Approaching Cape Town
At the 11:00 UTC position report this Wednesday 20 November, the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild was positioned less than 200 miles from Robben Island, the second official course mark in the Brest Atlantiques, located 7km offshore of Cape Town. Slowed up this morning by their passage through a ridge of high pressure, Charles Caudrelier and Franck Cammas have since ramped up the speed again to 20 knots. They’re expected offshore of Table Mountain early this evening.
=> Video of the day 

Bye-bye to the forties!

For the past two days, Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier have been linking together the gybes to make the most of the corridor of breeze to the South of the Saint Helena High and along the edge of the ice exclusion zone imposed by the organisers for safety reasons. Talking to the camera, the skippers of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild discuss the weather puzzle of recent days. However, this Wednesday morning, their circumnavigation of the zone of high pressure is complete and Gitana 17 can finally set a course to the North-East and the next course mark of Cape Town, in South Africa.

Message from Yann Riou 

Bound for Cape Town, heading North!

“Since the start of the night, we’ve stopped weaving our way along the ice zone and we’ve set a course for Cape Town, which means northwards. It’s also the first time that we’ve been closing on Brest, with the exception of a few marginal tacks just to be entirely accurate. We’re leaving the forties, which weren’t especially ‘roaring’ this time. To be honest, the setting was quite similar to what you get offshore of Lorient during the same period… with the exception of a few albatross! Talking of which… before we got to Gough Island, Franck said to me:
“We’ll soon start seeing albatross”.
Two hours later, at dusk, I spotted one! Now there’s a guy who’s familiar with this neck of the woods... I rush to get my camera. Too late, too late, too dark.
Since then, I’ve been keeping watch. I’m lying in wait for the animal, camera in hand, ready to snap him. I have spotted one or two. But too late, too late, too dark. 
This morning, we’re officially out of the forties. Busy removing fleece layers, I glance out on deck. This time, he’s not too far away. However, my camera was charging down below, inside the central hull, where it’s too dark. By the time I’d tracked it down, naturally it was too late. I ended up removing my second fleece layer. We’re entering the ridge of high pressure. This evening we’re rounding Robben Island, passing in front of Cape Town and then heading homewards!”

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