Monday, October 31, 2011
Transat Jacques Vabre will start Wednesday (Nov 2) at 1500hrs CET.
After detailed weather analysys and consultation Jean Maurel, the race director, has announced that the start of the tenth edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre will be Wednesday, November 2 at 1500hrs CET/Local Le Havre.
On Wednesday, the worst of the violent low pressure which forced the organization of the Transat Jacques Vabre to postpone the start of the double handed race from Le Havre to Puerto Limon, Costa Rica will be spent. Even so the first hours of the race, from Le Havre out of the Channel will still be quite tough with the wind south-southwest 15-20 knots strengthening with gusts in big squalls and a heavy swell after the front. After the frontal passage associated with depression, the wind will switch to the northwest.The boats will then be able to reach faster, driven by a wind from the west-northwest. The early stages of the race are likely to be fast.
Time-line Wednesday (all CET/Local)
1130hrs: Weather Briefing for skippers
1300hrs : boats dock out from the Paul Vatine Basin
1500hrs: start of the 10th Transat Jacques Vabre
After they cross the start line, the 35 competitors will turn at the General Metzinger buoy, 4 miles north-west of the line, leaving it to
port. Then head for Costa Rica.
For monohulls (IMOCA and Class 40): 4730 miles
leaving Dominican Republic to starboard and arrived in Puerto Limon
For Multi50: 5323 miles
Saint Barts to port and Barbados to starboard finish in Puerto Limon
The defending champions 2009 (20 registered)
Safran, Marc Guillemot - Charles Caudrelier Benac
Finished on 24/11/2009 in 15 days, 19 hours, 22 minutes and 10 seconds
at 12.46 knots average
Winner: Crepes Whaou! Franck Yves Escoffier - Erwan Le Roux
Finished on 24/11/2009 in 15 days, 15 hours, 31 minutes and 50 seconds
at 13.41 knots average
The spirit: "Take the sea and act for the environment
Alongside the sporting challenge and the human adventure the Transat Jacques Vabre is also an eco-friendly event that since 2007has taken, effective measures to reduce and offset its carbon footprint. The reduction of CO2 emissions was a major objective for all teams and stakeholders in the race. A comprehensive sustainable development was established by the organization. Concrete actions have been carried out on transport, energy and water, waste management (384 kg of coffee have been recycled!) The use of recycled or recyclable materials is paramount. CO2 emissions have also been offset (2200 tonnes of offset and -65% emission in 2009 vs 2007) through reforestation operations in tropical forests. Thus, the Transat Jacques Vabre received for this year again, the support of the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development, Transportation and Housing. In 2011, this action in favor of environmental progress continues in the same vein and with equal fervor.
November 3, 2011
With the first 24 hours of fast racing in their Transat Jacques Vabre despatched to their streaming wakes, the rhythm and the pace in each of the three classes is firmly established. And while the high speeds of the first night and early morning reduced slightly with the abating breeze, so the early realities start to hit home.
Pre-start hopes and expectations may be one thing, but after the first day the cream has inexorably risen in each division, Multi 50, IMOCA Open 60 and Class 40. Virbac Paprec 3 heads a tightly packed vanguard of IMOCA Open 60 comprising the four boats which have probably done the most ocean miles this year settled in the top five.
Winner of this year’s Barcelona World Race Jean-Pierre Dick, racing with 2011 Solitaire du Figaro winner Jérémie Beyou had a small lead on Virbac-Paprec 3 – just around a mile – ahead of PRB with the leading duo drag racing within sight of each other between morning and the afternoon.
The recently launched MACIF of François Gabart has remained solid in fourth while Bernard Stamm’s newly launched Juan Kouyomdjian designed Cheminées Poujoulat has been the first day’s climber, rising from eighth to fifth with a display of fast reaching.
Franck-Yves Escoffier and Antoine Koch on Crepes Whaou! had a slightly bigger lead in the Multi 50 division, whilst in the 16 boat Class 40 Aquarelle.com of Yannick Bestaven and Eric Drouglazet were progressively coming under pressure from the young British duo Ned Collier-Wakefield and Sam Goodchild on Concise 2. Collier-Wakefield and Goodchild had cut away their French rivals’ lead from more than 11 miles to less than five and were quickest of the fleet this afternoon.
