For Desjoyeaux’s crew there was the satisfaction of adding to their Betfair City Race series points win in Kiel, whilst for the Guichard team there was the disappointment at losing out on a leg which they lead for most of the 1238miles distance, through the full range of conditions. But, equally, Guichard reflected that the finish was so close that they might as easily have finished third. And for Josse and his Groupe Edmond de Rothschild team there is the considerable satisfaction of having put together an accomplished performance that came so close to winning.
In fact it was a fitting climax to an engaging first leg which has offered the five strong fleet of MOD70 trimarans a good share of each type of wind conditions, from a robust beat around the Skagen point on the tip of Denmark, a tactical light winds beat in the North Sea, through a high speed plunge down the Channel to Land’s End, averaging close to 30kts for a sustained period, and finally a 200 mile beat up the Celtic Sea to the nerve shredding finish. Though FONCIA lead out of Kiel last Sunday night, Spindrift racing took the lead on the W coast of Denmark on the speedy descent to the North Sea. And from there until the final miles they had looked like the team most likely to win.
In contrast Stève Ravussin’s crew on fourth placed Race for Water started only modestly, finishing their Monday morning with a deficit of some 70 miles or so on the leaders. But they worked hard to come back and in the end they were just over 34 minutes behind the winner. Spindrift racing had FONCIA within sight for most of the race and it turn Groupe Edmond de Rothschild were close to the FONCIA since the Channel.
Sidney Gavignet and his crew of Musandam-Oman Sail were unfortunate to lose the breeze as it shut down. Finishing fifth they had been duelling for the entire course with Race for Water, which counts with Volvo Ocean Race winner Franck Cammas and Thomas Coville on board.
MOD70 European Tour, Leg 1 Kiel to Dun Laoghaire, 1238 miles (times inGMT)
1-Michel Desjoyeaux (FONCIA) 23h 19 ’09 Sept. 5 in 3d 10h 49′ 09
2-Yann Guichard (Spindrift racing) at 23h 19 ’40 in 3d 10h 49′ 40 (+31secs)
3-Sébastien Josse (Groupe Edmond de Rothschild) at 23h 20 ’26 in 3d 10h 50′ 26 (1min 17secs)
4-Steve Ravussin (Race for Water) at 23h 54 ’25 in 3d 11h 24′ 25 (+35min 16sec)
5-Sidney Gavignet (Musandam, Oman Sail) at 00h 54 ’00 Sept. 6 in 3d 12h 24′ 00 (1h 34m 51sec)