In the thick of the Doldrums
Since yesterday afternoon, the two 70’ trimarans have been in the clutches of the Doldrums, the direct consequence of which has been a fairly significant drop in their average speed. Forecast to be very extensive, the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone seems to be living up to expectations. After a lively and particularly stressful night for the men, the Josse Caudrelier duo and its adversaries still weren’t through to the other side. At the 0700 GMT ranking, Oman Air Musandam’s easterly separation appeared to be giving her crew a slight edge in terms of speed, but the trimaran fitted out by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild was holding onto her lead of over 65 miles.

“The Doldrums are synonymous with managing randomness,” points out Antoine Koch, one of the onshore routers for the trimaran fitted out by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild. “It’s complicated to reach a verdict with any degree of certainty in this zone. The satellite photos certainly provide us with some indication, but things evolve so quickly that you virtually need to deal with the situation in real time.”

There is radio silence aboard Edmond de Rothschild this Thursday morning… Totally absorbed by the zone they’re currently traversing, Sébastien Josse and Charles Caudrelier are focused solely on getting their steed making headway and the only communication on the boat comprises calls to their onshore routers. In this way, Antoine Koch has some fresh news for us from the night’s proceedings: “The first part of the night went rather well with an easterly breeze (beam wind) of around twenty knots or so, which enabled them to make headway along the route at a fast pace. After that, the plot thickened somewhat; Sébastien and Charles experienced a very lively period in the early hours, with some huge storms and big squalls along their course. They had a bit of everything in the squalls: violent winds picking up to 30 knots in a matter of seconds, as well as total lack of wind at other times. The atmosphere was truly electric with lightning everywhere!”

According to the latest forecasts, Edmond de Rothschild should see the light at the end of the tunnel early afternoon this Thursday. However, in all likelihood it won’t be until the end of the day that Sébastien Josse and Charles Caudrelier hit some more established winds with which to make headway towards the equator.

Ranking on Wednesday 14 November at 0700 GMT:
  1. Edmond de Rothschild (Josse-Caudrelier) 2,245.4 miles to go /9.9kt average over 2 hours
  2. Oman Air-Musandam (Gavignet-Foxall) 65.8 miles behind the leader /14.6kt average over 2 hours
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