There are three races going on within the race this afternoon. At the front of the fleet, the two leaders are making their way out of the Oresund Straits and will soon be choosing which tack to be on, depending now on their strategy and not the obstacles lying ahead of them. In third position, the crew of Crêpes Whaou ! 2 is just preparing to enter the famous sound, while the rest of the fleet are battling it out in the Baltic.
Sometimes a race is down to a small detail. Actual, who led the way from the start of this second leg, knows that only too well. Ruling the waves and keeping their rival at bay, Yves Le Blévec and his crew chose a route to the west of the island of Gotland. Convinced they had made the right choice, they awaited this morning’s rankings to see how far they were ahead of Crêpes Whaou ! 3. Only to discover that Antoine Koch, Franck-Yves and Kevin Escoffier, by passing to the east of the island had taken the lead. It may only be a small lead, but it was a difficult blow for the crew to accept, especially when they thought they had been doing so well with the various difficulties in their path. To a certain extent, that just goes to prove how demanding the standard is that is set by the two frontrunners.
The quest for perfection
This closely fought battle between the two leaders has of course, had a consequence concerning the gap they have achieved over those following on behind. Crêpes Whaou ! 2, in spite of all the hard work, is finding it difficult to keep up and can only hope the frontrunners will be slowed down at some point to enable them to get back in the running. As they round the tip of Denmark, their hopes may be partly fulfilled: the latest forecasts from Météo France suggest that the two leaders will encounter strong headwinds and rough seas, while those following them, may well experience better conditions.
Further back still, Lalou Roucayrol (Région Aquitaine Port-Médoc) and his mates are warding off the attacks from a trio including FenêtréA Cardinal, Naviguez Anne Caseneuve and La mer révèle nos sens, who are now grouped together within three miles of each other. As on the outward leg, it is a close contact race that is now beginning for them, which is certainly more stimulating than having to sail alone. Solitude is something that the crews on CLM and PiR2 are probably beginning to feel. Hervé Cléris and his crew got left behind last night as they were leaving the Gulf of Finland, without really understanding the ins and outs of what happened. As for Etienne Hochédé, he is counting on his determination and perseverance to overcome all the doubts and demons at work at the rear of the fleet. Etienne and his crewmen already proved during the first leg that they were clever enough to make the most of the situation and enjoy sailing in these waters in the waters of Northern Europe.