Brazilian sway
The 15th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre is indeed finishing in Fort-de-France, in Martinique. However, before we get to discover the shores of flower island, the Ultime fleet must venture into the southern latitudes to honour a virtual course mark not far from the Brazilian archipelago of Trindade and Martim Vaz. Firm leaders in their category, Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier have regained an average speed of 30 knots over the past 24 hours and are set to leave this waypoint to starboard by late morning tomorrow. The first to escape the doldrums, whilst its pursuers were still stalling in the light, fluky winds of the ITCZ, the duo on the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild have logically made the most of their position to regain some precious miles. At 19:00 UTC, the five-arrow giant boasted a lead of 292 miles over Banque Populaire XI and 392 miles over SVR-Lazartigue.
High speeds along the Brazilian coast

Since exiting the doldrums early yesterday morning, the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild has launched onto a long run on port tack bound for the Trindade and Martim Vaz archipelago. It’s to the north of these volcanic islands, lost in the middle of the South Atlantic over 1,170 km to the east of Vitória, that the flying maxi-trimaran will once again be able to set a course to the north and the finish in the Antilles Arc. This passage offshore of Brazil is a lovely nod to this great country, which has played host to the Transat Jacques Vabre for so many years.

Making the most of a moderate SE’ly wind, backing round to the east at between 16 and 19 knots, Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier required no coaxing whatsoever to lengthen their stride.

In twenty-four hours, at an average speed of nearly 29 knots, they have doubled their lead and have almost recovered the miles they’d previously banked during their excellent descent of the North Atlantic.


Charles Caudrelier gave us his analysis before launching into the second part of the race:

“We escaped the doldrums yesterday morning and since then I admit that we’ve been relaxing a little. It’s always a very tense passage, especially so when you could clearly see that it wasn’t favourable to be the first ones to venture inside. We weren’t very quick. Banque Populaire was though, hardly ever stopping and managing to maintain a straight-line course. Fortunately, we exited at the right point, which has since enabled us to steal a march again and regain a good lead over our playmates. The boat is in great shape, as are the sailors!  We’re on the attack for the second part of the race. It’s pretty straight as far as Trindade, so it will be a bit monotonous, but we must remain concentrated. The approach might be a bit tricky, as we’re likely to be short of breeze when we make ‘landfall’. Our pursuers are unlikely to suffer the same fate as the breeze should have kicked back in over this area by then. Right now, our goal is to get some distance between us and get some good rest as the first week of racing was intense and the end is shaping up to be complicated in the light airs.” 

Images from the ocean, day 9 :



Positions on Tuesday 16 November at 19:00 UTC

1. Maxi Edmond de Rothschild (F. Cammas / C. Caudrelier) 3,839.7 miles to the finish 
2. Banque Populaire XI (A. Le Cléac’h / K. Escoffier) + 292.1 miles 
3. SVR - Lazartigue (F. Gabart / T. Laperche) + 392.4 miles 
4. Actual (Y. Le Blevec / A. Marchand) + 515.3 miles 
5. Sodebo (T. Coville / T.Rouxel) +  989.3 miles    

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