The last race had an unexpected outcome. Returning to port while doing everything possible to avoid dismasting and causing further damage to the boat was a hard blow. This raises doubts about the work done in terms of reliability and the ability to prepare a vessel capable of crossing the ocean.
The breakage was completely unforeseen. I am the first to break this piece among the Maxi boats. I alarmed everyone a bit ahead of the transatlantic race.
From this point of view, there is certainly a positive aspect: now that I have a new mast, I shouldn’t have any problems with this component, and I will also have time to test it and verify that everything is okay.
Testing it. That’s crucial. Time is short, so the days to prepare for the Mini en Mai race and have at least a few days of training before the regatta are really tight.
Several days have started at 6:00 a.m. and ended at 9:00 p.m. to have everything in order for the next race.
We have fabulous weather for the regatta to test the boats and have fun on the water.
The start is usually one of my strengths coming from the world of inshore racing. Yet, I’ve had two races with poor starts…
No worries, I manage to quickly find a good rhythm, free myself, and round the first buoy within the top 10, chasing the leading group.
The race continues at a fast pace. I maintain a good rhythm and manage to stay closer to the coast compared to the other boats. It’s a choice that pays off well, but at the tip of Penmarch, as predicted, there is no wind and we all bunch up. It’s a real shame because at that moment I was in third place, and I see the boats behind us getting stuck without wind and going even closer to the coast, deviating from the route just to find a slight breeze. It works because I see 30 boats circling around me.
It’s quite a mess. The next leg of the race will be very fast, and it will be difficult to catch up.
The mood becomes gloomier, and in the calm, I do my best to find some pressure and get the boat moving, but I’m in thirtieth place. It can’t end like this. It’s not possible.
As evening approaches, the wind returns, and we start moving faster and faster. After the island of Groix, there are two reaching legs under Code 0.
Slowly but surely, I start overtaking boats, and the speed is good. Then, finally, the reaching legs under Code 0. Flat sea, 25 knots of wind, and angles at 120 degrees. Perfect conditions. The boat flies with speeds of over 17 knots, covering 80 miles in 6 hours and 30 minutes. What a spectacle.
The boat’s speed is excellent, and we manage to climb back to the 9th position, with 8th place slipping away from us by just a little. The first boat to finish is less than half an hour ahead of us. What a pity. What an opportunity I let slip through my fingers to truly compete with the leading group and fight for the podium.