Deep in the doldrums
This Monday morning, Gitana 11 passed the threshold of 1,500 miles remaining in the race. But nothing is yet cut and dried for the Route du Rhum 2006-winning trimaran. Currently second in the fleet behind Groupama, Lionel Lemonchois and Yann Guichard are in the grip of the infamous doldrums' squalls and keeping a watchful eye on Banque Populaire, positioned more to the west. Among the monohulls, Gitana Eighty is up with the leading pack headed by Ecover and now heading slowly for the Cape Verde archipelago.

The highly random conditions encountered by Gitana 11 in the doldrums are at least not preventing the progression of the boat which, despite very irregular winds, is managing to maintain decent averages. On board, vigilance is the order of the day, as this highly distinct area generates an alternation of very strong squalls and zones where the wind is practically nonexistent. The crew has to manage these situations, the main difficulty of which is adjusting the boat's sails to take advantage of the slightest breeze without then being caught unawares! Lionel Lemonchois and Yann Guichard are currently on a more easterly path than Banque Populaire and hoping to line up a more sustained reaching leg. With Gitana 11's strength being perfectly suited to this pace, the crew seems confident in their current position, but they still have to emerge in optimum conditions from a doldrums zone which is proving to be large and unstable.

On board Gitana Eighty, Loïck Peyron and Jean-Baptiste Le Vaillant are champing at the bit. “I'm going to become 12-knot world champion… it really is a snail's pace race!” mused Loïck Peyron this morning. The monohull emblazoned with the Rothschild Group's colours is currently sailing off the African coast amid winds of 8 to 12 knots, and this looks likely to be the case for at least two days yet! Last night, the crew gybed to adopt a more westerly course and are now heading as far as possible south while awaiting a change of wind within the next few hours. Loïck Peyron confesses to be keeping one eye on the westerly option taken by “King Jean”, Jean Le Cam on VM Matériaux, while Michel Desjoyeaux seems to be gradually adjusting his course, his drive to the east having so far failed to bear fruit.

ORMA Ranking at 12pm - 5 registered :

Rank Latitude  Longitude Speed  Cap  Dist. But  Dist. 1st
1- Groupama  1 18.13' N  28 19.89' W  21.4  212  1059.2  0.0
2- Gitana 11 4 55.06' N 24 14.61' W  22.1  201  1377.9  318.6
3- Banque Populaire 6 27.32' N 25 36.52' W  13.2  183  1407.8  348.6
4- Sopra  9 05.98' N  24 30.66' W  11.7  190  1577.5  518.3
5- Brossard  9 31.64' N  23 51.32' W  15.7  186  1619.4  560.2

IMOCA Ranking at 12pm - 17 registered :

Rank Latitude  Longitude Speed  Cap  Dist. But  Dist. 1st
1- Ecover III 17 44.80' N  20 44.48' W  13.0  190  2137.4  0.0
2- Safran  17 51.57' N 20 02.02' W  12.2  176  2163.2  25.8
3- Groupe Bel  17 24.81' N  18 57.36' W  10.9  164  2172.1  34.7
4- Gitana Eighty  17 40.43' N  19 09.08' W  11.1  164 2179.4  42.1
5- VM Matériaux 19 26.01' N 22 03.64' W  9.3  196  2193.3  55.9

The content that appears on this website is protected by copyright.
Any reproduction or representation is strictly forbidden.

For further information, please refer to the legal notice section.
Enter at least 4 characters...