Tradewind gliding
Having covered 564 miles in 24 hours, at an average speed of 24.4 knots, it’s safe to say that the trimaran fitted out by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild isn’t hanging around. Leaving Madeira abeam of them early yesterday evening, Sébastien Josse and Charles Caudrelier are continuing on their way to Brazil at a fair old lick and were passing offshore of the Canary Islands this morning. Still leading, the Edmond de Rothschild duo boasts a sizeable lead of around 80 miles over its rival, Oman Air Musandam.

“I didn’t have any contact with the boat last night. That’s the first time that’s happened since the start, but it’s a good sign!” Antoine Koch explained this morning. “The speeds and the headings are tallying up with what we’d forecast so all’s well. Sébastien and Charles must make the most of the tradewind conditions to slip along nicely and recharge their batteries a little.”

In a well-established north-easterly tradewind of around 20 to 22 knots, the trimaran Edmond de Rothschild has already switched to oceanic mode and Sébastien and Charles have transformed into top-flight pilots so as to get the very best from their steed. The sailing conditions remain technical but more favourable to their watch system and life aboard in general. Indeed the two Multi70s are pounding along the tradewind expressway, but there are a number of pitfalls to be avoided. This is particularly true among the islands that are dotted along the Transat Jacques Vabre course and need to be taken into consideration and negotiated with the utmost care. “Madeira culminates at an altitude of 2,000 metres and it can generate wind shadows that extend up to 100 miles offshore. With a stable wind like we have right now, the satellite photos show us that there is no breeze at all up to 50 miles downwind of the island. It’s pretty much the same set-up for the Canaries,” Antoine Koch tells us.

For now the duel between Edmond de Rothschild and Oman Air is turning to the advantage of the men from Gitana Team. Since rounding Cape Finisterre, Sébastien Josse and Charles Caudrelier have managed to outpace the Gavignet – Foxall duo and currently boast a lead of nearly 80 miles over the Omani crew. It’s certainly a substantial lead, but as those in the know continue to explain, on multihulls, where speeds are very high, any gains can grow or shrink very quickly. Aside from these handy miles in the bank, Jean-Yves Bernot and Antoine Koch, the onshore routers for the Josse-Caudrelier pairing, were satisfied with the position of their ‘protégés’ this morning: “The separation between them and Oman Air remains virtually unchanged in terms of VMG, but Edmond de Rothschild’s controlling position is more appealing today. Yesterday, Oman was to their west, whilst this morning she’s in their wake. That means that Sébastien and Charles have managed to reduce the lateral separation, whilst holding onto their lead: a rather smooth operation all in all.”

Ranking on Monday 11 November at 0700 GMT:
  1. Edmond de Rothschild (Josse-Caudrelier) 3,768.6 miles from the goal / an average speed of 26.2kts over 2 hours
  2. Oman Air-Musandam (Gavignet-Foxall) 81.9 miles behind the leader / an average speed of 23.7kts over 2 hours
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