The GLOBE40 has once again provided a suspenseful finish to leg 4 from Auckland to Papeete.
The 34 minutes separating the top two finishers in Auckland after 7000 miles and 34 days at sea had not been forgotten; on arrival at the famous Bora-Bora atoll on Wednesday evening in local time, the scenario seemed to be well established and identical since the start, namely the leadership of the American AMHAS, which had a lead of around 40 miles. But there were still 140 miles to go to Papeete against the wind and an unfavourable option made the leader lose all his lead in a few hours and once again the first 3 boats were in a dead heat. An epilogue that kept the observers on their toes all day long and ended in the night with MILAI Around The World’s victory, ahead of AMHAS by 7 minutes at the end of this 2550-mile leg with a coefficient of 2.
A very tactical leg
After leaving Auckland in the inner bay in front of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, the Class40s took a direct course due east upwind for a week, looking for a wind shift when they came into contact with a vast zone of high pressure; a week of pure speed with a few options more or less north or south of the route; then came the time to tack to take a quasi-direct route towards Bora-Bora, a mark to be skirted around; this leg was also a demanding race of speed with multiple sail changes to catch the slightest wind. Finally, the last part of the course between Bora Bora reserved the expected surprises, a reset of the positions of the 3 leaders.
French Polynesia: a great maritime history
The largest maritime area in the world under the control of a single state, French Polynesia, with its 118 islands, extends over the surface of Europe; its 5 archipelagos – the Society Islands, Tuamotu, Marquesas, Austral Islands and Gambier – offer an extraordinary variety of territories. From this territory, the Polynesian people, a seafaring people, have extended their influence over a large part of the Pacific, from New Zealand to Hawaii via Easter Island. Many great ocean racers, including Eric Tabarly, have long made Polynesia their playground. The GLOBE40 by programming this stage contributes to revive this great maritime tradition of Polynesia. A stage which has been able to federate the major actors of the territory such as the Ministry of Tourism, the City of Papeete, Tahiti Tourism, the Autonomous Port of Papeete and Air Tahiti Nui; and with a welcome worthy of the Polynesian tradition with a lot of flower necklaces.
The general ranking remains open
If the leading trio should not change in the general ranking, the gaps are narrowing with only 2 points between each team; the start of the next stage will be given on Saturday 26 November in Matavai Bay, the historic bay in the north of Tahiti where all the great explorers, Cook and Bougainville landed. This new coefficient 3 leg to Cape Horn will be another great challenge for the teams of this first edition of the GLOBE40.