Favouring a more conservative trajectory
On the approach towards the Cape Verdean archipelago, it was tempting to shoot straight between the islands of São Vicente and São Nicolau to target a more direct route down to the equator. However, snaking your way between these volcanic islands is never a trivial matter, particularly with a 32-metre flying maxi-trimaran powered up at full speed. “This passage was debated but ultimately abandoned after assessing the potential gains and the risks. Amidst wind shadows, accelerations, fishermen and the latter’s fishing pots, it’s not easy sailing for boats like ours. The deal was finally sealed by our passage time because it’s still dark so we would have lacked visibility as the nights are pitch black at the moment”, explained Yann Riou in his night message.
The yoyoing miles
The decision to pass to the west of the archipelago has cost the crew of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild two new gybes and with them the logical losses incurred in relation to their virtual adversary. Indeed, during her attempt in 2016-2017, on this long tack towards the equator, Idec benefited from a weather pattern that enabled her to stay on the same tack. The men of Gitana Team aren’t able to enjoy the same configuration or a such a straight trajectory. Overnight, their biggest lead amounted to 177 miles, a figure which had dropped back down to 90 miles at 07:00 UTC. However, there’s nothing abnormal about this situation since the slightest repositioning to the west equates to an almost negative VMG.
The positive message we can draw from this affair is that despite the numerous gybes racked up over the past two days, Franck Cammas, Charles Caudrelier and their four crew are still out in front and at the 07:00 UTC position report, the 32-metre giant was once again pointing her bows in the right direction on a course to the SSW.
Jules Verne Trophy Info
Position of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild on 12 January at 06:45 UTC:
Lead in relation to the record: 90.8 nm
Speed: 32.1 knots
Numbers to note:
Passage across the line: 10 January 2021 at 01h 33' 46'' UTC
Deadline for beating the record: 20 February at 01h 3' and 15''
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.