« The night has been tough with these changing headwinds, really not a pleasure », said Lionel Lemonchois today during the traditional audio session, live from the race headquarters in Paris. While discovering Gitana X in these new conditions, he has trouble finding the right balance between the boat's power and the pilot's settings. Several times, Gitana X was stopped, with the sails on the wrong side, requiring many manœuvres before starting again. But most of all, Lionel could not take any rest. Exiting the Channel, he is sailing in the « corridor » where cargo ships are supposed to remain, and has to keep an active watch in order to avoid collisions. But Lionel is an experienced sailor, he take the pace of the race and of the boat, thus respecting his gear and saving his efforts.
The race... also ashore !
While Lionel tries to gain miles, in La Trinité sur Mer (Atlantic Coast, France), 5 Gitana Team members are on constant watch, encouraging the skipper to be prudent. Marc Guessard (strategy / performer), thanks to his skills as a sports coach, drives Lionel in his daily efforts management : « I tell him when he really should take some rest, when he has to spare his efforts because ashore, we obviously have a clearer vision of the things to come. At Multipole, the technical base, everyone has a precise task. For example, when Lionel was in trouble with his computer this morning, he naturally turned towards Richard Bastide, who is a computer specialist. Hugues de Turckheim, also on watch, takes advantage of this navigation to gather all the data possible concerning the appendages behaviour (rudder, foils, centreboard) and to improve his knowledge of the boat. Olivier Wrozynski, boat master, knows the ship under every detail and can answer any question. Finally, Yann Marilley is in charge of the general co-ordination. For the Gitana Team, the Route du Rhum is also raced ashore !