Putting on the brakes
The maxi-catamaran fitted out by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild left New York on 16 January in attempt to beat the record on the prestigious Route de l'Or. Gitana 13 entered its 10th day of sailing at the end of the afternoon today. But if Lionel Lemonchois and his crew had hoped to make good time in the southern-hemisphere trade winds, current conditions are not cooperating. The boat's average speed in recent hours has been below 10 knots.
Re-thinking the strategy

Until yesterday, Gitana 13's strategy was to avoid a developing stormy low-pressure system off the coast of Rio de Janeiro by moving farther from the Brazilian coast and skirting the eastern side of the disruptive weather system. But the changing weather forecast has led Lemonchois and Dominic Vittet, who together determine the strategy, to revise their plan. “Given the eastward progression of the storm system and the position of the Saint Helena high-pressure system, which is more sprawling during the southern summer, we decided in the end to go west,” said Vittet, the onboard navigator.
To top things off, in addition to barring Gitana 13's route, the low-pressure system has disrupted the southeastern trade winds, thereby complicating the ten sailors' task. Lemonchois and his crew are now experiencing a weak, unstable breeze, and their speed has dropped significantly in the past few hours. This situation is expected to last through the weekend.

This slowdown should not affect the maxi-catamaran's projected date for rounding the legendary rock at Cape Horn: on or around 2 February.

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