First in, first out
Sailors are all too aware of it and that’s why they fear this passage where you can never take anything for granted! Indeed, the doldrums can often be unfair, as Charles Caudrelier reminded us yesterday. And although it was a lengthy process, spanning nearly 24 hours, it hasn’t caused mayhem at the head of the race. Indeed, the main goal was to be the first to get out and hopefully retain a comfortable lead over their rivals. In this regard, it’s fair to say that the 300-mile cushion that the Cammas - Caudrelier duo boasted over the second boat has shrunk considerably, but they’ve still managed to hold onto a sizeable margin. At 18:00 UTC, it was the crew comprising Armel Le Cléac’h and Kevin Escoffier who had moved up into the second spot some 156.4 miles astern of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild. Furthermore, the trio of Ultimes in hot pursuit of Gitana 17 didn’t appear to be out of the ITCZ given the instantaneous speeds at the latest position report.
“It’s never really the exit”, explained Franck Cammas with a touch of irony at midday, the skipper especially eager to latch onto the SE’ly trade wind and rediscover a steadier rhythm at the head of the race! “There are still a few clouds rolling over us, killing the wind, but things are gradually sorting themselves out… We need to be patient for a little while longer! Up next, we’re lined up for 2 days of beating / reaching towards Trindade with a few headsail changes, but in principle there are no major options on the cards. The route looks fairly simple, but we need to be quick and hence highly focused. These are the kind of conditions Charles and I like and they really suit the boat”, concluded the skipper from Aix-en-Provence.
Shortly before 19:00 UTC, the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild entered the southern hemisphere! And so another race commence with 4,533 miles still left to cover to make the Antilles Arc and the bay of Fort-de-France.
Positions on Monday 15 November at 19:00 UTC
1. Maxi Edmond de Rothschild (F. Cammas / C. Caudrelier) 4,533 miles to the finish
2. Banque Populaire XI (A. Le Cléac’h / K. Escoffier) + 165.7 miles
3. SVR - Lazartigue (F. Gabart / T. Laperche) + 196.1 miles
4. Actual (Y. Le Blevec / A. Marchand) + 210.7 miles
5. Sodebo (T. Coville / T.Rouxel) + 534.4 miles