BP250 - Tales II2013-11-30

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2nd - Transat Jacques Vabre

From http://www.transat-jacques-vabre.com (Andi Robertson)

Alex Pella and Pablo Santurde on Tales Santander 2014 crossed the finish line of the 11th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre at 0036hrs 50sec‏ local time (0236hrs 50 sec UTC) off Itajai this Saturday morning to take second place in Class 40.

The Spanish duo’s elapsed time for their race is  21j 01h 22min 15sec‏. They sailed the 5450 miles theoretical course at an average speed of 10.69 kts. In reality they sailed a course of 5660 miles at an average speed of 11.2 kts. Having pushed the Class 40 winners over recent days, getting their deficit down to 37 miles at one point, Tales Santander 2014 finished 3 hrs 40 mins and 50 secs second after GDF SUEZ.

For Pella and Santurde, second on the new Botin Partners designed Class 40 is a great result after losing valuable time early in the race when they had to make a technical pit stop into La Coruna to repair a rudder fitting.  When they stopped they had around 50 miles of a deficit on the leaders. As they continued down the Portuguese coast in the strong trade winds there, Tales Santander 2014 was 156 miles behind GDF SUEZ. But they again showed the fast reaching speeds when they progressively pulled back 40 miles by the time they passed the Cape Verde Islands.

Emerging from the Doldrums in third, just after Rio they managed to pass second placed Mare, Jorg Riechers and Pierre Brasseurs.  As the leaders struggled for pace in the lighter breezes at times Tales Santander 2014 closed to within 37 miles of the lead. They elected to go inshore of the main oil platform field off Rio which cost them some of their margin against Mare.

For Barcelona’s Pella it is another endorsement that he is one of Spain’s brightest ocean racing stars, having already finished on the podium twice in the Mini Transat, completed the 2009 Transat Jacques Vabre in fifth in the IMOCA Open 60 class with Pepe Ribes and finishing fourth in the Barcelona World Race in 2011. For Santurde on his first big ocean race, second represents a great debut on the boat designed and owned in his native Santander and built in Burriana, Spain.

While the pair were pleased with second, Pella believes that their enforced pit stop cost them the race win. They sailed 200 miles across Biscay with one rudder and did not know if they would be able to finish the race. “We thought we might be going home to Santander” Pella said.

“We are happy with second, when you saw us on the second day stopping to repair the rudder in La Coruna that was a hard moment. When broke it we did not know if we could continue the race or go home to Santander. We decided to stop in La Coruna to see. It was Sunday of course and every machine shop was closed. The guys from the yard made it, went from Castellon to Valencia and drove by car to give us the fittings. In fact we only stopped for two hours to do the repair, but we did 200 miles with one rudder. And when we left La Coruna we had no wind and GDF SUEZ and MARE were away.”

“We are happy. I am happy to have sailed this fantastic boat with Pablo. We sailed very many miles close with many boats, we were two or three days with Watt & Sea, two days with Armel Tripon with Geodis, we learned as we went because the boat is new.”

“It is a fantastic boat. When it is windy and we are reaching, it is fantastic. We are lucky because a big part of the race is reaching and we were great in these conditions.”

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