Pro Sailing Tour 2022, Leyton wins Episode 2 of the Pro Sailing Tour in Brest
Leyton wins Episode 2 of the Pro Sailing Tour in Brest
Winning four out of six inshore races during Episode 2 of the Pro Sailing Tour in Brest, France, on Thursday and Friday, the crew of Leyton usually led by Brit Sam Goodchild, but on this occasion with Morgan Lagravière at the helm, stormed home to a convincing overall victory having also won the 24h Finistère Challenge over the weekend.
"Super satisfying! We finished on a high note with this offshore race that we were determined to win,” said Morgan Lagravière at the finish this morning.
“The conditions were quite challenging with some pretty violent waves, but I was impressed with the boat's behaviour. Racing these foiling trimarans requires a very high level of commitment, you must be on top of your game at all times, and constantly vigilant. I was a bit apprehensive of racing the boat at night, but in the end, we attacked more after dark than during the day!”
“I loved the Ocean Fifty, the circuit, the format, it has everything I like. It's all about people, the feeling, the speed, the open sea, and contact racing,” he added.”
Offshore sailing’s most exciting new competition is living up to its reputation of close boat on boat action inshore and tactical offshore challenges, and with an ever-increasing standard among the seven-boat fleet, the competition is getting tougher at every outing.
The next stop in St Brieuc which kicks off on Wednesday promises to be spectacular!
THE 24H FINISTÈRE CHALLENGE
The foiling trimarans completed the 300nm 24h Finistère Challenge in less than 18 hours racing the tactically challenging course that took the fleet along the coast of Finistère in lively 15 to 25 knot conditions.
The Ocean Fifty multihulls were in their element in a strong south-westerly wind reaching speeds of up to 35 knots, but the conditions combined with heavy seas required an element of caution particularly around Ushant.
This did not inhibit the sailors’ thirst for battle however and Leyton set the tone from the outset, leading the fleet off the start line, with Primonial skippered by Sébastien Rogues (FRA) and Arkema winner of the last episode in Bonifacio, with Quentin Vlamynk (FRA) at the helm, in hot pursuit. Thibaut Vauchel-Camus’ (FRA) Solidaires En Peleton-ARSEP broke their gennaker just before nightfall, and in a disappointing twist of fate, Erwan Le Roux’s (FRA) Koesio had a power outage minutes after the start in Brest forcing them to sail the course ‘blind’. Finally, Groupe GCA-1001 Sourires retired this morning, unlikely to make the cut off time. Despite a few issues among the fleet during this highly testing 24h Finistère Challenge, the finish times remain extremely close with just 6 minutes between Solidaires En Peleton-ARSEP and Koesio.
HIGH INTENSITY IN SHORE RACING
The Pro Sailing Tour is a riveting blend of intense inshore racing and tactical offshore challenges that span a very short two-month circuit that takes in the Mediterranean, the Atlantic and the English Channel. Travelling from Bonifacio, to Brest, to St Brieuc, to Cowes in the UK and back to Roscoff in a whirlwind production that is as much about the competition as the spectacle for the visiting crowds and of course the TV cameras, the Pro Sailing Tour is offshore sailing’s hottest new competition.
The 4-day Episode hosted in Brest from Thursday to Sunday, took in two days of inshore racing before the fleet set off for the offshore challenge. The circuit requires endurance and focus from the teams, and in Brest, they returned race after race with the same intensity. The team onboard Leyton showed their form from the outset with stand-in helmsman Morgan Lagravière new to the circuit showing his skill in the boat-on-boat close contact racing. Arkema was in the game from the get-go, as was Solidaires En Peleton-ARSEP with Vincent Riou (FRA) onboard. All three were set on securing the top spot. More wind on Friday shook things up with Éric Péron (FRA) on Komilfo showing his local knowledge and while still learning, showing great potential. Koesio was also never far off and ever ready to challenge the top boats. Gilles Lamiré’s (FRA) Groupe GCA-1001 Sourires was the last to arrive in Brest having sustained damage to the hull and, still on a learning curve, struggled to find their rhythm.
The defending champion, Leyton may be leading the ranking after two Episodes, but there is a long way to go before the final race in Roscoff on 10 July!
Sébastien Rogues (Primonial) : "We had a great start to the offshore! We had to do a series of tacks in the Narrows, as close to the rocks as possible. We stayed ahead for a while until Leyton changed their sail configuration and we hesitated. Arkema passed us, but at Ushant, we hoisted the gennaker first and managed to pass them back and hold them off. Some pilot issues last night lost us a bit of time on Leyton. We then had some hard tacking with speeds of 34-35 knots to the Mare lighthouse. It was a pleasure; we had never sailed along the coast of Brittany so fast before!”
Quentin Vlamynck (Arkema) : "It was intense, it was great to be in contact! We've learned a lot again. Those at the front may have been more successful in their manoeuvres, but we really enjoyed ourselves. Maybe we were too careful, but at the end we pushed the boat. We had to fight because Thibaut (Vauchel-Camus) was coming back hard behind us. From the start we were going fast, but with care.”
Thibaut Vauchel-Camus (Solidaires En Peloton-ARSEP) : "A great start, a great show! After the start,we didn't dare to change the headsail, but Leyton showed us that we had to! When we arrived in Ushant, the big gennaker broke. It didn't take us long to reinstall the small gennaker, but we fell behind. That said, we worked hard to reel in anyone within range. We are happy with our 4th place in the 24h Finistère Challenge.”
Erwan Le Roux (Koesio) : "We were quickly forced to lower our objectives, because as soon as we reached the clearing mark, we had no power. Getting out of the harbour I had my head in the engine. We sailed in stealth mode! The guys wanted to keep going. It's a bit tense to sail without electronics, even if you know the area well and in 25 knots of wind, it's extremely intense! We sailed by feeling. We put our flashlights on to be visible, but nobody could see us on the AIS. Fortunately, there wasn't too much traffic. We don't know how fast we sailed. We did things the old-fashioned way, safely, and we managed to race our race and find our way!”
Eric Péron (Komilfo) : "We had a great start with 20 knots of wind in the sun, a dream! We were feeling good, going fast upwind. Heading up between the chaussée de Sein and Ushant, we saw that the latest generation of boats were going fast in these conditions, and we lost a bit of ground at that point. We remained conservative in our choice of sail, and we made some small mistakes, but that's part of learning the boat, we don't have our bearings yet, there are still a lot of things to build on and that takes time. We have a lot of room for improvement, so I'm confident. We've hardly broken anything, overall, we're very happy because we're making progress every day.”
Gilles Lamiré (Goupe GCA-1001 Sourires) : "The result of the 24h Challenge is what it is. To be honest, we arrived in Brest after the breakage in Bonifacio with no sporting ambitions but rather the desire to gain experience. The other crews had the bit between their teeth, and we were too cautious, so the gap widened. We had some technical problems, so we preferred not to think about the competition but to concentrate on progressing, gaining experience to be in the game for the next episodes. We are looking to the future, the boat is doing well, and we had fun, it was beautiful. We're looking forward to the Bay of St-Brieuc, and we can't wait to be on the start line with our friends!”