Skirting the Azores High
Already three days have passed since the Transat Jacques Vabre fleet left Le Havre. And already the two Multi70s, which have been leading the way towards Itajaí (Brazil), are tackling their Atlantic crossing. After the heavy, chaotic seas encountered in the Bay of Biscay and right the way down the coast bordering the Iberian Peninsula, Sébastien Josse and Charles Caudrelier were finally benefiting from some good downwind conditions this morning. Indeed, the trimaran fitted out by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild is currently sailing under the influence of the Azores High. Last night the Gitana Team duo negotiated the southern fringe of this high pressure and were beginning to sense the first signs of the tradewinds of the northern hemisphere this morning.

“On a strategic level, they’ve had a good night!” Antoine Koch began. The router then went on to explain the stakes at play in the 3rd night at sea: “It was necessary to get sufficiently close to the zone of high pressure to hit the favourable north-easterly wind shift. This rotation was very important as it means we’re lined up nicely for the next stage of the race.” In this way, the trimaran fitted out by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild linked together a series of gybes along the southern edge of the Azores High.

At 0800 GMT this Sunday, Sébastien Josse described the current sailing conditions for Edmond de Rothschild: “It’s grey, we haven’t yet caught a glimpse of the sun and there are cross seas in part. However, the atmosphere has already warmed up substantially aboard and we’ve been able to remove our neoprene gloves and our hats. The north-easterly wind is now well established and we’ve got around 12 to 15 knots of breeze. All the sails are on deck. The wind is set to build over the course of the afternoon and from that point we should really be in the thick of the tradewind system.”

It won’t be long then before the Edmond de Rothschild duo hit the tradewind expressway with some lengthy sessions gliding downwind on the cards for the coming days. However, that doesn’t mean it will be all ‘plain sailing’ for our two sailors as the conditions that await them will call for the utmost vigilance at all times as well as some top-quality piloting.

24 hours ago, at the 0700 GMT ranking, the two Multi70s were neck and neck with just a mile separating Edmond de Rothschild and Oman Air - Musandam. Yesterday however, after perfectly negotiating the passage around Cape Finisterre, Sébastien Josse and Charles Caudrelier benefited from a lift along the Spanish and then Portuguese coast to lengthen their stride and rack up some precious miles ahead of their adversary; some 34.6 miles to be precise according to the 0700 GMT ranking this Sunday.

Please note that there are six official position reports a day at the rate of one report every 3 hours from 0400 hours. No position reports are produced overnight and from 1900 GMT, a position blackout is observed. Timing of the official rankings: 0400, 0700, 1000, 1300, 1600 and 1900 hours GMT.

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