First day of the Le Havre Allmer Cup
The third edition of the Le Havre Allmer Cup is now underway. It is the first race of the French National Solo Offshore Championship, meaning that all the Solitaire Bompard - Le Figaro favourites are back on the water. Further reason for that is that the boats that raced the Transat AG2R La Mondiale finally arrived in France. Because of this late arrival, the preparation going up to the race was more intense than usual. says Sam Matson (Chatham).
The particularity with this race is that it is a week long one, with an offshore leg between windward/leeward and coastal courses. The race committee shortened the offshore leg from 300 nautical miles to around 120, as to not disturb the end of week racing. Sailors with inshore racing background have a slight advantage over traditional offshore sailors, but with a fleet this dense in talent, there is no guarantee of coming up ahead at the finish line. As Nick Cherry (Redshift) puts it:
As it is the final race before the long awaited Solitaire Bompard - Le Figaro, many are regarding the 2016 Le Havre Allmer Cup as the final opportunity to take note of what has to modified, on the boats as well as strategy-wise: states Robin Elsey (Artemis 43). Having ranked in the Top 10 in each of his 3 races, the most regular British sailor so far, Alan Roberts (Vasco da Gama), shares the same point of view :
As the offshore race is in its first hours with Gildas Morvan (Cercle Vert) leading the way, the first day of the race certainly kept all its promises. All the Figaro favourites have been battling it out, with an impressive advantage for both MACIF boats : Charlie Dalin (MACIF 2015) has won both of the races run on Monday, a windward/leeward one followed by a 23NM coastal course, followed by Yoann Richehomme (MACIF 2014), who finished 2nd and 3rd. They lead the provisional general ranking, ahead of Gildas Morvan (Cercle Vert), who finished 2nd of the costal course. Alan Roberts also finished on the podium, with his 3rd place in the windward/leeward course. He makes it into the Top 10 at 10th, followed by Nick Cherry (14th), Sam Matson (15th) and Robin Elsey (21st).