Entering the Doldrums
On day five of its attempt to break the record from New York to San Francisco, Gitana 13 is now approaching the Doldrums. The boat speed, while kept above 20 knots on average, has considerably slowed onboard the maxi-catamaran owned by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild. This serves as confirmation that Lionel Lemonchois and his crew of nine are currently nearing the Intertropical Convergence Zone.

Léopold Lucet (No. 1/medical) confirms the situation: “The wind has eased a bit, allowing us to put up more sail. We'll soon be entering the Doldrums.” For Léopold, Fred Le Maîstre and David Boileau, this will be their first visit to this famous equatorial zone. Several days later they will celebrate their first equator crossing.

Léopold also described the hectic pace imposed on the ten sailors by the weather conditions over the first 4,000 miles of their voyage: “The early days of this record attempt were pretty tiring because we were kept very busy on deck trying to squeeze the full potential out of the boat. But, little by little, we have gotten into the swing of things and are already able to recuperate better. We have stuck closely to the schedule that we set in New York, and the mood onboard is excellent.”

With nearly 10,000 miles to go, Lionel Lemonchois's motto hasn't changed: “don't push the boat too hard, make it go forward while keeping a good margin of safety, because we still have a long way to go before we reach San Francisco!”

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