La Solitaire first leg completed. Fra Clapcich ready to start Leg 2
After 620nm official (but 820nm sail at sea) Francesca and the whole fleet of 34 skippers arrived in Lorient. The first stage was very long and hard, more than 300nm upwind in the
middle of the Bay of Biscay with 25 knots, gusts at 30kn and waves of more than 2m. After a great recovery downwind in very strong wind conditions, Francesca turned the waypoint of La Coruna in 20th position still very close to the leaders. Unfortunately, the decision to stay further west waiting for the expected wind shift to the left did not pay off and Francesca lost some positions and time. Unfortunately, two skippers had to abandoned, one for being stuck in a huge abandoned fishing net and another for a break in the jib. All the skippers are now in Lorient, ready for tomorrow's departure.
The weather forecast for stage 2 foresees a nice mix of sailing conditions, a reach up to Rochebonne, another reach to get to La Four where it will be necessary to manage the current and wind drops. Stage 2 will be shorter (490nm) but very strategic, with treacherous passages between rocks, currents, wind shifts and changes of sails. You will need to stay very focused and minimize mistakes.
Francesca on the eve:
“I feel very good, in the first stage I managed to manage myself better. The long upwind allowed me to take a lot of 20 'naps, I must have done more than 30 !! The autopilot manages to steer quite well upwind if the boat is set up well and it was an opportunity to rest and not get cooked after a stage. The game is 4 weeks long and being able to manage, recover, sleep and eat well are fundamental aspects. For the second stage the goal is always to stay in the group and make the right decisions with wind shifts and sails decisions. The stage is shorter but no less treacherous, indeed !! Certain passages in the middle of the rocks must be thought out well and I will have to try to arrive mentally rested in the most complex parts of the stage! The weather is favorable, a NE flow with a high pressure on Scotland will make us sail with a good wind around 15 / 20kn, the second part of the stage (in the English Channel) will be all upwind with wind shifts , it will be fun!!"
Sunday 29 August at 2:00 pm departure from Lorient with live streaming on the event website. Arrival at Fecamp Wednesday afternoon after 3 intense days of racing!