But as the first night of crashing through big contrary swells, fast reaching in over 30kts of breeze gave way to some sunshine and slightly lighter winds but the same confused seas the teams which are perhaps a little behind the hopes and expectations which have been built up over the preparation period are now dealing with realities. Early small miles lost – a less than perfect sail combination, ragged sail change or over-prudence – may sap the morale after the first day but it is essential to take the long view and to consider that others have already not been as fortunate.
The aggressive, contrary seas took a toll. First Thierry Bouchard revealed that he and co-skipper Gilles Berenger had turned towards France again with delamination damage to a bulkhead of Comiris Pôle Santé Elior. First official abandon was the withdrawl of the Class 40 Lecoq Cuisine due to damage to skipper Eric Lecoq’s back while the Mabit brothers on the Multi 50 Monopticien.com were forced also to retire due to a broken rudder pintle almost certainly due to hitting a floating object. In the IMOCA Open 60 Class Banque Populaire are compromised through the lack of their main gennaker was damaged when it went in the water when a halyard lashing failed soon after the start.
From the international perspective Alex Thomson and Guilermo Altadill have themselves solidly in the pack in seventh, commendable so far considering that Thomson has not raced since the 2009 edition of this race when he was forced to abandon and he and the very experienced Spaniard have only had 12 training days with the Farr design. Mike Golding, when he spoke to this afternoon’s radio calls to Paris, was not overly happy with their modest early showing, acknowledging this was an early price to pay for having been away from racing also since 2009 and having only had a handful of days training inshore since the re-configured Gamesa was launched mid-September.
“ I’m not that happy with our position,” Golding confirmed, “but I’ll ignore that for now and we’ll just keep our hammer down. It is quite clear that the boats that have been on the circuit for the past couple of years have moved on apace and we have to step up our game. In fairness to us, to both of us we haven’t had our training time on the boat and I have been away for some time. It will take a little bit of sorting out but at the moment our deficit is not too bad. We have a quite a complex weather system ahead of us and there will be opportunities for sure.”
In Class 40, co-skipper of 40 Degrees Jesse Naimark-Rowse, was just one who acknowledged they were slightly behind their early hopes, but felt they were gaining miles with British skipper Hannah Jenner, lying tenth and enjoying a good race in contact with the Norwegian duo on Solo and Nick Halmos and Hugh Piggin on 11th Hour Racing.
Jérémie Beyou, Virbac Paprec 3:
"It was a rough wet night, we set a staysail after the Cherbourg Peninsula. We have been alongside PRB since this morning and it is nice to have someone to pace yourself against. Early in the morning our courses crossed. It is tight though but we have been a little bit better. We managed to get some sleep but have not felt like eating but the sun is out now. I was at the helm until the peninsula and then the pilot took over. We are south of the depression so getting into more westerly winds and then the weather models show different things after that. We have to be careful and see what develops.”
Yannick Bestaven, Aquarelle.com
"We had wind all night, with peaks at 25-30 knots, boat speed between 15 and 19kts and we managed it well, I feel. We sailed overpowered but reefed at the right time so have done well with managing the boat. So we still have some reserves because we worked well between getting rest and making the maneuvers It was very wet on deck. We are setting the right tempo. It is cool through, safe, on a reach you know when you have a fast boat and we have been pressing to make the biggest gains.”
Mike Golding (GBR) skipper, Gamesa:
“There are not too many options in the next 24h. As the day runs out today depending on which model you believe, we’ll be tacking over on to starboard and starting to make our way south for a while.
The models vary wildly later on down the course and one model offering quite a northerly track and the other quite a southerly track, but they are all confused by where the Bermuda high seems to form. I think we have to keep watching before we make a fundamental decision about where we are going to go.”
Jesse Naimark-Rowse (USA), 40 Degrees (GBR):
“It has been good so far. Through the night we were not quite as fast as we might have been, or as we would have liked to have been and so that was a bit of a struggle. The boat seems to be going better now, our speed is better. We have no problems, we are sailing the boat well now, and so I think in the night we maybe had some issues with which sails to have up. But now mostly now everything is good. We hope to make some gains back through the fleet we hope at the moment.”
“ It was reaching conditions from 20-30kts with the Solent, reefs in and out, and for a little while our A3 small spinnaker, and so just making the sail changes was a lot of work. So we don’t sleep a whole lot, trading one hour driving each, one somebody resting a little.
We have had enough rest, just.
We can see 11th Hour Racing and Solo and besides commercial ships and fishing boats these are the only boats which we can see.
