Two times past winner Armel Le Cléac’h on board Banque Populaire, crossed the finish line in Gijon, on the northwestern coast of Spain at 16:21:43 CEST today, June 10th 2013, winning leg two of the 44th edition of La Solitaire du Figaro .
Le Cleac’h covered the 298 miles from Porto to Gijòn in 2 days, 3 hours and 11 minutes at a theoretical average speed of 5,8 knots. With today’s win his personal leg wins record goes up to 6 victories in 10 participations. For Le Cleac’h this also represents the second victory in Gijòn where he triumphed in the 2010 race. On the final few miles, in a purely match-racing style battle, the skipper from Finistère managed to fend off the continuous attacks from Morgan Lagravière on Vendée, who crossed in second only 59 seconds later, at 16:22:42. Interesting to note that Lagravière came in second in Gijòn in the 2012 edition of the race too. Once on the pontoon, a contented Le Cleac’h commented: “Up to the line, that young guy (Morgan Lagravière) gave me a hard time. I’m super happy, it was a very good leg. After the first one, it feels good to get a win. It’s very good for the morale. I have sailed well, I’m satisfied with how I’ve sailed, especially on the last 24 hours. I made an excellent strategy and made up for the first leg, that was not that brilliant. I don’t know yet how many places I will catch up in the overall… It’s good anyway, for me, for my sponsor to finally be able to win a race after so many second places I got recently”.
Third place went to Anthony Marchand on Bretagne Crédit Mutuel Performance, who finished at 16:26:12, fourth to Jérémie Beyou on Maître CoQ at 16:28:58 and fifth to leg 1 winner Yann Eliès on Groupe Quéguiner-Leucémie espoir, who thus keeps his provisional overall leadership. Brits Goodchild, Cherry and Bomby on the up Sam Goodchild on Shelterbox – Disaster Relief was the first non-French skipper to finish in Gijòn. He crossed at 16:52:12, a bit over 30 minutes after leg winner Armel Le Cleac’h (Banque Populaire) in 11th position. A bit more than three minutes behind Goodchild, it was UK’s Nick Cherry’s turn on Magma Structures to finish at 16:55:36 in 14th position overall. Henry Bomby (Rockfish) after a not very positive start and first part of the leg made a brilliant recovery, finishing in 20th with a gap of only 1 hour and 18 minutes on the winner. Edmund Hill (Artemis 37), who has been trailing the fleet since the first few hours of the leg, is expected to get to Gijòn later today.
Rookies in the top 20 The only female entrant this years race, Claire Pruvot (Port de Caen Ouistreham), was the first rookie in Gijòn. The young match-racer turned offshore skipper closed in 16th overall, preceding by a few minutes her most serious adversaries in the special newcomer category David Kenefick (Full Irish) and Jackson Bouttell (Artemis 77) who finished in 18th and 19th respectively and separated by an incredible 31 seconds gap after more than two days at sea. Bouttell who was first in the opening leg with a ten minutes lead on Pruvot should then be able to keep his leadership among the “bizuths” as they are known in France off”.