Night message from the fleet – Monday 5th June

Vogue avec un Crohn (195) – Pierre-Louis Attwell / Maxime Bensa

“Hello land, what a start! For our 6th time out on the water with our new boat, this Normandy Channel Race is off to a flyer! We’ve had a few issues trying to work out how to control our new rocket ship and we’ve been a bit too cautious at times. That said, the Channel hop has enabled us to play catch-up and the bunching up of the fleet on exiting the Solent has allowed us to slug it out in the middle of the fleet. We had to put in a fair few manoeuvres in the Solent and we’ve each slept for an hour since the start and managed to get a hot meal inside us. It’s the first of the season! The weather’s wonderful and the sea’s nicely organised. We’re slipping along under spinnaker and devouring the miles at high speed.”

Chinook (124) – Julia Virat / Melodie Schaffer

“A short message from boat 124. The night is fast and furious, with plenty of big cargo ships, orange planets and moisture everywhere already. It was a bit of a complicated day, with a very quick start as we were in the second lock, so we were kind of catapulted onto the start line without really being ready. Fortunately, a fairly early gennaker hoist enabled us to make up a bit of ground. Unfortunately, we’ve also had some woes to contend with since rounding St Marcouf… Just our luck! We were battling hard with our 2 upwind sails, which got us into a right old muddle, with lots of time wasted and our energy levels fizzling out. The good news is that we’re continuing to make headway, almost as if nothing had happened. So, the boat was back on track to admire the colours of the setting sun in between getting hit smack in the face by 2 buckets of salty water. It’s night now and things are a bit straighter. The wind has eased a little to around 20 knots. The current is likely to make life difficult and our timings will be out now for the tidal gates. We’re trying to alternate with each other up top to try to get some rest before the Isle of Wight. We’re heeled over and slamming so it’s not ideal for resting up! Our pairing is holding up though and we’re both pleased to be here together. I’m going to go and count stars now, sorry, trim my sails. Goodnight land!”

Crédit Mutuel (158) – Ian Lipinski / Antoine Carpentier

“Great start! Antoine and I are very happy to have got off on the right foot thanks to the right timing and above all the right sails! As such, we made Saint-Marcouf with one reef in the main and genoa, then full main and large gennaker, in second place… not bad! The passage across the English Channel went smoothly too by staying fairly high in relation to the fleet and being the first to hoist our gennaker once we made landfall at the Isle of Wight. A spinnaker hoist and lots of gybes ensued to negotiate the Solent between Cowes and the English mainland. It was fantastic with a magnificent Strawberry moon. However, the fleet has bunched up together again now and Ambrogio is making good his escape! It’s a great atmosphere aboard and we’re hoping to continue jockeying for position with the leaders! Goodnight!”

Trim Control (115) – Alexandre Le Gallais / Remi Rabbe

“All’s well aboard. We’re just in front of the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes where an ‘English breakfast’ stop would have been most welcome after this first day of breezy beating. We’re closely monitoring the climbing depression with the compression of the isobars, which seems to be playing out as forecast and is sure to mean an even livelier return sprint from Fastnet. In the meantime, we have to decide whether to pass to the north or south of the Casquets TSS.”

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