Update on the evening of 5 January
Pinpointing a target window
At the briefing this Monday morning at 09:30 UTC, Marcel van Triest gave the team the low-down: “2021 seems to want to offer us more opportunities and the coming week should enable us to envisage an initial passage time within the timeframe we’d set ourselves as departure criteria, namely a sub-5-day time to the equator and around 11 days to get below South Africa.” The tone was set then, but the team still had to adjust the timing for crossing the line as best they could to ensure the team manages to follow the sequence of weather systems that is such an essential part of this first third of the record attempt.
Indeed, when the crews set sail from the tip of Brittany, they’re not only seeking a favourable departure window to give them as speedy a passage as possible to the equator, above all they’re aiming for a transition of millimetre precision offshore of Brazil to enable them to hook onto the right wagon to glide down towards the Southern Ocean. It is this exacting coordination, which Gitana Team’s weather cell is currently trying to pinpoint.
Ready for action
This afternoon, at the heart of Gitana Team’s technical base and aboard the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, both the team and the sailors are busying themselves with the final details: loading the provisions, filling the tanks with water and ‘diesel’ and installing the six sailors’ personal gear… At dawn tomorrow, the latest of the Gitanas will be ready to take on its latest challenge at which point it is the weather that will decide if the first crewed round the world attempt aboard a flying maxi-trimaran will set sail straight away or benefit from a few hours’ respite to hone their weapons.
Jules Verne Trophy memo:
Crew of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild:
Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier, skippers
David Boileau, trimmer bowman
Erwan Israël, helm trimmer
Morgan Lagravière, helm trimmer
Yann Riou, trimmer media man
Marcel van Triest, weather router
Yann Eliès, replacement crew
Record to beat:
40 days, 23 hours and 30 minutes > Record held by Francis Joyon and his crew (Idec Sport) since 26 January 2017.