Thierry Duprey du Vorsent and Erwan Le Roux were not able to take a back seat on Tuesday ! Not only did they have to sort out problems with the mainsail batten joints, their hydraulic rod which controls the central rudder's flap angle has given up the ghost. They have been able to put together a temporary system which works but they really do need to stop and repair if they are to avoid more serious damage when Gitana X picks up speed in the trade winds. The pitstop is scheduled for Porto at around 13h00 today, Wednesday and should not last more than one hour. The trimaran is not likely to be that penalised even if weather conditions are starting to look more favourable for the leaders.
As for Gitana 11, the main aim of getting through the rough winds without any technical hitch has been achieved. Frédéric Le Peutrec and Yann Guichard now have easier conditions and can hope to recover a little, putting some east in their heading as the wind gradually shifts NE. 1000 miles into the Transat Jacques Vabre, and only now is a cruising speed starting to look possible. The long run downwind to the Doldrums is likely to shuffle things up a little, and the gaps between the boats are not that great. The hierarchy should start to settle once the fleet reaches the Canary Islands, which the trimaran fleet should reach by Thursday evening. Exceptional speeds have been recorded over the last few hours. At that rate, with the main and gennaker up, the multis are going to be covering 500 miles a day.
Nightcall : GITANA 11 - 2h00 TU
We have sorted out a problem with the navigation unit. After our brief pitstop in Camaret and the passage of the front, we had to ease of the gas and found ourselves loosing a little ground on the leaders. Never the less, it is still anyone's game. There's still quite a way to go yet !
Fred and Yann
PS: We're pleased to learn that our six shipwrecked colleagues are in good hands. Thanks to all the guys who took part in the rescue operations.