The winner of the Transat Jacques Vabre in the IMOCA fleet was Apiva

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The French Apiva crew of Charlie Dalin andYann Eliès were the first of the IMOCA 60 fleet participating in the Transat Jacques Vabre regatta to finish in Salvador, Brazil on November 10. The crew covered 5061.81 nautical miles from Le Havre, France in 13 days, 12 hours and 8 minutes. For Illet, this is her third Transat victory.

Apiva's actual journey exceeded the theoretical route by 711 nautical miles.

The team's average speed was 15.62 knots against the estimated figure of 13.42 knots. According to Dahlin, it will be possible to accelerate Apiva another 20% faster in the future.

If the Apiva track were a little less twisty, the team could conceivably break the current record set in 2017 by Jean-PierreDick and IanIllet on St Michel-Virbac: 13 days, 7 hours, 36 minutes and 46 seconds.

Expectedly, the race was won by one of the five participating IMOCA new generation regattas. However, Apiva was not among the favourites before the start of the race. «After all, she had only been launched in August but Frenchmen Jérémie Beyou andChristopher Pr att had a full year to get» Charal up and running.

Charal took the lead almost the entire time the fleet was in the northern hemisphere. Apiva briefly took the lead from the evening of October 30. But as early as the morning of November 1, the crew sent ashore video of Charal, going about 3 knots faster, overtaking Apiva again. By November 5, the gap had reached 120 nautical miles.

The real lucky ticket for Apiva was the weather conditions near the equator.

Intuition told Dahlin and Illya to sail west of Charal and this ensured they weren't stuck hopelessly in the Intratropical Convergence Zone (IZC), where the weather swings from flat to squally. This, however, was not all that helped.

«SLC was moving to the south and the other boats were moving south with it. We were lucky to be ahead of her by maybe 36 hours. It was actually amazing. I'll never forget it, as we were one or two nautical miles ahead of the squall each time and stayed south of the VZC. The timing was just perfect»," says Dahlin.

By Nov. 7, Apiva was already 225 nautical miles from the rest of the fleet. In second place by this point was France's Banque Populaire X by Clarisse Cremer and Armel LeCleac'h. The last leg of the journey Apiva just quietly completed its voyage without fear of competition.

After the IMOCA fleet did leave the VZC, Charal successfully returned to the leaderboard. Beau and Pratt finished in third place with 14 days, 3 hours and exactly 56 minutes.

Frenchmen Kevin Escoffier and Nicolas Lunven on IMOCA PRB took second place 6 minutes and 18 seconds ahead of them.

Hugo Boss of Britons Alex Thomson and NealMcDonald, which suffered acollision with an unknown underwater object on November 3, arrived inCape Verde. The 800-mile voyage without a keel ended safely on the morning of 8 November.

In addition to Hugo Boss, the German-French team of Isabelle Joschke and MorganLagravière are officially out of the race. Their IMOCA also had a damaged keel in the early days of the race. The team was not able to restart fromBrest .

The Class40 fleet still has at least 730 nautical miles to go. Even the leaders, Crédit Mutuel's Ian Lip inski andAdrien Hardy, who are 54 nautical miles behind the British-FrenchLeyton ofSam Goodchild and FabienDelahaye, have only gone just over 80% of the course.

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