Photo shows, ARTHUR HUBERT, COLOMBE JULIA - Transat Paprec 2023 - at sea on  06/05/2023

Photo shows, ARTHUR HUBERT, COLOMBE JULIA - Transat Paprec 2023 - at sea on 06/05/2023

Transat Paprec: Madeira today, the Canaries turn Sunday


06/05/2023 - 18:34

The leaders of the Transat Paprec are set to tick off two key landmarks this weekend, passing Madeira today Saturday and due to round the Canary Islands turning mark northwest of the tiny island of La Palma on Sunday.

Loïs Berrehar and Charlotte Yven (Skipper MACIF) are still leading the fleet and the first six are now strung out over 12 miles. But there are variations in speeds noted and the gaps do grow and shrink, not least as atigue is really starting to set in after six days of racing.

Nothing is ever easy on board the Figaro BENETEAU 3s especially on a transatlantic race and particularly on these wet and uncomfortable boats. The bonus for the mixed doubles duos is that they have been making faster progress since yesterday afternoon when they could set spinnakers. And under spinnaker a spell on agood period of gusty tradewinds breeze can easily translate to small gains. Chain together a series of gains and that might amount to half a mile or so in a day.

The fleet left Concarneau last Sunday lunchtime and while they have not had any big blows, nor long calms, the rhythm of is relentless and exhausting.

"We are very tired this morning", reported Chloé Le Bars who is 9th with Hugo Dhalenne aboard Région Bretagne – CMB Océane, some 33.5 miles behind the leaders Berrehar and Yven who are less than a mile up on second placed Corentin Horeau and Pauline Courtois (Mutuelle Bleu). "We had trouble deciding the right time to set the spinnaker, we launched it three times before it really was the right time".

First week

"We are already nearly up to the first week at sea and that is significant", underlines Francis Le Goff, the race director. "It's hard to comprehend how exhausting it is. The skippers are really feeling the constant, repeated efforts, even just deciding when to and setting the kite is tiring and then trimming it adds a new physical dimension to the work load. And in effect the leading duos are those that have the greatest capacity to maintain the same speed for the longest time".

Now all eyes are on La Palma and how to manage the passage of this essential 'waypoint' this Sunday before heading west. "We are starting to prepare our strategy", explained Gaston Morvan (Région Bretagne CMB - Performance).

The top duos should be at La Palma waypoint in the early afternoon of Sunday

52 Super Series: No racing Saturday, patience and focus required Sunday
Winners not yet decided at the 19th PalmaVela