After a start marked by light air for the exit from the Bay of Cadiz, the Gitana 13 crew swiftly caught hold of the anticipated north-easterly flow to see the boat's speed climb to 25 knots, complete with a first reef in the mainsail! The outcome of this first day is altogether satisfactory, with 520 miles covered on route to the Canary Isles, which the vessel should be running parallel to by early afternoon.
Currently, the catamaran is travelling at 30 knots in a 28-knot wind, small gennaker and Genoa staysail up. Oilskins are still de rigueur on the deck, although the temperature is rising steadily.
Weather: On Monday morning, Gitana 13 benefited from winds of 25 to 30 knots, with the result that she is already significantly ahead of schedule. Midday should see her draw alongside the Canaries, where the winds are likely to fall to 15-20 knots and then 10 knots. At the end of the day or possibly during the evening, Gitana 13 will leave the islands behind her.
Life on board:
The crew has finally had its first real meal since Thursday's evening's departure from Trinité sur Mer, the 2 ½-hour stopover in Cadiz having been given over to anything but tourism. Courtesy of the Chalet du Mont d'Arbois restaurant, which has as usual provided the food on board, the sailors' standard freeze-dried fare has been replaced by a succulent “Duck with endives”.
Finally, this start of the race seems an appropriate point at which to recall these few words penned by Christopher Columbus in the prologue of his log: "To successfully realize my plan, I am going to have to forget about sleep”. It is highly likely that this statement of intent will be echoed on Gitana 13 over the days to come!
Record to be beaten: Steve Fossett on Playstation in 2003 in 9 days 13 hours 30' 18''Gitana 13's start time: Sunday 18 March at 9h 7' 08'' UT