We are a little bit further back than we hoped for, when we came around Cherbourg we could see on the AIS that we were holding just 2.5 to 3 miles behind Bureau Veritas and then through the night we lost quite a few miles to them. Yes, we would like to be a little further along than we are, but overall we are happy with where we are.”
Akena Vérandas dismasted
Around 0330hrs (UTC/GMT) this Friday morning skipper Arnaud Boissières confirmed that the mast of their IMOCA Open 60 Akena Vérandas had broken some 270 miles WNW of the Breton peninsula. The duo had been lying in ninth place in the Transat Jacques Vabre double handed Transatlantic race which set off from Le Havre, France on Wednesday.
Arnaud Boissières reported that both he and Akena Vérandas’ co-skipper Gérald Veniard were uninjured. The mast is said to have broken in several places and the duo have managed to retain only a deck spreader, the boom and a short piece of tube. They are making progress towards the French coast around 2.5 kts. “We are not hurt other than our pride. There was a very large crack.It was as if we had hit a cliff at ten knots The mast is broken in several places.” Reported Boissieres to his team early this morning.
Friday, november 4th, 2011
Armed with the two newest IMOCA Open 60 designs in the fleet it is Francois Gabart and Seb Col on MACIF and Bernard Stamm and Jean-Francois Cuzon with Cheminées Poujoulat which are setting the pace, reaching down close to the rhumb line course on the third afternoon of the Transat Jacques Vabre transatlantic race from Le Havre to Puerto-Limon, Costa Rica.
Gabart may be tagged the race’s ‘benjamin’ or rookie, but the winner of the 2010 Figaro circuit has learned IMOCA racing with the best, not just competing earlier this season with Michel Desjoyeaux on the Barcelona World Race on Foncia, but racing this course in the last edition to finish second on Groupe Bel with Kito de Pavant. And neither is match and fleet racing ace Col a stranger to the Transat Jacques Vabre having raced the 2005 course with De Pavant to sixth place.
The French duo took the lead early this Friday morning, sailing fast, closer to the direct course gaining progressively to lead by just less than nine miles this afternoon from Cheminées Poujoulat which was polled as the quickest of the fleet through the middle hours of today.
British skipper Alex Thomson, sailing with Spain’s Guilermo Altadill on Hugo Boss have been sailing an assured, mature race so far, working much the same course as the leading pair endorsing Thomson’s reputation for sailing fast. The had the 2007 launched Farr design making the third quickest speeds in the fleet rising from seventh place early this morning.
But while the drive for speed down the direct course was what has largely dictated the day’s gains at the front, the upcoming weather situation offers a sequence of challenges, first crossing a high pressure ridge then with two back to back active low pressure systems on each others heels over the weekend and into Monday. Setting up to the east of the leaders have been Banque Populaire (Armel Le Cléac'h and Christopher Pratt) and Groupe Bel (Kito de Pavant and Yann Reginiau). Their strategy aims to allow them to hold on to the SW’ly course for longer before the ridge moves west to them, giving them a better to be south for the low pressures’ tracks which appear to not to be very well defined as yet.
In Class 40 the British duo Ned Collier Wakefield and Sam Goodchild – average age just 22 – seem to be steadily grinding down the lead of their French rivals Yannick Bestaven and Eric Drouglazet on Aquarelle.com which has lead since leaving the start line off Le Havre on Wednesday afternoon. The British duo have shrunk the leaders’ margin to 3.2 miles.
Collier Wakefield, who won the 2009 World Title in Class 40, reported this morning: “I think we were very conscious in the first hours of the race of trying not to break anything, others have had some issues, so we started with the fractional kite for example. But we are really pleased with the boat’s position. Looking at the forecast it is going to be a pretty tactical race. The wind is all over the place at the moment and so we just need to stay with the leaders and stay together just now, not breaking off and do anything, just taking each thing as it comes. We could not be more happy.” (listen to audio on line at www.transat-jacques-vabre.com)
Britain’s Hannah Jenner and her American co-skipper Jesse Naimark-Rowse on 40 Degrees have followed up on the assertion of Naimark-Rowse two days ago that they were ready to make some places, rising to sixth place in the 14 boat fleet.
