Deterioration of the weather window, return to standby for Gitana Team
That’s the way records are set! Having switched to code orange yesterday for a potential departure offshore of Ushant within 72 hours, namely over the course of the day on Wednesday 18 November, in the space of 24 hours the crew of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild has seen its chance of setting sail on the round the world record under sail simply vanish. These comings and goings are very much a part of the game of strategy that colours these Jules Verne Trophy departures, especially in light of the fact that the current record held by the crew of Idec Sport is so high that there must be no doubt about the launchpad’.

Yesterday, the evening’s grib files were already hinting at a deterioration in the weather window being targeted by the Gitana Team. Unfortunately, this trend was confirmed over the course of the day leading to a return to standby for the men of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild.

“Yesterday, we switched to code orange with a departure possibility that we reckoned to be between 70% and 80%. We were waiting for this window to develop in a bid to obtain a greater degree of certainty about the connection in the South Atlantic. However, yesterday evening, it was in the North Atlantic that the situation deteriorated with the appearance of a tropical depression sprawled across the route through to the trade wind. This new element is not favourable for a departure as it would likely prolong our trajectory towards the southern hemisphere considerably. At the same time, the models were also predicting a very long course along the coasts of Brazil and Uruguay to get around the high pressure associated with Saint Helena, which is not the way to secure a record,” explained Charles Caudrelier.

Over 5 days to the equator

“Therein lies the difficulty of these pre-start periods! The desire to set sail is inevitably much in evidence, but we’re at the start of our standby and we mustn’t rush into it. The record will be tough to hunt down and we need an ambitious departure window if we are to stand a good chance,” added Charles.

Meantime, Franck Cammas was keen to point out that: “The timing criteria we’re striving for are dictated by the performance we know that the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild is capable of, together with the analysis of the different record sequences posted by Idec in 2017. The passage to the equator and the time to Cape Agulhas are our primary criteria. Over 5 days to the equator is no longer a good window and that’s what the routing was offering us.”

The crew of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild
Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier, skippers
Morgan Lagravière, Yann Riou, Erwan Israël and David Boileau.

Reminder of the standby codes
During the period of standby for the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, which the five-arrow team has scheduled to run from 1 November to the first few days of February 2021, any changes in the situation and a possible departure date for the boat are announced via a colour coding system as detailed below:

Black: no departure possible within 96hrs 
Red: observation of a possible departure between 72 and 96hrs 
Orange: observation of a possible departure between 48 and 72hrs 
Yellow: probable departure between 24 and 48hrs 
Green: departure within 24hrs

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