Because of the storm, they had to wait 9 days in Le Havre before setting off on the Transat Jacques Vabre, but the Imoca, the star monohulls of the Vendée Globe, put on an incredible spectacle. If Thomas Ruyant and Morgan Lagravière (For People) are racing in the lead a few hours before the finish in Martinique (expected around 1 a.m., during the night from Saturday to Sunday), the duos Yoann Richomme – Yann Eliès (Paprec – Arkéa) and Sam Goodchild – Antoine Koch (For the planet) participate in one hell of a sprint.
The three Imoca are expected in a pocket handkerchief. If For People has widened a small gap, nothing is decided for 2nd and 3rd places. “The last 24 hours have been very intense in terms of pace,” underlines Yoann Richomme (Paprec Arkéa) in a message sent in the middle of the night. And there, it all comes down to details.”
He will be one of the favorites for the Vendée Globe
On Friday, Paprec Arkéa attempted a shift to find a wind shift, without success, which allowed For The planet, 3rd, to reduce the gap. Sam Goodchild and Antoine Koch were 7 miles behind Paprec Arkéa this morning.
Ahead, Thomas Ruyant is preparing to continue his momentum, after the Transat Jacques Vabre in 2021 (already with Morgan Lagravière) and the Route du rhum last year. Since then, Ruyant, who will be one of the favorites for the next Vendée Globe in November, has been sailing on a brand new monohull. His LinkedOut is now in the hands of Sam Goodchild.
The two sailors have chosen to sail within the same team – For people for Ruyant, For the planet for Goodchild – and are training together. Barring an accident, they will both be on the podium in the Transat Jacques Vabre 2023. “We are pushing hard, the last days of racing have been quite intense, we are steering a lot and we are not giving up to stay in the lead. We will have the pressure until the end,” underlines Thomas Ruyant.
The Southerners finally gained the upper hand
The suspense will therefore end this night. It will have been intense, especially since the duo Justine Mettraux – Julien Villion, on Teamwork.net, has long believed in their luck. He still leads the fleet of monohulls having boldly opted for a northern route, while Ruyant, Richomme and Goodchild had opted for the south. The long-distance battle raged until the Southerners gained the upper hand on Friday.
On Sunday, Armel Le Cléac’h and Sébastien Josse (Banque Populaire) were the first to reach Fort-de-France, winning the Transat Jacques Vabre in the Ultim category, the flying maxi-trimarans. During the night from Thursday to Friday, Thibaut Vauchel-Camus and Quentin Vlamynck, aboard Solidaires en Peloton, won in the Ocean Fifty class.