Marc Guillemot expected in time for dinner

Friday 14th December 2007

Final hours of racing for Marc Guillemot. On board Safran, the yachtsman from La Trinité had only a few dozen miles to cover this afternoon to complete the Transat Ecover B to B and finish in a fine fifth place. The race was won during the night by Loïck Peyron, ahead of Kito de Pavant and Michel Desjoyeaux…

«Until the line has been crossed… »: sailors know by heart this yachting version of « You can't count your chickens.» We shall therefore remain cautious, but it now seems highly likely that Marc Guillemot will reach Port-la-Forêt this evening.

Mission accomplished
At noon, Safran was making around ten knots headway off the Loire Estuary and Marc only had a few dozen miles left to cover or a few hours of sailing, to reach the finish. We can imagine the satisfaction he feels to be completing the race (he could not be contacted this morning), as he is in the process of winning his entry ticket for the Vendée Globe. At the same time he will be finishing in a fine fifth place, in spite of having sailed prudently for a week, in order to ensure his keel system held out. After being up with the frontrunners for the first two-thirds of the race, Safran will today be bringing up the rear of the leading pack. He will thus be finishing a few hours after Yann Eliès (4th on Generali), one of the stars in this Transat, as Marc Guillemot pointed out the day before yesterday, while also paying homage to the overall winner, Loïck Peyron (Gitana Eighty).

Peyron, Pavant, Desjoyeaux
It was indeed Loïck Peyron, who with this transatlantic crossing has added to his list of achievements a single-handed monohull victory, a first for him. His Gitana Eighty crossed the finish line this morning (Friday) at 0h13, covering the 4120 miles of the course between Salvador da Bahia and Port-la-Forêt in 14 days, 9 hours 13 minutes and 25 seconds. A little over three hours later, Kito de Pavant's Groupe Bel took second place, ahead of Michel Desjoyeaux, who gave himself one last fright: just forty miles from the finish, Foncia and a fishing boat collided! The accident broke an outrigger on the monohull, but Michel Desjoyeaux managed without changing tack to bring his boat across the finish line off Port-la-Forêt, pleased not to have dismasted.
Proof once again that « Until the line has been crossed … » Of course, we hope that nothing like this happens to Marc, as the race has already been quite thrilling enough!

Marc Guillemot and his Safran are expected to cross the finish at round 8:30 pm (CET).

Final day of racing for Safran