Meanwhile the learning curve has been steep over the first few days for the all-girl duo Anna-Maria Renken of Germany and her rookie Slovenian co-skipper Jakica Jesih on Gust Buster. When Gust Buster was called today, Renken reported Jesih may have little experience of short handed ocean racing but her attitude and approach has been a real asset in the difficult moments:
“It is finally sunny for us and so we are finally getting some things dried. Conditions have not been easy since the start. We are new on the boat and need to get used to it, but here we are still going! We are really enjoying our day. Jakica is enjoying it, she is doing a really, really, really good job. She has a very strong mind and many times when I have been just like, ooooooooooo ****************, ****************, ****************, what’s going on?? She has just been the calm one and said…’right what is going on here, let us just analyse this like this and that and it is not so bad. At the moment she does not know the boat too much and she is doing the mental stuff, but for both of us it is very exhausting we need to find a way to share the roles more evenly” (listen to audio on line at www.transat-jacques-vabre.com)
In the Multi 50 Class three times winner Franck-Yves Escoffier on Crepes Whaou! with Antoine Koch have retaken the lead by 3 miles from Actual with the leading duo now holding a cushion of some 47 miles or more to the third placed boat,
Arnaud Boissières, skipper Akena Vérandas:
“We are obviously disappointed. We were dismasted at 0140hrs UTC when the conditions were really not extreme and we were actually going well. It is not clear why the mast broke because it was dark at the time. We were on starboard tack with gennaker. It could have been the outrigger (deck-spreader) but we are not sure. We have secured the boat now and are making towards the Vendée under a jury rig made from the boom and storm jib. But we are speaking with our shore team and will see if we can get fishing boat to come out and tow us a bit. We are currently about 370 miles from the Vendee and about 250 miles from Brest, so I don’t think we will get there in anything less than three days. We will deal with our troubles meantime and be back in two years time.”
François Gabart, skipper, MACIF:
“We are pretty happy, the boat is going well and we are good too. We have a ridge to get through tomorrow night and then a low pressure at the Azores which we try to handle with some care, calmly and safely. We have been on it from the start really. The lateral separation with Banque Populaire and Groupe Bel is interesting, they will get to the ridge as it comes from the west a little later than us. We’ll see what happens but it is easy to reduce the lateral separation if we want to.
I was thinking that we had the same configuration as when we lost the mast with Mich in the Barcelona World race, starboard tack, the same wind conditions and sea, so that was not really reassuring. But here we are. Otherwise Seb was a bit sea-sick, but it does not seem to affect him, he has an incredible zest for life.”
Stéphane Le Diraison co-skipper Bureau Veritas-Dunkerque Plaisance:
“I am not so surprised about Comiris retiring as the conditions were not easy at all. I am happy with our position in the leading group. Concise 2 had a good start, but there is still a long way to go. We don’t run to a fixed schedule even if we had planned two hour watches. The seas are still crossed but nowhere near as bad as they were. ERDF are trying an option to the south and east and that will be interesting to see what happens.”
Ned Collier-Wakefield (GBR) skipper Concise 2 (GBR):
“ It is bitterly cold, but we are keeping well. It was wet and reachy to start with which was good for the boat but quite hard work, with 30kts on the beam off Cherbourg and then we just tried to get west as quickly as we could. Then we have just gone through this shift a couple of hours ago, so we are heading SW. We have just had the latest positions and we are a couple of miles ahead and we can see Thomas (Ruyant, Bureau Véritas-Dunkerque Plaisance) just behind us and so the three of us are kind of playing around together. I think we were very conscious in the first hours of the race of trying not to break anything, others have had some issues, so we started with the fractional kite for example. But we are really pleased with the boat’s position. Looking at the forecast it is going to be a pretty tactical race. The wind is all over the place at the moment and so we just need to stay with the leaders and stay together just now, not breaking off and do anything, just taking each thing as it comes. We could not be more happy.”
Now up to seventh place Hannah Jenner and Jesse Naimark-Rowse on 40 Degrees gained on the southern group during the night, benefiting from having set up with a more northerly position.”
Standings at 1700hrs CET on Friday, november 4th, 2011.
