Off again !
The passage of the cold front was already shaping up to be a little tricky for Lionel Lemonchois and his ten men to negotiate, but storms then stepped in to further complicate matters for Gitana 13. In fact, a temporary breathlessness on the part of the wind gods has already set the nerves of the eleven sailors on edge. Since this time though, the wind has kicked back in again and the maxi-catamaran in the colours of LCF Rothschild Group is making up for lost time by snatching back some precious miles on the reference time.

Yesterday evening gave Gitana 13 a rather nasty surprise. Finding themselves up against a real barrage of squalls, which appeared very late on in the satellite images, Lionel Lemonchois and his ten crew had to battle hard to extract themselves from the capricious storms. Sylvain Mondon, weather expert from Gitana Team, provided us with a few explanations about this stormy zone: “The storms were buried within the mass of the cold front. The front piled one on top of the other and reactivated each of them, creating a vast zone of storms which didn't even exist on the satellite images just a few hours prior to Gitana 13's passage” commented the router of the maxi-catamaran.

“The wind doesn't want to come!” said a slightly irritated Lionel Lemonchois at the start of the conversation yesterday evening. “There is no breeze, or the little there is, is turning every which way. The upshot of this is that we have covered just 30 miles in 4 hours and we're under some awful squalls so it's raining too… We're going to get across this zone in the end though. The main concern is that this situation doesn't last long.” Perturbed to see the time ticking by without racking up the miles at this precise moment, Lionel Lemonchois is not concerned about the overall record but rather the timing which Sylvain Mondon has given them, in order to join up with a very deep low, which will likely be the most difficult obstacle on this North Pacific crossing: “We should manage to pass to the north of the large depression which is lying in wait for us. Our rendez-vous with this fine zone of low pressure is scheduled for tomorrow lunchtime and given that it's extremely active and that there's a lot of wind forecast, we really can't be late.”

Shortly before midnight (UT), after over four hours at a reduced pace, the maxi-catamaran being flashed at 3.2 knots at the 2030 position report, the skipper's wishes were granted and Gitana 13 has progressively picked up speed again. Hard on the nerves, this situation was also tiring for the crew, who were constantly on deck trying to trim the sail area as best they could according to the variations in the wind, in order to get Gitana 13 making good headway again.

At the 0830 position report, the maxi-catamaran equipped by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild was making over 25 knots of boat speed, downwind on starboard tack, on a course of 250°. Gitana 13 is making good speed again then, which is enabling Lionel Lemonchois and his men to increase their lead over Olivier de Kersauson and his crew; a differential that has now stretched to over 600 miles.

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