From island to island
Gitana X is now underway once again after her pitstop in the Canary Islands after having replaced her mainsail. Gitana 11 is driving hard due south in direction of the Cape Verde islands. The trade winds are still rather powerful for both trimarans which are covering nearly 500 miles a day ! Next brain teaser is the approach to the Doldrums…

As one leaves the Canary Islands off her stern, the other is approaching the Cape Verde islands. Frédéric Le Peutrec and Yann Guichard have made a nice comeback on the leaders thanks to their African option. They are sailing fast down the coast of Mauritania where the NE wind is still blowing at more than 25 knots. It is still damp out there but the temperature is increasing with each mile. The aim now is to continue hugging the coast and try to sneak round the Doldrums. 

Frédéric Le Peutrec (Gitana 11) at 6h00 on Saturday :

« We're still sailing very fast at between 23 and 28 knots ! And yet we have shortened sail to avoid taking any risk. One reef in the main and stay sail up front as wind speed is still between 25 to 30 knots and the sea is still short and tough going. Waves break from time to time. Finding ourselves with no choice but to hug the coast seems to have paid off. On Friday afternoon we had to put a little west in our heading which we managed to do without any bother. The wind changed direction as we approached Africa and we gybed for the first time with a good run SW. A tricky second gybe and we are now plunging due south in a wind which should soon be shifting NE. We're pretty exhausted though. We've not had that much chance to recover totally given the weather. We've even had to take on ballast (fill one of the ballast tanks with sea water), filling one of the aft tanks right up to balance the trimaran and avoid pitch-poling as Groupama-2 did yesterday. There are flying fish all over the place ! It smells a bit too. We can't see them at night time so they land in the net or the cockpit. We have to clean up in the morning ! »

Thierry Duprey du Vorsent (Gitana X) at 9h00 on Saturday :

« We ended up spending more time in Puerto Calero marina off the SE of Lanzarote (Canary Islands) than we'd expected. We reached the marina at 21h30 on Friday evening, and had planned to get going again at midnight but the engine's ventilator had brunt out. We had to switch it off and replace it. We lost two hours as a result. We're beginning to clock up quite a list of hitches, too many for my liking ! Never mind, morale is still good on board. The spare mainsail in up and we're under way again with 25 knots of wind and manageable seas. We'll be staying in the corridor between the Canary Islands and Africa where there is more wind, just like Gitana 11. We're diving down to Cape Bogador… In any event, this new stop over went perfectly smoothly as the technical team did a brilliant job once again. Fast, efficient and friendly. Next goal, the Doldrums ! There are still one or two tricks to try and pull off.  »

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