jeudi 29 juillet 2010

The showdown at the end of the earth

Just cought some time to check this year's competition of SAS and was glad to see that the change of generation is almost finished. Only Pic on 198, Andrea on his third Manuard and Vernoique, now on Alex Pella's proto still persist from the 2007 Transat lineup. The rest of the faces are more or less new.
At this point let me point out that my comments are related almost exclusively on protos. I have very bad insight in what is going on in the series class.

Let's start with hope that top protos, that are now in their second Transat circle won't allow series the embarrasement of the last SAS or first leg of the Transat. There are at least 12 protos that are in all aspects faster then serie and sailed by expirienced and/or fast skippers.

For now weather forecast looks boringly stable with established Azores high that prevents the big players diping further south and destabilize the weather in Biscay. That provides nice acceleration around Finisterre that will show who prepared the boat and him/herself enough to enjoy the 30+ knots conditions. The guys with guts will probably dip south to get in strong downind conditions and we might see some nice 24 runs.

In this stable conditions my 3 favourites are:
Joerg Reichers: Best boatspeed in the fleet which he proved by winning two TG's and MAP. On typical offshore courses that provide more routing options he still has to prove himself and he yet has to finish solo race longer than few days.

Bernard Delesne: winner of first leg of 09 Transat and second on the second leg. He'll definetly benefit from the sleigh ride in acceleration zone. Otherwise probably first favourite of the race.

Nicolas Boidevezi: Second best guy from 09 Transat (7th) and consistently fast.

For some other guys like Thomas Normand or Sebastien Rouges SAS will be a good test if they have what it takes to sail long singlehanded ofshore races. And maybe this time Andrea Caracci finaly found time for some training and preparation and will show the potential he was showing on his first mini races.

2 commentaires:

  1. HI Andraz, thanks for the piece.
    Any new design stuff ? Or only refinement.

    And for you missing knowledge, LOL, there are two Naciras rated as proto (till ratified serie they race proto class for the newbies) so take note unless you will make mistakes...

  2. Hi Leo, noticed the Naciras. Pogo sailors on my oppinon stil to experienced to drop the ball.
    No ideas about protos since I've not visited the pontoons but lineup look similar to Transat 09.