The race enters phase two
After three testing days in a feisty weather system, the sailors have left the European continent in their wake. Now they’re switching to an oceanic beat where the periods on watch at the helm will run more regularly and their bodies will have time to recuperate. And though the morale of Sébastien Josse and Charles Caudrelier is in tune with the average speeds racked up over the past few hours, the duo is continuing to remain fully focused.
“We’re sailing downwind, gliding along nicely and we’re making fast headway,” Charles admitted at noon. “We tried to get some rest last night, but we got disturbed by a series of squalls, which caused us to do a fair amount of manoeuvring. We can’t complain though, we’re heading towards the sun. Life is rather good, but it’s full-on! We need to remain focused as we’re going very fast. You also have to keep your position on the leaderboard in perspective with multihulls, because though it’s good to have a slight edge over Oman, all that can change in the blink of an eye.”
Indeed, when your making 30 knots downwind under gennaker on a multihull, you have to keep a constant eye on your machine, as you would milk on the hob. Due to stick with the tradewind system for three to four days, the duo will have to really show what it’s made of in terms of piloting before the next lull, which is forecast for their approach of the Doldrums. In the meantime, the crew will have to smoothly negotiate their passage past Madeira and then the Canaries, where the wind shadow from these very high altitude islands will have to be considered with the utmost care. They will also have to constantly watch their backs to keep a look-out for any attacks from their rival because it too is now sailing to the oceanic beat, which is a familiar exercise for the round the world sailors that are Sidney Gavignet and Damian Foxall. Looking at the trajectories this afternoon, Oman Air-Musandam appears to be attempting to get some westerly separation.
Helming, eating, sleeping
Even though the speed is accompanied by permanent stress aboard, now is also the time when it is important to stock up on energy for the next stage of the race. “Up until last night, it wasn’t easy to get any rest or even to eat, but things are better now,” explained the skipper of the trimaran fitted out by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild this morning. “Last night we each managed to get three hours sleep in fragments and it’s done us good! With regard food, we’ve done more snacking than really eating; we haven’t yet opened our day bags with the freeze-dried meals, but we should get a chance to treat ourselves to some of that today.”
Ranking on Sunday 10 November at 1530 GMT:
- Edmond de Rothschild (Josse-Caudrelier) 4,129 miles from the goal / 27.10kt average over 2 hours
- Oman Air-Musandam (Gavignet-Foxall) 80.39 miles behind the leader / 26.90kt average over 2 hours