— 26. 04. 2024
— 26. 04. 2024

Spinnaker wraps aplenty

Fatigue amongst the sailors, wear and tear on the boats and bracing conditions have all coloured the past 24 hours of racing in the Cap-Martinique. Whilst the fleet is just past the halfway mark in the course, the competitors have already endured their share of glitches, with multiple spinnaker issues. Race Director, François Séruzier, is regularly alerted when this powerful headsail gets wrapped around a forestay. Indeed, it forms a kind of double balloon, which the skippers have to deflate without making the situation any worse.

“The spinnaker is an unstable sail, which you have to wrestle with and it can form knots and even tear,” he explains, aware that these technical issues can upset the rankings. Previously heading the fleet in solo format, Régis Vian can testify to that. Overnight, he had three difficult sail manoeuvres with his spinnaker, which cost him a few miles and a lot of energy. “Results from the past day haven’t been great. I’ve let the big boys in front steal a march on me as they’re really powering along in these conditions, and astern, whilst I’m having a tough time of it, they’re coming back strong,” comments the skipper from the department of Sarthe in north-west France, who has given up the solo top spot to Paolo Mangione (Mon Bonheur A Moi). Despite his struggles, Régis Vian’s performance has gained him admiration from a number of quarters, starting with Daniel Souben, his coach in La Trinité-sur-Mer in Brittany. “I’m avidly following his race. He’s up there with the bigger boats, which are being sailed double-handed whilst he’s all alone. He’s sailing an incredible race.”

In double-handed format, Amaury Dumortier and Geoffrey Thiriez (Terre d’Enfants sur l’Atlantique) are also getting the best out of their Figaro 2. Both sailors hail from the Cercle de la Voile des Flandres, a small club which also produced Thibaut Derville and a great many of the volunteers working for the Cap-Martinique. François Ropartz and Vianney D’Aboville (Les parrains marins) are also doing well mid-fleet aboard a JPK 9.60. “They’ve progressed in leaps and bounds and their trajectory is very neat. It shows that there are some youngsters in IRC so it’s not solely reserved for a more mature public as we’d imagined. They are the ones who will ensure that this type of formula has a future,” acknowledges Daniel Souben, their coach in Orlabay in La Trinité.

Finally, Robert R. Jacobson and Calanach Mc D. Finlayson (SNSM La Trinité Plain Vanilla) are diverting to the Azores after suffering rudder damage, which they are unable to repair at sea. They should manage to make the Portuguese archipelago over the course of the day this Sunday.


All’s well aboard Un Palier Deux Toits…

Today, two flying fish burst out of the water in front of the boat, which was magical! There are small patches of seaweed here, there and pretty much everywhere, including around the rudders at times. There are waves and wind but we aren’t posting decent speeds yet. We’re on the case though! As far as the course is concerned… it has to be said that we’ve kind of been wading through treacle trying to make complicated decisions, which are doubtless very easy. We’ve got no one in our sights or via AIS. There’s no DCC and the computer is acting up. For all that though, we’re in excellent spirits. How lovely it is to discover what has been fuelling our dreams and our project! Philippe is in our thoughts in the blue vastness that surrounds us.


It has been a good night for our average speed but inversely proportional to the quality of our sleep! Yesterday afternoon, the wind was really beginning to pick up and as night fell the wind established itself at 30 knots, gusting to 35 knots, so it’s a whole different ball game now. We’ve put in a reef, still under S4 in fairly heavy seas. The cloud cover and omnipresent squalls resulted in a pitch-black night, especially during the first part. It was kind of reminiscent of being on a ghost train and impossible to helm! We’re relying on the autopilot, taking it in turns to keep watch up top to ensure we surf nicely through the waves whilst the other tries to sleep… we’re flying!


After a boisterous Cape Finisterre, albeit without any particular issues, and a few days with very little wind, a faulty alternator forced us to make a 12hr pit stop in Madeira to effect repairs before we could confidently set sail again in pursuit of the sun!

A big thank you to the ever smiley Olivier Perroz of Sailing Performance Madeira for helping us on site in Quinto Do Lorde.

After setting sail again right at the back of the peloton at 03:00 am on Tuesday via the north to avoid the wind shadow of the island, the spinnaker has been flying day and night.

PHILLIPPE TRIEM – Pour un sourire d’enfant

The sea is less bouncy than a blue run with gentle bumps and a slight slope of 20 knots. After a period of ‘action stations’, the spinnaker trawling in the water after it blew out, the Ocean’s gentleness is like Mercurochrome on a wound, applied by a reassuring mother. It has to be said that at three in the morning, after recovering the lower section of spinnaker and seeing the top flying like a flag in the black sky, a good 25 knots of breeze responsible for keeping it hale and hearty, we were wondering how we could recover it. With a bit of luck on my side, I managed to do it and my sail is now fit for service on the boat.


+ d’actualités

  • — 13. 05. 2024

    La seconde édition de la Cap-Martinique s’achève aujourd’hui avec l’arrivée de Marine et Sébastien Péjoan, 51ème et dernier concurrent de cette seconde édition. Thibaut Derville et Jean-Philippe Cau, co-organisateurs [...]