Route du Rhum: 24 hours to go, Beccaria-Douguet duel for second place ignites

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Ambrose Beccaria Route du Rhum
Ambrogio Beccaria on Allagrande Pirelli

We have entered the last, almost resounding, 24 hours of this Route du Rhum that will determine the podium of the Class 40. This issue affects Italian sailing very closely, since there are two of ours in the top 10, Ambrogio Beccaria on Allagrande Pirelli currently second and Alberto Bona on IBSA in eighth position.

Route du Rhum, Beccaria-Douguet: thrilling duel

The Route du Rhum for the Class 40s has had a solid leader for several days now, Yoann Richomme, who has dominated the race in this second half of the course and retains about an 80-mile margin when the finish line at Point a Pitre is now 250 miles away for him. Behind him, however, the fight for the podium is as open as ever. Ambrogio Beccaria is in second place with just 1 mile ahead of Corentin Douguet and the two are going at the crossroads.

The intersection of Beccaria and Douguet

The close duel between the two has now lasted for at least four days, with constant changes of position and attempts to mark the opponent. The Frenchman in yesterday’s day changed his trajectory in the Trade Wind, sailing a few hours more leaning to position himself on the Italian’s bow and eliminate lateral distance thus reducing Allagrande Pirelli’s attack options. Ambrose responded by anticipating the gybe and they gained some miles on the approach, putting them back ahead in the virtual leaderboard, which, however, can change with each new gybe. There will be a few to go to get to Point a Pitre, with the final tour of Guadeloupe likely to be a back-and-forth affair.

Beccaria, however, finds himself in a most uncomfortable situation. On Allagrande Pirelli the wind station sensors blew during a front, a fact that forced Ambrose to sail nose-first compared to his opponents. It means not knowing the intensity of the wind, what direction it is blowing from, and what the swings are to adjust the sail configuration. The autopilot without the station sensors cannot follow the wind direction but only the compass degrees. If the skipper falls asleep and the wind changes direction, the boat follows its course and not the wind, with the sails set incorrectly. A solo racer’s worst nightmare. In this video Beccaria recounts his difficulties:

Route du Rhum – Alberto Bona fighting for an important result

IBSA Class 40 by Alberto Bona

Very solid race also by Alberto Bona on IBSA, who reported that he suffered an annoying physical inconvenience midway through the race that slowed him down and caused him to lose a few positions. Alberto injured his head, and with the help of medical assistance from the ground, he had to do some “DIY” to swab the wound before getting back on a good pace in pursuit of the leaders. Inconveniences that can happen in a regatta like the Route du Rhum, where the Italian nonetheless continues to take the lead. He has a gap of about 20 miles from a group of 3 skippers consisting of Xavier Macaire, Luke Berry and Antoine Carpentier, but final result aside he has always led his regatta in the top 10.

Andrea Fornaro is in 20th position with about 900 miles to go to the finish line, however, he continues to experience some keel problems that do not allow him to push his boat to 100 percent.

Mauro Giuffrè

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