St Petersbourg/Vendee struggling to the finish

The other great sailing event happening at the moment is the Vendee/St. Petersbourg race for 50 foot mutihulls. The boats are now on the return leg and somewhat like Leopard 3 they are having a tough time finding any wind. Sailing in the English Channel as we write the boats are making no more than 3 knots.

Dull for those on board – they had hoped that the lead boat would finish today but with a further 300 miles before reaching St Gilles Croix de Vie at Vendee it will take them another 2 days to arrive. There is a change in the leader board however – after a very close finish when Crepes Whaou!3  beat Actual by seconds to the finish line in St Petersbourg it is now Yves le Blevec’s Actual who is leading the race from Franck Yves Escoffier’s Crepes Whaou!3 – by some 23.6 miles at the time of writing.

Of course with 300 miles still to race and only 23 miles separating the 2 leaders anything could happen – Escoffier is taking the more direct route and is sailing close to the French coast off Cherbourg  whereas le Blevec is sailing mid Channel and is currently due north of the island of Guernsey.

The race order after the first two is as follows:

  • Crepes Whaou!2 – Loic Fequet 134 miles behind the leader
  • Region Aquitaine – Port Medoc – Lalou Roucayrol 346 miles behind the leader
  • Naviguez Anne Caseneuve – Anne Caseneuve 365 miles behind the leader
  • Fenetre A – Cardinal – Erwan le Roux 384 miles behind the leader
  • La Mer Revele Nos Sens – Pierre Hingant 419 miles behind the leader
  • CLM – Herve Cleris  469 miles behind the leader
  • PIR2 – Etienne Hochede 659 miles behind the leader

The major excitement on this leg has been the dismasting of Pir 2 – at 12h15 (GMT) today the race directors were informed by the crew of PiR2 that the trimaran had just been dismasted to the west of Skagen Point in Denmark. In a 25-knot westerly with choppy, confused seas the boat lost her mast and is now seeking refuge in a Danish port. All crew are reported fit and well.


Race leader Actual sailed by Yves le Blevec – photo courtesy of Duff for

Lets hope there are no more upsets – but with the wind in the Channel little more than a whisper it is more likely the crews will be struggling to reach St Gilles Croix de Vie this side of midsummers day.

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