In search of lost wind
Two nights into the race and the situation is starting to shape up out on the race course. With the first low over, a ridge of high pressure has clearly slowed the fleet down, given the single-handers the chance to get some rest before the second low expected to reach the fleet this evening. A few hours later than the leading boats, Gitana 11 picked up on the new south/south westerly wind currently sweeping across the multihulls.

A brief pause is always heartily welcomed after a lively start followed by the dampness they had on Monday. But as ever, this is the calm before the storm. Fred Le Peutrec has been able to rebuild his strength, rest, work on the weather charts, anticipate the strong breeze forecast for Wednesday evening . « I'm into the swing of things now. I've been able to get some sleep, eat and helm, observe what is happening on the water. Within the next 24 hours, the going is going to get tough ! yesterday's ridge of high pressure meant that we were able to dry things out on board as it had been really humid indeed. » explained the skipper of Gitana 11, at 8h30 this morning.

Lying in wait, as it were, the trimaran might have lost a bit of ground to the leaders, Michel Desjoyeaux and Thomas Coville, m but this difference is mainly due to the weather difference. The wind came in earlier than expected for the leaders settling slowly but surely towards the east. Then there is also the difference in longitude, the advantage being given to the head of the fleet. So the 30 mile difference on Tuesday had increased to 110 miles just twelve hours alter. As the leaders were making more than 23 knots at 7h00 this morning, the rest of the pack was still moving at around ten knots. But this phenomenon is subject to variable. It's like a piece of elastic, as the fleet leaders will be the first to be slowed by the arrival of the coming low pressure system.

« We've had to play around with the light air overnight in search of stronger wind. I made the mistake of changing tack a little too early as I though that the wind was settling. In fact, it was just starting to make its way in. » explained Fred at 8h30 this morning. «The fleet has been split in two. One in the north with Géant and Sopra Group ; the other to the south with Banque Populaire and Tacchini. I'm between the two groups in a wind coming from 190° (S/SW) at 10-12 knots and it's picking up gradually. »

As for Marc Guillemot who was within sight of La Trinité sur Mer at 06h00 this morning, not wanting to disturb his shore crew with a wake up call too early on in the day, he made for the open sea again and is making the most of it to get some rest. Gitana X finally came into port at 11h45 in brilliant sunshine, welcomed by the whole of Gitana's technical team - Jean Le Houérou-Kérisel, Laurent Bourgues, William Fabulet, Léo Lucet, Jean Pierre  Trottet, Thierry Duprey and router, Yann Guichard.

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