Published on 14/09/2020
Approaching the half way point of Stage 3 of La Solitaire du Figaro, racing from Dunkirk to Saint Nazaire, Britain’s Sam Goodchild (Leyton) led the 33 boat fleet through the notorious Raz Blanchard – between Alderney and the Cap de la Hague tip of Brittany – early this morning.
Goodchild, who lies third overall on the General Classification, yesterday made one of the best passages across the Baie de la Seine after Le Havre, staying most inshore and took the lead around midnight last night as the fleet set up to pass through the tidal race on the ebb tide early this morning.
At dawn Goodchild was passing close to the north west coast of Guernsey with a small cushion of just over half a mile ahead of Pierre Quiroga (Skipper MACIF 2019) but they in turn have more than one nautical mile on the third placed Adrien Hardy (Ocean Attitude).
He reported, “Honey waffles for breakfast as we sail by Guernsey. Good night reaping the rewards of yesterday’s investment south west. Currently in the lead but the weather is anything but straightforward from here on in, so not getting carried away. The sailing is fairly easy for now so managing to get well rested.”
Racing under gennaker in light easterly winds Goodchild’s management of the fleet behind him and decision making has been excellent. They now have 100 miles to sail to the tip of Brittany and Ushant where the next big tidal trap is at Ushant.
Xavier Macaire (Groupe SNEF) who lay second on the overall standings, six and half minutes ahead, is more than two miles behind Goodchild. Race leader Armel Le Cléac’h (Banque Populaire) is 25th, more than 13 miles, or two hours, behind the British skipper.
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