Thomas Ruyant and Morgan Lagravière scored their first race victory in A Dos aboard this next-generation foiler at the end of a magnificent course. The duo spent 72% of the race leading the IMOCA fleet with the “LinkedOut”, a Guillaume Verdier design built in the Italian shipyards of Persico Marine and put into the water on July 9, 2019.
Thomas Ruyant and Morgan Lagravière were expected to participate in this Transat Jacques Vabre. The two sailors, cited as one of the favorites for the fall regatta of the year, had all the cards in hand to achieve their goal. Aboard their state-of-the-art Verdier design, the two sailors took the lead for the first time in the opening minutes of the race, the beginning of a furious battle with their rivals, with boats and records equally impressive.
And it was after a grouped descent from the Bay of Biscay, with the rankings fluctuating at every point, that the three-way battle began with “Apivia” and “Charal.” “LinkedOut” did not give up and managed to take the lead of the fleet on November 16, when the crew passed through Cape Verde. The blue and orange IMOCA was always in the lead and even managed to maintain a comfortable lead over its two rivals. In this transatlantic regatta, the “LinkedOut” duo demonstrated magnificent mastery of their foiler, developed over the last three years after their first Vendée Globe. Their talent as sailors, together with the perfect rapport between the two skippers on board, will have allowed them to push their IMOCA to victory.
Thomas Ruyant, we had the boat ultra prepared after my solo Vendée Globe: “We had a lot of fun in the water with Morgan. It’s a great sporting experience, it’s rare moments. This victory has been brewing for several months, for several years, thanks to the great team working on this project. A lot of things were done before departure. We were lucky to have a boat that was ultra-prepared, in which we had confidence, that we could pull, that we had no excess. We have not skimped, even in recent days, when we had a bit of an advantage, no We have released not a meter, we have put a lot of energy from the beginning to the end. We are well trained, the last session between Fernando and the end was long. It is the first time that we compete in a Transat and we have been in places where it is hot, where it is difficult to maneuver ”.
Morgan Lagravière was one of the first skippers to sail with foilers on an IMOCA, the one that was “Safran” boraso on February 5, 2015, a design by Guillaume Verdier and Vincent Lauriot-Prevost built by the French shipyards CDK in Lorient; a project that ended in June 2017, something that Lagravière already knew in advance when he was hired. For two years he was accumulating a lot of information on everything related to these new IMOCAs with hydrofoils, and that in some way has helped him to win this Coffee Route together with Ruyant:
“It is a good moment, winning a regatta is always a pleasure. They are moments of happiness, you have to know how to enjoy them, savor them. It is not only the sporting result, but also the values and the human dimension. We intend to take advantage of all that and enjoy it in the next few days. We were very close, we took care of each other, with a common motivation, great complementarity, we gave everything. We had magnificent conditions when we passed by the Rocher du Diamant, it was really ideal, to enjoy ourselves , to enjoy those who were there. Seeing the land, seeing the islands, recovering our fruit and our coconuts, it was a pleasure “.
The “LinkedOut” numbers are:
– Arrival at 9 hours 48 minutes and 10 seconds in Martinique (14 hours 48 minutes and 10 seconds, metropolitan time)
– Time spent: 18 days 1 hour 21 minutes and 10 seconds
– «LinkedOut» covered the 5,800 miles of the theoretical route at an average speed of 13.27 knots.
– Thomas Ruyant and Morgan Lagravière will have sailed 6,691.30 miles over the water at an average speed of 15.44 knots.
– Pass of Fernando de Noronha in first position, November 19 at 22:20 UTC
“Apivia”, 170 miles from the finish, will be the second IMOCA to finish the Transat Jacques Vabre. Charlin Dalin and Paul Meilhat have fought throughout the race with the «LinkedOut», they have been leading the IMOCA fleet many times. But after leaving the Cape Verde islands astern, during the descent towards Fernando de Noronha, the duo Runyat Lagravière began to open a gap between themselves and the group that was pursuing them.
In this attack, the “Apivia” was hit by the “Charal” from which it could not take off until after Noronha turned, also seeing how the “LinkedOut” was moving away beyond 130 miles. So Charlin Dalin and Paul Meilhat, when they are 170 miles from the arrival in Martinique, only have the “Charal” located 64 miles aft in their rear-view mirror.
Keel problems for the “11th Hour Racing Team – Mālama”, which sails in 11th place, being 860 miles from Martinique. Failure that they have been dragging for a week, Charlie Enright and Pascal Bidégorry can only navigate at 70% of their maximum speed. The damage to the keel is causing a vibration when they were cruising at full speed.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism