Erwan Le Roux (FRA) and Giancarlo Pedote (ITA) on FenêtrêA-Prysmian crossed the finish line of the Transat Jacques Vabre off Itajaí, Brazil this Wednesday 11th November at 10:59hrs and 13secs UTC (+5hrs local) in light wind conditions to win the Multi50 division.
Their elapsed time for the course is 16d22hrs29m13s sailing the 5400Nms theoretical course at an average of 13,29kts. In fact their course sailed is 6122NMs at a real average of 15,06kts. They miss out on the course record for the Multi 50s set in 2013 by Le Roux by 2 days 4hrs.
But Le Roux joins an elite trio of three skippers who have won their class three times in this biennial coffee route race, Franck Cammas (FRA), Franck-Yves Escoffier (FRA) and Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA). He adds to his Multi 50 win in 2013 sailing with Yann Eliès and in 2009 as co-skipper to Escoffier. One year ago he won the solo Route du Rhum in the Multi50 Class racing from Saint Malo to Guadeloupe. It is his Italian co-skipper’s biggest success in Transatlantic ocean racing.
The duo finish with a lead of some 260 miles on second placed Thierry Bouchard and Oliver Krauss on Ciela Village, despite sailing the last 1000 miles with a damaged mainsail. They sailed astutely in the big conditions in the early part of the race in the wake of early leaders French Tech Rennes Saint Malo, and entered the Bay of Biscay in third behind Ciela Village.
They negotiated the first active front cautiously as Gilles Lamire and Yvan Bourgnon retired on French Tech Rennes Saint Malo when they hit a container and damaged their main hull and a float. But Le Roux and Pedote work to the west, a long term investment which gave them the best route to the Doldrums. Ciela Village had to pit stop in the Cape Verde islands to repair their bowsprit and gennaker furler. Their exit from the Doldrums was best and by the Brazilian coast FenêtrêA-Prysmian were one day ahead of their nearest rivals. But ripping their mainsail off Salvador de Bahia meant the chose to ease back their speed slightly to preserve their equipment.