1- MACIF (Gabart/Col) at 4066,5 miles to finish
2- Cheminées Poujoulat (Stamm/Cuzon) at 1,9 miles du leader
3- PRB (Riou/Destremeau) at 23,8 miles
1- Crêpes Whaou ! (Escoffier/Koch) at 4523,4 miles to finish
2- Actual (Le Blévec/Manuard) at 5,2 miles to leader
3- Prince de Bretagne (Lemonchois/Koch) at 68 miles to leader
1- Aquarelle.com (Bestaven/Drouglazet) à 4253,7 miles to finish
2- Comiris Pôle Santé Elior (Bouchard/Bérenger) at 2,8 miles to leader
3- Bureau Veritas - Dunkerque Plaisance (Le Diraison/Ruyant at 5.5 miles to leader
November 6, 2011
The Devil Inside
While the co-skippers of the IMOCA Open 60 fleet in the Transat Jacques Vabre race from Le Havre to Costa Rica were today taking the chance to build up their reserves of energy and rest in anticipation of a very active low pressure system which was set to test the fleet through Sunday night and Monday, with winds widely expected to top 50knots, in turn Class 40 competitors had tough conditions of their own and were also setting up for a wild night.
So far the big, often confused seas have been the cause for more concern than sheer windstrength and they have taken their toll on the race fleet. The latest to retire with damage this afternoon was the Class 40 Initiatives-Alex Olivier.
At a little after midday today, Sunday, French duo Tanguy de Lamotte and Eric Péron reported that they had suddenly lost the keel of their Class 40 Initiatives-Alex Olivier. They were sailing at 12-14kts in 25 to 30kts of wind with well formed seas when they heard a quiet, popping sound.
The boat became uncontrollable quickly and the pair dropped the Solent and Mainsail, stacked all the heavy gear and unused sails low in the middle of the boat and filled the water ballast tanks to their maximum 750 litres, and set a storm jib.
Positioned some 450 miles to the west of La Coruna, Spain and 490 miles approximately NE of the Azores, the duo were making steady progress to the NE in the southerly winds
Both have on life jackets and have their all their safety and survival equipment immediately at hand.
Skipper Tanguy de Lamotte was keen to stress that the crew of Initiatives - Alex Olivier are not in distress and have not requested assistance.
De Lamotte, who trained as a yacht designer in Southampton and co-designed his Class 40, reported almost immediately on a radio vacation with Paris Race HQ:
“Things happened quickly with no noise. I was inside, Eric on watch but the boat was under pilot because the boat it was too wet. We were on port tack on a reach making about 12-14kts with one reef and the Solent. We heard a popping sound, nothing loud. The pilot pulled the helm hard to the corner but the boat became unsteerable. The boat went in to a broach. It was Eric who said he thought we had lost the keel. I looked to see if there was something orange under the boat (the keel is painted fluorescent orange) and I could see nothing. We dropped the mainsail, dropped the Solent and set the storm jobs and filled the ballast tanks. The helm did not feel right at all. We stacked all the gear in the middle of the boat and gybed on to starboard gybe.”
In the IMOCA Open 60 Class Alex Thomson and Guillermo Altadil on Hugo Boss have topped the leaderboard since the morning the sixth duo to do so from a fleet of 12 still racing. While the British skipper was keen not to take any great store from their position he did say that they were entering the next period of stormy conditions with a certain apprehension given that two years ago the same type of conditions put paid to his race, and that of the boat they are racing. Thomson recalled:
“Two years ago we were in a similar situation with another storm, knocked the boat down and damaged the hull. Obviously the boat we are sailing on now in the same storm the coach roof was smashed in and the boat pretty much sank. So there is a kind of apprehension going in to the storm. It is approaching a lot quicker. We are expecting a much smaller sea state and not as much wind as well. So there is a bit of apprehension. But we are just preparing the boat, trying to get across the front and get south.”
Thomson, whose best finish in this race was second in 2003 with Roland Jourdain, played down their lead, remarking that their gains in the north and west of the leading pack are as much because they have moved progressively closer to the rhumb line course, cautioning that it is the situation in a week’s time which could be the deciding factor in the IMOCA Open 60 race.
“ It is nice to see us at the top of the rankings for sure, but we should not be getting carried away with it. The reason we are at the top of the rankings is because we have chosen a different strategy than the other people. We have struck off to the west and going west is the closest to the rhumb line to the mark. That is why we are closest to the front. Let’s see if it proves to be faster to be to the south then we will lose first position but if we manage to get across this front and south enough, quick enough then maybe we can hold on to first for a while.”
With more than 160 miles of lateral separation between Hugo Boss and Virbac-Paprec 3 in the NW and Macif in the SE, the next two low pressure systems will be critical, but –as Thomson warned – with a light winds zone in to the Caribbean and barely established trade winds, this is increasingly proving a tactical race rather than a boat speed test.
Hugo Boss lead Jean-Pierre Dick and Jérémie Beyou on Virbac-Paprec 3 by 13 miles.
