Trimarans begin to fly as Queen Mary 2 passes rescue point

– IDEC Sport and MACIF battle it out at the front
– Joyon: “It reminds me of my English Transats”
– QM2 passes site where they rescued a stricken solo sailor two weeks ago

Map and ranking at 19:00 (French time)

The Queen Mary 2 looks unbeatable at the front of the The Bridge – Centennial Transat but during the second day of racing on Tuesday she was finally being outpaced as the “Ultime” class trimarans behind her spread their wings and began to fly.

After heading north, just west of the British Isles to get through the anticyclone that faced them in the Bay of Biscay from the start, all four have now tacked west. IDEC Sport (Francis Joyon) and MACIF (François Gabart) were first to the depression and were making over 30 knots as they continued to exchange the lead. At the 19:00 ranking, Joyon was leading, with Gabart 13 miles behind, with 2,351 miles of the 3,152-mile course to New York to go.

But unlike the QM2, heading directly to New York at 24 knots, the trimarans are having to square the great circle. “The race is anything but straightforward,” Joyon said.  “There’s no direct route in sight, and a lot of depressions to negotiate. It reminds me of my English Transats.”

Sodebo (Thomas Colville) lost ground overnight and in the morning, and was 85 miles behind, but was also making over 30 knots by the afternoon.“Things have not been going super smoothly for us,” Vincent Riou, on Sodebo, said. “We missed two or three tricks and suffered a bit after. A few things played out from there overnight, it’s the life of offshore racing and it’s still long road.”

Actual (Yves Le Blévec) was 200 miles behind Joyon, but gradually revving up over 20 knots. Samantha Davies, the only Briton in the race, on Actual reported this morning that even before they tacked west life was already becoming more difficult as their boat began to jump the waves.

The wind has filled in since yesterday afternoon and now things are more like you’d expect when crossing the North Atlantic,” Davies wrote. “We’re heading upwind, it’s grey with bands of rain. Actual is starting to jump the waves and suddenly it’s starting to be less easy to eat, sleep etc! The crew says it’s normal to find these conditions here because we’re going to England!”

None of the skippers will need any reminding of how tough the North Atlantic can be, not least Chris Wells, the captain of the Queen Mary 2. At 21:00 (French time), after just over two days since the departure, she was due to pass just 25 miles south of the spot to which she diverted in order to rescue a stricken solo skipper competing in the OSTAR transatlantic race just over two weeks ago.

Mervyn Wheatley, a 73-year-old ex-Royal Marine from Newton Ferrers, competing in the race for the fifth time, was taking on water through a smashed port hole after his 38-footer, Tamarind, was knocked flat in reported 60 knot winds and 15-metre waves. When the QM2 arrived to save him he had to scupper his yacht to avoid it being a danger to other shipping.

For more information, photos and videos:

The Bridge is a transatlantic celebration of friendship and solidarity between France and the United States, marking one hundred years since the arrival of American soldiers on French shores in 1917 to join the Allies in World War I.
It includes:
– the 4th FIBA 3X3 World Cup in Nantes (17-21 June)
– the return of the Queen Mary 2 to where it was constructed in Saint-Nazaire, escorted by an international armada (June 24)
– the 3,152-mile Centennial Transat from St Nazaire, Britanny to New York (June 25-July 3)
– an original tribute across the ocean to a century of American music (June 23-July 1)

The BRIDGE 2017 key dates

In Nantes :

– Thursday, June 15th: Arrival of the maxi-multihulls

– Friday 17th – Wednesday, June 21st: 4th World Cup 3 × 3 of the * FIBA ​​

– Tuesday, June 21st: Music Day

– Thursday, June 22nd: Parade of Ultim trimarans along the Loire

In Saint-Nazaire :

– Thursday, June 22nd: Arrival of the maxi-trimarans into Saint-Nazaire Port

– Saturday, June 24th: Arrival of the Queen Mary 2 and entry to the Joubert lock (Saint-Nazaire Port) Concert, sound and light show general public

– Sunday, June 25th: Start of THE BRIDGE, the race against the clock

In New York :

– Saturday July 1st: Arrival of the Queen Mary 2

– From Sunday July 2nd: first estimated arrivals of the maxi multihulls

The Queen Mary 2 in brief


Manufacturer: Chantier de l’Atlantique in St. Nazaire, ordered on 6th November 2000 and delivered on 22nd December 2003

Christened by Queen Elizabeth 2 January 8th, 2004 in Southampton

First cruise: January 12th, 2004

The Bridge summary:
– the 4th FIBA 3×3 World Championship of Basketball in Nantes (June 17th-21st)
– the return of the Queen Mary 2 in Saint-Nazaire, escorted by the international fleet (June 24th)
– the Centennial Race heading to New York (June 25th – July 3rd)
– the unique tribute throughout the ocean journey with a century of american music (June 23 – July 1st)