Less than a minute was the time separating the two frontrunners, MACIF and Maître CoQ, in this Rolex Fastnet Race. Hugo Boss completed the podium seven minutes later, tailed by Cheminées Poujoulat. A little over ten minutes then between the top four.
MACIF, Maître CoQ, Hugo Boss, Cheminées Poujoulat: such was the order in which the top four crossed the finish line, mirroring their passage around the Fastnet. Essentially it was the climb up the Irish Sea towards the famous rock that enabled a hierarchy to be established. For PRB, Safran and Mare, the last few miles on the approach to the lighthouse proved to be particularly disadvantageous. Held in the clutches of the calm spell, these three duos had to watch helpless as the leaders stole a march on them as they latched onto a bit of breeze with which to drop down towards the Scillies.
Top level guaranteed
We’re used to there being little separation between the competitors, which shows the high overall level of the fleet. The Fastnet Race is no exception to the rule, as the two leaders sailed within sight of each other for over two-thirds of the race. Correspondingly, the deficits in time between the top three are reminiscent of the Vendée Globe and testify to the ferociousness of the battle. Of particular note once again was the outstanding performance by Alex Thomson, who has shown that with a 2008 IMOCA, it’s still possible to compete with the best of them.
The relatively poor performances by Vincent Riou and Marc Guillemot are primarily down to them rounding the Fastnet in calm conditions, creating a very tricky passage. With regard Jörg Riechers, he is by his own admission just discovering his IMOCA. For him, the main aim remains the Barcelona World Race, at the end of 2014.
The next meeting for the entire fleet is the Trophée Azimut, in Lorient this coming September.
Final ranking in the Fastnet:
1 MACIF (Gabart – Desjoyeaux), 2d 19h 22mn 19s
2 Maître CoQ (Beyou – Pratt) 2d 19h 23mn 16s
3 Hugo Boss (Thomson – Altadill) 2d 19h 29mn 38s
4 Cheminées Poujoulat (Stamm – Legros) 2d 19h 33mn 00s
5 PRB (Riou – Le Cam) 2d 20h 05mn 56s
6 Mare (Riechers – Audigane) 2d 21h 15mn 16s
7 Safran (Guillemot – Marmorat) 2d 21h 57mn 40s