Actual Wins The Vendée Saint-Pétersbourg Race


Actual, Winner Of The 2010 Vendee to St. Petersburg

Actual, Winner Of The 2010 Vendée Saint-Pétersbourg

 A clean race without any mistakes… a race that finishes for Yves Le Blévec and his crew with a win that they fought hard for showing both determination and intelligence. It offers Yves Le Blévec revenge in two ways: a revenge for the first leg, when they lost out by some 75 seconds, but above all revenge too after fate forced Actual to retire shortly after the start of the last Transat Jacques Vabre.

Right up to the finish, the pressure was on Yves Le Blévec. Even if, since the 0600 hrs rankings from this morning, the crew of Actual knew they were almost certainly heading for victory, the red and green trimaran had to cross the line before the skipper could express all his emotion.
Immediately, friends and family went on board, accompanied by Eric Loizeau, who raced with them in the first leg. An achievement that simply had to be celebrated by the four men, who were behind this success: Eric, Yves, but also Ronan Deshayes, who prepared the boat and sailed this time too, and finally, Jean-Baptiste Le Vaillant, who brought along his skills as a trimmer and his experience of ocean racing on three-hulled machines.
A win achieved in several stages
Over the final miles, the trimaran flying the number 53, could be seen zooming along at more than twenty knots under gennaker with one reef in the mainsail. A few gybes later, Actual crossed the finishing line at 13 hrs 29 mins 25 secs GMT, after racing for 5 days 21 hours 10 minutes and 25 seconds.  In fact, Actual’s win has its origins back in the North Sea, before they made their way through the Dover Straits, as Yves and his crew made gains thanks to a small tactical option further west than Franck Yves Escoffier’s Crêpes Whaou ! 3. As they made their way into the English Channel, the two leaders were twenty-five miles apart, and hoping to close the gap, Franck-Yves Escoffier attempted an option close to the coast of Brittany, while Actual sought out the north-westerly wind that was forecast. The result of their respective strategies was that Franck-Yves’s red trimaran was some fifty miles behind by daybreak. Maintaining his sense of fair play, the skipper of Crêpes Whaou ! 3 admitted this was a do or die option, as he knew that it could worsen his situation… “It will either work out or be a disaster,” racers often say, as they make one last ditch attempt to regain control.
Franck-Yves Escoffier is due to cross the finishing line at around 1630 hrs GMT. Whatever happens, both crews will have contributed to making this race what it was and it should mark a new beginning in the development and promotion of the Multi50 class.
From the boats
Yves Le Blévec (Actual):  It’s difficult to describe. Obviously we’re very pleased. It was a really exciting race. On the outward leg as well as on the return leg. We overtook, got overtaken and overtook again. I’m just so pleased to be the first back to Saint Gilles. It was all really down to some small tactical choices. In the North Sea, we gained a slight advantage. We decided to continue with our option in the English Channel and it certainly paid off.
The crew really worked well together: Jean-Bapt (Le Vaillant), whenever he talked about us, called us the young ones. In fact, we’re really a crew of old-timers. It’s true that I sometimes am not in a good mood, but that livens things up for the others…”
Positions in the 1400 hrs rankings
– 1 Actual (Y Le Blévec) finished on 6th June at 13hrs 29mins 25secs
– 2 Crêpes Whaou ! 3 (FY Escoffier) 67.3 miles from the finish
– 3 Crêpes Whaou ! 2 (L Féquet) 211.2 miles from the leader
– 4 Région Aquitaine Port-Médoc (L Roucayrol) 349.3 miles from the leader
– 5 Naviguez Anne Caseneuve (A Caseneuve) 355.1 miles from the leader
– 6 FenêtréA-Cardinal (E Le Roux) 410.9 miles from the leader
– 7 La mer révèle nos sens (P Hingant) 452.2 miles from the leader
– 8 CLM (H Cléris) 525.3 miles from the leader

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