Owen Clarke 60's complete TJV

Gamesa Open 60, staysail and reefed main, genoa on deck... photo Mark Lloyd
Gamesa Open 60, staysail and reefed main, genoa on deck... photo Mark Lloyd

photo Mark Lloyd
photo Mark Lloyd

The IMOCA Open 60 partners Dominique Wavre and Michèle Paret on Mirabaud  crossed the finish line of the Transat Jacques Vabre in eighth place on Sunday morning, November 20,  at 09h 39mn 26sec UTC/GMT.

“We are very happy to be here in Costa Rica after such a difficult crossing and we are also pleased to have had this time to iron out any remaining questions we had about our new rig package,” said Dominique Wavre.

“The boat went very well indeed. We were a little bit conservative at the beginning of the race until we were absolutely sure of our rig, but once we had complete confidence we were able to speed up and give our competitors a run for their money.”

“The conditions were particularly difficult for the first 10 days of the race, making it a very physically challenging first half of the competition,” said Michele Paret. “It was almost impossible to sleep and our bodies suffered a bit as a consequence. We managed the situation well though and although there were a few close shaves, we were masters of our own destinies the whole way across.”

Breaking the line on a quiet, almost still, early morning off Puerto Limon, Costa Rica, Gamesa co-skippers, Mike Golding and Bruno Dubois, completed the Transat Jacques Vabre double handed race in ninth place. With the fleet of 13 Open 60s which started in Le Havre, France, on Wednesday 2nd November reduced to nine by a succession of storms which battered the fleet with boat breaking condition during the first week of the race. Golding completed his record seven finishes from seven consecutive editions since 1999, having been placed on the podium four out of the seven events and third in the last edition.

Finishing ninth is an unfortunate new experience for Golding but after two years away from big ocean races and with a boat which had just been modified with a new rig, coachroof and steering system, the main goals were to finish and to learn the boat’s new characteristics in order to be competitive for the solo race, the Transat B to B, which returns across the Atlantic, starting on 5 December.

Golding commented:

“We are disappointed of course with the result which is not what we would have wanted. But the reality is that we made a choice in the Atlantic to go south round an area of light winds partly driven by the fact we had no communications, no fleet broad band, so we couldn't get the big weather files, partly driven by the fact we had no wind instruments, so we were thinking we would go south, get some light weather, change out our wind instruments, try to fix the fleet broadband but it didn't work. It was not the right way to go. But you make your choices, sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. On this occasion they didn't work.”

“This result is not what either of us thought we would get, but we were in the play. And we are not going to beat ourselves up about it. It feels bad just now. We were up in third and we we were vying with Macif and Banque Populaire. But we were very shaky after the start, very green and – to be honest – making mistakes I would have made 15 years ago. So when you put it in context it is something to go forward from with a lot of positives in our minds.”

To see the excerpts of Mike and Bruno's interview in English and French go here

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