A great start for team Imerys in podium position as they battle for the Class 40 leg prize at Matane.

Yesterday at 13:00 local time the start of the Transat Québec Saint-Malo saw the four Multi 50’s cross the start line first, followed by the 19 Class 40’s fifteen minutes later. Favourites, Phil Sharp (Imerys) and Vauchel Thibaut Camus (Solidaire In Peloton-ARSEP) went head to head as they crossed the line first, meanwhile other top sailors Isabelle Joschke (Generali) and Armel Tripon (Black Pepper) were recalled having started early in error. In 25 knot gusts and heavy rain clouds the fleet continued on tacking relentlessly up wind, digging into their 3000nm adventure to France, Phil Sharp comments: “It’s fantastic to be racing in this transatlantic event, where the first day of the Transat Quebec – St Malo has provided us with some very close and challenging racing. The level of competition is phenomenal.”

Early morning (local time) team Imerys pulled ahead into 1st place, holding the lead for over 13 hours before the familiar battle with Thibault came into play. Imerys is currently shifting between podium positions as the variable localised weather tests the fleet, Sharp continues: “The first day has actually been pretty full-on right from the start.  We were forced to go straight into strong upwind mode and do around 100 tacks to escape the narrow channels of the St Lawrence river near Quebec. Then followed a night of very light and fluky winds coupled with strong currents, which made for some very tactical sailing. We had to anchor once to stop us getting pushed back by the tide, which always tests ones patience at the start of a 3000 mile race!”

With approximately 200nm of the demanding St Lawrence river remaining, and the imminent competition for the leg prize at Matane the crews high spirits and synchronisation will provide the essential base to keep the team looking ahead and pushing for the lead, Sharp continues: “It has been really fun so far racing with three of us on board, which makes a nice change from solo as you can actually switch off when you go to sleep. It turns out Adrien is as experimental at cooking as his sailing and my diet has taken a healthy turn in comparison to my prior solo Transat where I lived off dried food and vitamin pills!”

Follow team Imerys throughout the race with the Georacing live tracker, news updates, and social media, all accessed through the official website at www.philsharpracing.com.
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Credit – Michel Sacco of L’Escale Nautique