With less than 15 nautical miles to the finish line on the Bay of Morlaix, Anthony Marchand (Groupe Royer-Secours Populaire) is trying to hold off the one rival, Gildas Mahé (Breizh Cola-Equi Thé) who may yet stand between him and a very hard earned Stage 3 victory on La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro.
Marchand, who is the 2018 runner up having won the first and last stages, overhauled long time leader Alexis Loison in the strong tides at the famous island of Ushant last night. Although it was Mahé who initially emerged ahead as the duo passed inshore of Loison – who had lead since Monday morning’s first turning mark – Marchand eased ahead and this morning is trying to protect a lead of just less than 1.5 miles as the trio make very slow speeds in light winds towards the line off Roscoff where they started Sunday afternoon.
“Alexis stayed rather high and we put the gennaker up and went down to get less current on the shore and it it paid,” explained Marchand this morning. “They (the rest of the fleet) will come in on a northwesterly on one tack so they will pick up a few miles I think. But we are in an east northeast (wind). We knew we would make the podium after we got away, and now we should recover some hours on the leaders so it is a nice comeback. Looking to the general classification I have a hard time believing that with Gildas and Alexis, we will be one, two and three in the general…. but it’s not over and we will know it only when we know when they come in. Now there will be more time to rest this time before the start on Saturday except that we will have a beer this morning. It is starting to hurt a bit I did not sleep much and I’m a bit in the red.”
The three musketeers, who escaped at the Alderney race, will have to wait until Michel Desjoyeaux (Lumibird) finishes – he is fourth at 34 miles behind – and overall race leader Yoann Richomme (HelloWork-Groupe Telegramme), who is now 13th, 55 miles behind and making 5 knots – to see how much they move up the general ranking. Richomme had 11 hours 23 minutes on Marchand before the start and 10 hours and 31 minutes on Loison, with Mahé looking like the biggest threat at 10 hours and seven minutes.
Ireland’s Tom Dolan is on course for his best finish of this La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro in seventh place at the front of a strong group of eight sailors all within two miles of each other with less than seventy miles to the finish.
by La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro