All bets are off. The final 24-30 hours of the battle for overall victory in Class 40 on the Transat Jacques Vabre are shaping up to be the closest and most exciting finale of any of the four classes which set off from Le Havre on Saunday 25th October.
After 23 days and more than 5100 Nms of racing this Tuesday afternoon there is only nine miles between leaders Yannick Bestaven and Pierre Brasseur (Le Conservateur) and Maxime Sorel sailing with Sam Manuard on the Manuard designed V and B which is back on the attack.
In the last 24 hours the pendulum swung initially in favour of V and B which had closed to within ten miles then they slid back six miles. This morning Sorel and Manuard have been advancing again from their position to windward and offshore of Le Conservateur.
Bestaven and Brasseur have lead the race since the 27th of October, level with Brest. At one point they were over 330 miles ahead of second place. But a severe slowdown in the Doldrums got V and B back into contention and the last 500 miles have been extremely close.
In tactical terms the advantage is with Le Conservateur who are slightly closer to the finish line, on the inside line. But V and B have a small advantage in being able to bring their bow down and sail a lower, faster course in the short term. But on what looks set to a decent run into the finish Bestaven and Brasseur might be able to cover to the line.
The duel should come to the finish line tomorrow (Wednesday) afternoon or evening.
1 – Le Conservateur
2 – V and B
3 – Carac Advanced Energies
1 – FenêtréA Prysmian
2 – Ciela Village
3 – Arkema
1 – PRB
2 – Banque Populaire VIII
3 – Queguiner – Leucemie Espoir
1 – Macif
2 – Sodebo Ultim’