The Doldrums: a great leveller
The doldrums tend to reshuffle the pack in transatlantic races and this time, unfortunately, it was Gitana Eighty who came a cropper by opting to pass through the eastern part of this tricky zone. With most of the fleet having forged ahead after choosing the most risk-free route, Loïck Peyron and Jean-Baptiste Le Vaillant explain the reasons for their decision.

“We had no other choice than to attack. When you're chasing a boat that's starting to build up a commanding lead, as Ecover was when we were lying second, you simply have to go for broke and take the attacking option, which is what we did on Wednesday evening by opting to drop to the south in order to adopt a very easterly course through the doldrums. It was a choice that made the course shorter, but unfortunately, we were over-ambitious and the winds weren't on our side. But that's the way the cookie crumbles. Sometimes you just have to go for it, but you can't win them all and it didn't work out this time. At first, it was a bit irritating to find out that the others came out of it so well, but everything's going fine on board now. The boat's going really well, and I can say that we're absolutely delighted with her. And the race isn't completely over yet: there could still be a few chances to do something to get back in it right at the death.” Early on Saturday, Gitana Eighty picked up a bit more pressure and clocked up an average speed of 8.4 knots over the last four hours.

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