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The not so ‘Belle’ Belle Ile

Published on 16/09/2021

The winds are dropping off Belle-Ile. The speeds of the Figaro Bénéteau 3s have slowed down. The spinnakers stay full only with the skippers constant trimming and steering. Tom Dolan (Smurfit Kappa - Kingspan) and Pierre Leboucher (GUYOT Environnement - Ruban Rose) spoke on the VHF.

Tom Dolan (Smurfit Kappa - Kingspan): ” I’m exhausted ! I can’t take much more the wind won’t stop shifting but I won’t let go. The others are coming back from behind. I haven’t been bothered by the Lapérouse yet and I don’t think it will bother me. I’m glad to be where I am but I still would have liked to have been a bit further offshore. The wind is dropping, I have 6 knots of wind: we are falling into in a big soft spot. I am going at 4.5 knots, it backs a bit. It’s going to heat up on the land, it’s going to be big slow down. it is a bit light and hazy for hours to come. I have 40 miles separating me from the SN1 buoy. It’s the same scenario as last year! We spent the day at Belle-Ile, I feel that it will be the same again. I can’t let go of the helm the pilot just zizgzagues. I have sweets and water, that’s going to keep me awake, because I absolutely can’t go and take a nap in these light and variable conditions. “

Pierre Leboucher (GUYOT Environnement - Ruban Rose): ” I was a bit confused by the Lapérouse. It didn’t help me get where I wanted to be at all. I passed at 900m but the parallel course took too long. I had to lbear away again but I couldn’t, I couldn’t control my opponents. But it does not matter ! I’ll do something else. We have beautiful conditions but there will be a lot of twists and turns until we get past SN1. I was really happy this morning to learn my ranking. As I couldn’t hear anything on the VHF, it was Francis who gave me the results at the radio session. But I tell myself that the road is long! The wind has dropped and it will continue to do so, it will not hold until SN1 like that. I don’t really want to be here, I would have gone well inside Belle-Ile this morning, but Xavier (Macaire) and Tom (Laperche) didn’t seem to want to come with me so I stayed with them. If there are any boats that have gone to the shore, I think they’re right! The weather is fine, there is visibility, there is soem cumulus and so there will be thermal wind on land. Maybe Alexis Loison is there, I don’t know! “

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