For the final test-match before the Vendée Globe, there were in the end 12 monohulls competing in the Azimut Trophy 24h race. Armel Le Cléac’h’s Banque Populaire VIII finished first on Saturday after 11 hrs 56 mins and 26 secs. Armel won this major race in the Azimut Challenge after dominating the race practically from start to finish. Morgan Lagravière on Safran came in second ahead of Jérémie Beyou and his Maître CoQ. Paul Meilhat (SMA), finished fourth but was the first of the older IMOCA 60s.
All foiler podium
The first race in the Azimut Challenge lived up to its promise. It offered a variety of wind conditions over the 245-mile course offering the ideal setting for the final rehearsal with just a few weeks to go to the start of the Vendée Globe.
From the first length the clear leader, Armel Le Cléac’h (Banque Populaire VIII) lived up to his role as favourite throughout. Clearly determined to win, he held on to achieve a clean victory. In his wake, Morgan Lagravière (SAFRAN), managing to keep up, can also be pleased. The young competitor finished in a well deserved second place on his boat that was recently fitted with new foils. As for Jérémie Beyou (Maître CoQ), who came back quickly towards the end of the race, he showed his skills. The three times winner of the Solitaire du Figaro took third place on the podium, given over entirely to foilers.
Round Groix on Sunday
The Azimut Challenge continues on Sunday with the speed runs and the Azimut-Round Groix race. This crewed race offers the skippers the opportunity to take crews on board with members of their shore team and partners. The westerly wind of around 15 knots may allow the record to be broken. The time to beat is 1 hour 08 minutes and 10 seconds and was set last year by the men on PRB.
Results of the Azimut 24h Challenge
1) Armel Le Cléac'h (Banque Populaire VIII): finished at 11h56'26", race time 18h48'26"
2) Morgan Lagravière (Safran): finished at 12h16'26", race time 19h08'26"
3) Jérémie Beyou (Maître CoQ): finished at 12h20'30", race time 19h12'30"
4) Paul Meilhat (SMA): finished at 12h24'24", race time 19h16'24"
5) Vincent Riou (PRB): finished at 12h27'58", race time 19h19'58"
6) Sébastien Josse (Edmond de Rothschild): finished at 12h28'17", race time 19h20'17"
7) Yann Eliès (Quéguiner Leucémie Espoir): finished at 12h49'40", race time 19h41'40"
8) Thomas Ruyant (Le Souffle du Nord): finished at 13h26'17", race time 20h18'17"
9) Jean-Pierre Dick (StMichel-Virbac): finished at 14h26'48", race time 21H17'48"
10) Bertrand de Broc (MACSF): finished at 14h29'45", race time 21h21'45"
11) Tanguy de Lamotte (Initiatives-Coeur): finished at 14h36'00, race time 21h28'00"
Conrad Colman (100% Natural Energy)- retired