Negotiation of the doldrums, take two
Last night, shortly after 02:00 UTC, the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild crossed the equator and in doing so made her return to the northern hemisphere after more than seventeen days spent navigating the southern latitudes. A few hours later, Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier began their passage through the Inter-tropical Convergence Zone that is always dreaded. Reading the few lines sent by Yann Riou and observing the speeds posted by Gitana 17 in the past few hours, for now their passage appears to going smoothly. However, the men on Gitana Team are all too aware of the fickleness of this zone to draw any hasty conclusions. They should be definitively clear of the area over the course of tonight. At the 15:00 UTC position report, the Caudrelier / Cammas duo had snatched back a few more miles in relation to the 2nd boat, Actual Leader, positioned 492.5 miles astern, whilst Macif had made up some ground thanks to its W'ly option but still lamented a deficit of 801.6 miles in relation to the leaders.
Message from on-board by Yann Riou
I'm making the most of a little shady corner to write a few words. We entered the doldrums this morning. There are no storms or violent squalls for now, but there's a wind which is easing as it gradually heads together with a stifling heat. The upshot of this is that the living space has been deserted by its tenants, who are regularly in search of a little shady corner or a dose of apparent wind to freshen up. Franck and Charles have just finished the most physical manœuvre on the boat: the headsail change that involves the so-called J0 and J1. 45 minutes of exertion in the sunshine. We've covered a little less than the theoretical distance within the Inter-tropical Convergence Zone. We're hoping to escape its clutches tonight or tomorrow morning. The sun is beginning to dip and there are an increasing number of shaded spots on the boat. We'll finally be able to breathe.
Have a good evening
=> TODAY'S VIDEO
The art of showering at high speed
The Maxi Edmond de Rothschild may well measure 32 metres in length and 23 metres wide, but she only features the most basic comforts making one of most classic rituals on land become a real headache on board. Washing, and more accurately showering, is one such tricky area; particularly when you're constantly surrounded by water. Aboard Gitana 17, the two sailors have very different techniques! Though Franck Cammas favours an economic method in the shelter of the cockpit, Charles Caudrelier prefers the shock of the sea spray assisted by the water's contact with one of the giant's foils.
He explains to us the complexities of a shower aboard the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild and presents us with his method: “There's no water aboard! The only water we have is the stuff we make in a way, as it's sea water that we make drinkable by using the desalinator. As such, it's for drinking and we can't make too much because it would consume too much energy. For showers, because this boat flies and is already high above the water (plus the 2-metre freeboard) we cannot apply the usual methods, which involve getting a bucket of water, pouring it over your head and rinsing yourself off a bit with freshwater. So we have to use the fast-boat method you position yourself on the trampoline where there's the most spray and you wash yourself!”
Ranking on 28 November 2019 at 15:00 UTC
1. MAXI EDMOND DE ROTHSCHILD (Franck Cammas / Charles Caudrelier / Yann Riou) - distance to the goal: 2,795.0 miles - average speed over the past 30 mins: 20.4 knots
2. ACTUAL LEADER (Yves Le Blevec / Alex Pella / Ronan Gladu) - 492.5 miles behind the leader - average speed over the past 30 mins: 21.8 knots
3. MACIF (François Gabart / Gwenolé Gahinet / Jérémie Eloy) - 801.6 miles behind the leader - average speed over the past 30 mins: 30.6 knots
RETIREMENT - SODEBO ULTIM 3 (Thomas Coville / Jean-Luc Nelias / Martin Keruzoré)