In Class 40 the two leading boats Aquarelle.com and Concise 2 were still just eight miles apart in terms of the distance to finish, with eRDF – Des Pieds et Des Mains some 85 miles behind now in third and Hannah Jenner and Jesse Naimark-Rowse on 40 Degrees up to fourth place. Four of the 16 Class 40’s have retired from the race.
Listen to full audio files on http://www.transat-jacques-vabre.com/fr/audio
Alex Thomson (GBR) skipper Hugo Boss (GBR):
“I think considering Guillermo and I have not sailed this boat very much together before, then we are very happy with where we are. The rankings show us in first place, but really we have to wait and see how the strategies play out but generally we are happy that we have managed to sail well in the leading pack, and that was what we wanted to do, to stay in contention. We have made a few mistakes, nothing major, and we have had a few problems on board but nothing that is stopping us from going fast. We are just trying to play it cool, not do anything stupid, play it cool, just through this storm and head for the sunshine.
I think the people need conserving more on this boat, not the boat! Certainly Guillermo and I have struggled to get any proper sleep, in fact last night was the first time either of us got more than a couple of hours sleep. So we are both feeling quite fresh today, and the plan is to get some more rest today ready for quite possibly more than 50kts tonight.
I think we have been feeling the strain more on ourselves than the boat has.
Sunday lunch? I don’t there will be a Sunday roast today, Guillermo might open a packer of jamon (ham) apart from that it will be freeze dried and a lot of rest. Tonight there could be a lot of wind, it is quite an active front. So we are just making sure the storm jib is ready and preparing.”
“You have to be looking a week ahead, and in a week’s time how we cross the area of quite light winds before we get to the Caribbean, that is going to the really tricky part, will it be to the west or to the east? We are looking at it being best to the west.”
Mike Golding (GBR), skipper Gamesa (GBR):
“We are OK we have had a mixed bag day because we started the day with no instruments, no speed instruments and no wind gear. We have two, one is on top of the mast and one lost its wind vane on the first day and the second wind vane went last night. We basically didn't have any wind data which makes life difficult when you are trying to steer by the wind, so quite difficult to manage a boat like this without wind data.
Anyway we have managed to rig up a rudimentary one on the back of the boat and we are resuming sailing properly now.
We changed over our log so now we are working ok at the moment.”
North or south?
“ To be honest we have decided we are caught in it, there was no intention to be north, I think the boats behind just ended up north and then there was an opportunity to move forward in the fleet, but in fact we have moved ourselves south rather than doing that.
I think we are all eyeing the weather ahead with a certain amount of confusion, which is a the tracks are going everywhere, everyone is trying to find a route out it, but I think there is no escaping it, you might be able to reduce it, but you can't really escape it.”
Jérémie Beyou (FRA) co-skipper Virbac-Paprec 3:
“We are about to get into the big depression ahead and tomorrow night promises to be tough. We try to sleep and we have been in a good rhythm, we are well fed with hot food.
This depression is quite deep and violent we won’t have too big seas but it will get up at the back of it. We know we will have winds of 40kts and so you don’t want to make any mistakes in manouvres. The other try to get around it to the south a bit, but we are here.
What we will get is quite complicated. There are two hared days ahead, then a high pressure that you can’t really see how to pass it. The weather is just not that simple.
We lost a bit at the beginning and so we have had to work as hard as we could, we have arms like truck drivers, we don’t stop much to eat and have been through the sail inventory completely over the last two days. The squalls are violent and so you need to be vigilant. But, at the moment, the conditions are manageable with flat seas and blue skies.
Yann Eliès (FRA) co-skipper Safran:
“The wind has dropped since what we had at the start of the night and we have set some more sail. We took the chance to tidy, clean up a bit, and it feels good to have washed. Since the start we and the boat have really been put to the test. But we have had a good rhythm of sleep and recovery.
It is clear this is a race which will play out through strategy not speed. But in the end we all have the same cards to play. Here in the middle of the Atlantic the game is very open, and there are many options. We set ourselves the target not to get winds over 40kts because we don’t want to damage the boat. Meantime the weather files are far from agreeing and then trade winds are struggling to form, so we need to be patient, but in our current position we are happy that the game is still open. In the last three days we have been through the sail wardrobe other than kites, that is a hell of a lot of work and alone was inhuman, so we are glad there are two of us. Until now we have been doing sessions of two hours on and off. But this morning it is a little more relaxed."