Nocturnal DIY before the Doldrums
For the past 48 hours, thanks to the positioning of their first gybe to the North-West of Madeira, Charles Caudrelier and Franck Cammas have been leading the fleet in the Brest Atlantiques. With only a slight advantage in relation to their closest rivals 47.4 miles ahead of Macif and 164.9 miles ahead of Sodebo Ultim at the 11:00 UTC ranking and a rather uncooperative trade wind, the duo has had to put pedal to the metal to defend their lead. This effort is heightened by the fact that the weather and the progress of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild are not always the only concerns of our duo. Indeed, at nightfall yesterday, benefiting from the wind shadow of Santa Antao, they had to repair an faulty gennaker furler (J0, the large headsail). These few miles in slo-mo’ proved to be the perfect opportunity for the duo to perform a fine night-time manœuvre on the foredeck.
Repairs session aboard the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild

Sailors, athletes, fine connoisseurs of the weather and technicians... Offshore racers have to be versatile because even if back on land they rely on a team of top-flight specialists, once they’re at sea, they must be able to sort out situations that can hinder the boat’s progress on their own. Yesterday, Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier had to get out the tool kit for the first time. We offer you a glimpse at all that and more via our media man Yann Riou.



Entry into the Doldrums

“We’ve had a problem with the gennaker spool. The spool or furler is what enables the sail to be furled, which is something we weren’t able to do anymore. The gennaker tack line had come out of the furler and it was stuck. It was a real problem because the sail measures 400m2, and we’re coming up to a potential squally zone where this type of incident can have much more serious ramifications”, explained Charles Caudrelier. Indeed, the main course on today’s menu has to be the entry into and the negotiation of the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone. Leading the way, Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier will logically be the first to feel the effects. The two sailors, who have traversed this race zone too many times to mention, are all too aware that once you’re within the clutches of this system, you have to constantly be opportunistic and on the look-out for any opportunities that come your way amidst the clouds, some of which contain breeze, others calm.

Watch this space...


Ranking on Saturday 9 November 11:00 UTC 

1.MAXI EDMOND DE ROTHSCHILD (Franck Cammas / Charles Caudrelier / Yann Riou) - distance to the goal:  11,139 miles  - average speed over the last 30 mins:   34 knots

2.MACIF (François Gabart / Gwenolé Gahinet / Jérémie Eloi) –  47.4 miles behind the leader - average speed over the last 30 mins:  35.5 knots

3.SODEBO ULTIM 3 (Thomas Coville / Jean-Luc Nelias / Martin Keruzoré) –  164.9 miles behind the leader - average speed over the last 30 mins: 28.4 knots

4.ACTUAL LEADER (Yves Le Blevec / Alex Pella / Ronan Gladu) – 369.5 miles behind the leader - average speed over the last 30 mins:  30.3 knots

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