Sunday still being looked at for IMOCAs

Nothing before Monday for the Class40 and Ocean Fifty boats

At a press meeting this lunchtime (wednesday), Francis Le Goff, the Race Director and Gildas Gautier, co-director of the Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre, ran through the various scenarios for the start for the boats currently on hold in Le Havre and Lorient.

We have just finished our latest look at the weather. There is no apparent break in the weather before Monday, which would allow the two classes of boats moored up in Lorient to set off. That does not mean that they will definitely be going on Monday. For the IMOCAs, a possible start on Sunday is still being studied. Conditions remain rough with lots of wind and heavy seas. We shall be working with the class to see how we can plan this in quieter conditions. It is not impossible that if the start does take place, a way-point may be planned to prevent the boats taking a northerly route, which would be very exposed. That is also the case for the Class40 and Ocean Fifty fleets.”

That is how Francis Le Goff summarised the possibilities for a new start for the IMOCA, Class40 and Ocean Fifty boats, to enable them to join the ULTIMs currently at sea. Differences in weather forecasts depending on the models for the end of the week lead everyone to be very cautious, as Gildas Gautier explained: “We are all frustrated and disappointed and there is a financial impact for the Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre. But, as was the case last Sunday, it is the safety of the boats and the sailors that remains the priority when we organise these new starts.”

The organisers of the Coffee Race are currently monitoring the progress of Storm Ciaran as it reaches the English Channel and near Atlantic tonight and tomorrow.

Instructions have been given in both ports,” added Francis Le Goff at midday. “A logistics team is in Lorient to work alongside the Sellor (port authorities). Individual solutions have been found by Julien Bothuan (Chief harbourmaster in Lorient La Base) so that no boat is side by side. In Le Havre, a large number of Race Directors and the sea team are on the spot. The pontoons have been moved so that the boats are in the axis of the wind and not beam on when the wind veers to the West (…) The Village was quickly dismantled so that nothing flies around and trucks have been put in place to act as a screen. Another tour of inspection will take place this afternoon.”

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