Thomas Ruyant and Morgan Lagravière will cross paths this morning about 130 nautical miles west of their comrades from the We Sail For People and Planet collective, Sam Goodchild and Antoine Koch. These four fantastic sailors from the TR Racing team in Lorient have exchanged knowledge and experiences throughout the year as part of the same team, pushing the preparation and optimization of their IMOCAs FOR PEOPLE and FOR THE PLANET to the maximum. In this first season, they have achieved impressive results with one victory and three podiums.
After a week of racing in this 16th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre, the two sailboats armed to accelerate societal and environmental causes with the Entourage and Team for the Planet networks are at the forefront.
FOR PEOPLE has been battling Charal with the duo Beyou - Cammas and Paprec Arkéa with the Richomme - Eliès pair since the start. These three boats, favoring a challenging trade wind route, are rapidly catching up with the leader TeamWork.net (Mettraux - Villion), efficient on a more direct and mileage-saving northern route (covering less than 400 miles on the ground than their 'southern' counterparts!).
Toto and Momo exchange the second position in the rankings, neck and neck with the Richomme - Eliès duo. Sam and Antoine, now ranked 6th on this same southern option, have taken the lead in an exciting battle with five other boats, including newer vessels like Initiatives Coeur (Davis - Bouttell), Malizia (Herrmann - Harris), V and B – Monbana - Mayenne (Sorel - Pratt), and L’Occitane (Cremer - Roberts). One race, one collective, two destinies, two competitions, in the service of altruistic causes, giving meaning to performance.
Hunt for the leader in the trade winds!
Because there is performance. Launched last April, the Koch - Finot Conq plan FOR PEOPLE holds its own among the best. The three-way showdown at the top of the southern fleet becomes more epic every day. The Azores high could not separate them in a subtly played placement game. Now, for two days, it's all about pure speed in the trade winds, a chess game on an oceanic scale where each duo competes with insight and anticipation to efficiently position their jibes. With 2,000 miles to go to Martinique, the new foilers are sensational, capable of maintaining impressive averages on the ground, over 16 knots since the start from Le Havre. And these stats increase every day in this well-established trade wind, on a more orderly sea, conducive to gliding. The northern leader is now only about a hundred miles away this morning and struggles to match the pace of the southern boats, which cover more than 400 miles every 24 hours, while Teamwork.net barely reaches 300. Toto and Momo revel in the joy of discovering a boat that continues to amaze them.
First Briton in Martinique?
Sam Goodchild and Antoine Koch continue to refine the performance of a completed sailboat, well-known to Antoine since his Transat Jacques Vabre 2019 on this same vessel then called Advens for Cybersecurity, but that Sam has been mastering at a rapid pace for only a few months. The two men confirm their excellent start to the season. Every day, they achieve convincing performances, able to take the lead over newer designs. Their neck-and-neck race with the duo Sam Davies - Jack Bouttell gains intensity and flair every day, as if finishing as the first British citizen in Martinique were a victory in itself for both Sams!
Morgan Lagravière: 'Everything is going well on board. We are galloping in the trade winds. We are flying in the surfs. The sustained conditions allow surfs at 30 knots. The boat whistles a lot. We find our rhythm with beautiful naps. We have pushed our bodies a lot. There have been a few things to repair on the boat! We take care of it. Living conditions are warmer. We are in T-shirts and it's humid. We see a lot of flying fish, the sky is blue, and it's great! We do things as best as we can while preserving the boat!"