On Friday morning, as set out in the Sailing Instructions, the Mono60 Edmond de Rothschild made her entrance into the Bassin Paul Vatine. Her arrival coincided with the start of festivities for the 12th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre, which marks the final phase of preparation for Gitana Team. Indeed next Sunday the fleet competing in this famous transatlantic race between Le Havre and Itajai will set sail on the 5,400-mile course across the North Atlantic, culminating with a southward descent to the finish port in Brazil.
Having set out from Lorient, her port of registry, on Wednesday morning, the Edmond de Rothschild duo made Le Havre in the early hours of Friday morning after a lively 350-mile delivery trip. However, for once the weather wasn't to blame, rather an impromptu halt off the corsair town of Saint Malo following damage to the boom: Conditions were mild with light to medium upwind conditions, with the sheets freed off a little. During the first night, as we were sailing offshore of Perros Guirec, we damaged the boom, which forced us to make a brief pit stop off the port of Les Bas Sablons in Saint Malo. There was just time to hook up with the shore crew, disembark the boom and head back off towards Le Havre under headsail. Obviously that's not how we'd planned things but the incident has not called into question our preparation. We're lucky to be able to rely on an autonomous and high performance shore crew, which is ready to get down to work to ensure the boat is up and running again for next week.
As far as the boom is concerned, the timing is tight but fortunately the Gitana Team can rely on the responsiveness and professionalism of Lorima. Indeed, from Thursday morning, the damaged spar was repatriated to Lorient so that Vincent Marsaudon and his teams could proceed with the necessary repairs.
Reigning champions and familiar faces at the event, the Edmond de Rothschild duo are returning to Le Havre, their minds filled with very positive memories, as Sébastien Josse explains: It's always a pleasure to come back here. This edition heralds my fourth participation in the race, the third in a monohull, whilst Charles has already racked up five, including two victories! We very much like this transatlantic race, as much for its format as its route and I'm happy it's going to be the first official race for the Mono60 Edmond de Rothschild as it's the perfect trial run.
After this opening weekend in Le Havre, Sébastien Josse and Charles Caudrelier will benefit from a few days off to get together with their families and hone their physical preparation. On Wednesday they'll be back in Le Havre for the final straight.