The start of the Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre, originally scheduled for Sunday October 29 at 13h29, has been postponed to a later date. The strong low expected in the Bay of Biscay since the beginning of the week finally arrived 24 hours ahead of schedule, bringing 80-knot winds and 10-metre seas. This situation has prevented the race directors from launching the race for the IMOCA boats.
Hot reaction from Justine Mettraux and Julien Villion:
Justine Mettraux: "I'd say it's a wise decision for the whole fleet to be able to race with peace of mind, as conditions in the start area are already going to be well underway. I think it's great if everyone can race and have every chance of getting to the finish without putting themselves in danger. As for this big depression, we had a good chance of getting through, but we knew we had to make sure we didn't lose any time. It would have been complicated for the slower boats, and it's good if it doesn't force some of them to stop. It's a bit of a last-minute decision, but we're going to adapt and prepare for the next start."
Julien Villion: "I agree with Justine to some extent, basically it's a good decision. If we were a little more transparent about the elements that guide the decision, it would allow everyone to organize themselves better and be a little more serene. Everyone, teams and skippers, are conditioned to leave when conditions are difficult, so we were ready to go. From a weather point of view, I'm not completely convinced that the situation is fundamentally different between yesterday and this morning, so a decision yesterday would have been much simpler. As for the rest, we're not very advanced, we've just released the tension of leaving in these conditions. If we don't leave this morning, that means we probably won't leave before Thursday, the day of the famous low-pressure system in the Bay of Biscay which is causing us problems. We're waiting for more information from the Transat Jacques Vabre organizers."