Slipping happily along to Cape Verde vibes
The sixth day at sea kicked off early this Friday afternoon in the Transat Jacques Vabre. Firm fixtures at the top of the leader board in the Ultime category, Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier have the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild sailing at her full potential and are currently making a textbook descent of the Atlantic. Together with their weather cell, they’re linking together a series of favourable tacks southwards and will be past the Cape Verde archipelago tonight. However, their minds are already mulling over the details of what lies much further along the racetrack, namely the renowned and dreaded doldrums, which is shaping up to be quite the enigma for the sailors in the Coffee Route.
Making the most of the here and now

“We’ve been flying along nicely since we passed Madeira. We’re lucky enough to have some favourable trade wind and though it’s not that strong, there aren’t too many squalls along our current trajectory either,” noted Franck Cammas. Aboard the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, which was slipping along this Friday afternoon offshore of the coast of Mauritania thanks to a NE’ly breeze of around fifteen knots, the atmosphere has changed somewhat. The mercury is rising and the flying fish have put in an appearance on the deck and in the wake of the giant five-arrow trimaran, conditions which our dynamic duo are relishing, even if the weather is not yet in tune with their ambitions: “It’s been a pleasant night, the 1st night in shorts and T-shirt! Nothing’s simple in the North Atlantic. We still have some gybing on the cards if we are to make the most of the slightest variations in the breeze. Together with our routers, we’re currently considering the strategy for negotiating the doldrums, with no apparent way through so far. We’re going to have to be shrewd.” explained Charles Caudrelier.  

"We’re trusting our two onshore weather routers. Brains are whirring with regards to what comes next, but for now we’re sailing a great course. Let’s hope that continues…” admitted the sailor of the decade: “Roll on the southern hemisphere! We’ve still got a way to go yet for that, another two days at least.”

You’ve got it. It’s never plain sailing aboard large trimarans and the route south is not on a straight line course alas. Furthermore, the active Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone lying ahead of their bows seems to have extended its grip. It promises to be a thrilling weekend.  

Images from the ocean, day 5 – Flying in the trades

The North Atlantic in this Transat Jacques Vabre is certainly no picnic, even for the leader of the Ultime category, the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild. Though Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier have managed to steal a bit of a march on their pursuers, with a 67-mile lead over SVR – Lazartigue at 16:00 UTC and nearly 100 miles ahead of Banque Populaire XI, it’s only after much effort and countless gybes. Slipping along downwind towards Cape Verde, the sailors in Gitana Team are making the most of a light but stable trade wind. You can just sense that they’re very much into the swing of their race pace now!


Positions on Friday 12 November at 17:00 UTC
  1. Maxi Edmond de Rothschild (F. Cammas / C. Caudrelier)
  2. SVR - Lazartigue (F. Gabart / T. Laperche) + 72.6 miles
  3. Banque Populaire XI (A. Le Cléac’h / K. Escoffier) + 103 miles
  4. Actual (Y. Le Blevec / A. Marchand) + 112,6 miles
  5. Sodebo (T. Coville / T.Rouxel) + 554.6 miles
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