Transat Racers Blasted

Three days into the Artemis Transat the 24 singlehanded racers bound across the Atlantic are feeling the impact of a pounding. Overnight winds into the 30’s took a toll on 60-footers and 40-footers alike, and it’s not as though the skippers are anything but experienced. Among them the skippers have a collected experience of 270+ Atlantic crossings—but this will be the first time that a Transat has finished in Boston Harbor.

Here is a sampling from the fleet.

Marc Guillemot on the IMOCA 60,Safran, took the most serious blow, as he explained over the phone when reached this morning: “I was under spinnaker and the wind picked up, so I decided to reduce sails before it became too rough. I did, and tried to get some rest inside, but suddenly the boat went faster and faster, and eventually crashed gybed. I was holding on to the grinder pedestal, I had the mast in the water, and it took me 25 minutes to clear everything up. When I cooled down a bit I realized that I felt a strong pain. My rib might be broken, I don’t know yet but anyway even if it is there’s nothing to do about it. I’m heading south, but I’m not considering pulling out for the moment. I really want to go to Boston…”

And there is this:

Tactically speaking, Michel Desjoyeaux aboard Foncia has been coming back toward the pack since mid-morning after having escaped to the North, and crossed behind Yann Elies’s Generali early this afternoon – is the Professor (as Desjoyeaux is known) resting, whilst maintaining a favorable hunter-type position in Generali’s wake? As Roland Jourdain pointed out in his column for The Artemis Transat official website (, there is a very important “Mich’ Desj’ psychological effect”… So yes, Yann might be worrying and wondering what Foncia’s next move might be, but no doubt he’s also enjoying his hard-earned first place while it lasts. The game is more than ever a tight one, Sbastien Josse (BT) and Vincent Riou (PRB) having just moved into second and third places, while Loick Peyron (Gitana Eighty) is about to engage in a match-race with Michel Desjoyeaux.

Only 2,300 more miles to Boston.

Filed Tuesday, May 13—KL

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