by Marcus Hutchinson
When you run a race of the calibre of the Solo Concarneau without a tracking system, it is extremely frustrating to try and work out what is really going on. There will be only two accurate rankings for the fleet taken with the race committee, one will be at the Brivideaux lighthouse that the fleet will probably reach late this afternoon or early evening, and the second is obviously the finish line, where we expect to have the leaders approaching late afternoon on Wednesday. There are some other provisional rankings established using the coastguard radar stations supplemented with the competitors all calling in after they have gone round, but as one can imagine these aren’t particularly reliable. Then there is the AIS system.
The racing names of the boats and the registered names to the AIS systems are not the same, so a look up sheet (see below) is required to identify who is who. Then it doesn’t ever update all the boats’ positions at the same time, and it really only works for fleet following when the fleet is near a powerful radar station, of which there are several along the coast in France. But there are also many areas that just aren’t covered, probably 60-70% in total.
The fleet are currently sailing upwind in medium winds of around 10 knots, back across the Bay of Audierne towards Pen March point. The fleet has split into two groups according to the AIS system and the information we can get from marinetraffic.com. The inshore group contains the race leaders from earlier, ie Morgan Lagraviere, Jeremy Bayou, Julian Villon. The offshore group contains many other big names including Nico Lunven and Michel Desjoyeaux, amongst others.
It looks like the offshore group has done better and we’ll see shortly by how much they have gained. Unfortunately it looks like Jack Bouttell (Artemis 77), Nick Cherry (Artemis 23) and Sam Goodchild (Vasco de Gamma 85) are in the wrong group and it will hurt as a result. We don’t know which group Ed Hill (Artemis 37) and David Kenefick (Ilidian 45) are in, but we do know where Henry Bomby (Christine 19) is, in the right group and near the front of it further offshore.
As the skippers clear the Pointe de Penmarch, the fleet will have a reach across to Brivideaux and this maybe a good time to get a few minutes shut eye as the conditions will be more stable. The next significant mark on the course, where we will have an accurate ranking from a committee boat on site, is at Brivideaux Lighthouse and it should be early evening by the time we get that. Meanwhile its marine traffic dot com!
The AIS look up sheet:
Boat name/Racing name/Skipper name
VENDEE / VENDEE – Morgan LAGRAVIERE
ALI / GEDIMAT – Thierry CHABAGNY
UPSET / GENERALI – Nicolas LUNVEN
OC37 / ARTEMIS 37 – Edmund HILL
OC77 / ARTEMIS 77 – Jack BOUTELL
AUREMAT / SKIPPER MACIF 2011 – Paul MEILHAT
GASPE 7 / SEIXO HABITAT – Julien VILLION
BANKPOP SOLOSAILOR / BANQUE POPULAIRE – Armel LE CLEAC’H
CHRISTINE / CHRISTINE – Henry BOMBY
OC23 / ARTEMIS 23 – Nick CHERRY
VASCO DE GAMA / VASCO DE GAMA – Sam GOODCHILD
PHYSALIS / PRATIBUCHES – Vincent BIARNES
JB / SKIPPER HERAULT – Xavier MACAIRE
SIBELIUS 4 / IN EXTENSO – Nicolas JOSSIER
EL VELO SOLEX / MAITRE COQ – Jérémie BEYOU
COM IN SAIL / BERNARD CONTROLS – Jean Pierre NICOL
BLACK MAMBA / DLBC – Yoann RICHOMME
ILIDANA / FULL IRISH – David KENEFICK
NORDMAOR / REGION BASSE NORMANDIE – Joan AHRWEILLER
FATUHIVA 2 / CARNAC THALASSO & SPA – Gilles LE BAUD
CRAZY CRAZY / SEPALUMIC – Fred DUTHIL
MORBIC / GROUPE QUEGUINER LEUCEMIE ESPOIR – Yann ELIES
KEOPSYS / TBS – Michel DESJOYEAUX
PORT DE CAEN OUISTREHAM / PORT DE CAEN OUISTREHAM – Claire PRUVOT
AQUARIUS / IB REMARKETING – Benoit HOCHARD
ULUWATU / THERMACOTE France – Yannig LIVORY
THRALL / GROUPE FIVA – Alexis LOISON
JEHOL / JEHOL – Didier BOUILLARD
TI WAI 2 / DFDS SEAWAYS – Fred RIVET
Artemis Offshore Academy