le Conservateur
5. Campagne 2 France
Photo : © Jean-Marie Liot - NCR2015