Quentin Vlamynck (FRA), the youngest skipper in the history of the Ocean Fifty class, along with his two crew, Alex Pella (ESP) and Antoine Gautier (FRA), won his first-ever Pro Sailing Tour Episode on Sunday afternoon in Bonifacio, Corsica. He drove home his preliminary advantage after 7 inshore races, by winning the 24-hour Challenge around Southern Corsica by a matter of minutes over close rivals Brit Sam Goodchild on Leyton and Erwan Le Roux (FRA) on Koesio. This result is a great start to the Pro Sailing Tour season – offshore racing’s most exciting new circuit – for the 28-year-old from the Gironde in France and is sure to set the tone for a hotly contested Episode 2 in Brest from 22-26 June on the waters of Finistere!
FOCUS ON THE 24-HOUR CHALLENGE
From Bonifacio to Ajaccio via the Lavezzi and the Vacca mark not far from the entrance to the bay of Porto-Vecchio, the ultra-demanding 164- mile course took almost 27 hours. The 5 teams had to negotiate the vagaries of light winds throughout the night and variable thermals during the day making the race as much a test of nerves as a test of stamina with constant sail changes and regroupings with the rest of the fleet. On such a delicate playing field, never far from the rocks, with unpredictable geographical effects, clarity made the difference. “I’ve done a lot of racing all over the world, and I don’t remember ever racing with so much intensity,” said Alex Pella, winner of the Route du Rhum, round the world record holder (crewed) and crewmember onboard Arkema with Quentin Vlamynck.
At the foot of the Citadel of Bonifacio, Arkema, Leyton and Koesio arrived within less than 9 minutes of one another, with a 72-second gap between Sam Goodchild’s trimaran and Erwan Le Roux.