The fleet did explode during the night from Monday to Tuesday. With the supporters of the North and those of the South to reach the Cotentin as quickly as possible.
Up close, still up close. The north-easterly wind is always well established on the route des 34 figaristes still racing on this second stage between Lorient and Fécamp. Entering the Channel, after passing the Four, at the westernmost point of Brittany, set a new pace on the course announced on the paper of around 490 miles. Progressing against the wind means tacking to make the Figaro Beneteau 3 move as well as possible. And at night, the challenge is all the more difficult. Xavier Macaire (SNEF Group), the winner of the first stage, suffered the consequences shortly before midnight. His boat getting tangled up in a locker, he had to dive to get out of his unfortunate fishing.
To progress towards the Raz Blanchard, at the tip of Cotentin, two clear options emerged during the night. With of course the followers of the happy medium, those with their ass between two chairs waiting to know which side to take. Tanguy Le Turquais (Quéguiner-Innoveo), when the gray day had not yet risen and he was sailing north of the fleet, explained his doubts: “The conditions are not easy from the Four and it is quite tiring. The sea is not very big but short and makes the boat bang, which is not very pleasant. We made a series of turns to navigate against the current along the Breton coast. It hit the nail on the head and I am very tired. I manage to take short naps but the boat goes faster when you are at the helm. I don’t know where the rest of the fleet is. Basically, there were those who stayed at the coast because we have a wind that must turn more to the right but also to go and catch a current favorable to Bréhat. There are those, like me I think, who are a little more offshore and who haven’t put the tide on the top of the decision pile. We are looking for a wind that will turn to the left and this was the case on one tack which allowed me to pick up on Fabien Delahaye (Groupe Gilbert). The rest of the fleet, I don’t really know where it is because I can’t see them on AIS (Geolocation system existing on all boats and working by VHF, editor’s note) My strategy is to turn in three to four hours and proceed to Guernsey. »
We did the hardest, the most technical and unfortunately, it did not start because everyone came back to me.
The leader from the south coast of Brittany, Pierre Quiroga (Skipper Macif 2019), current second in the general classification after a stage, knew that he had to stay on the job for another 140 miles before touching the Alabaster coast: “We have worked a lot since the raz de Sein. I had to find a little rest and easy settings for the boat under pilot and that’s what I managed to do. Compared to the first stage, the sea is relatively calm, but it remains a fairly messy sea. With the current against the wind which raises the sea. The boat is slapping and is more difficult to regulate especially since there are different intensities of the wind. I’m not counting tacking from the Four, it will depress me. My strategy is not completely defined because I lost everyone at AIS. I’ll wait until daybreak to see how it unfolds. As we are ahead of the routings and I went on a North Guernsey option, I would like to be accompanied before validating this route. We did the hardest, the most technical and unfortunately, it did not start because everyone came back to me. Now we have to bite the bullet and get to the finish line.“The passage du Cotentin will be the justice of the peace because the last turns in the home straight will only be a pure speed race towards Fécamp.