In a different weather system
Charles Caudrelier and Erwan Israël had to just grin and bear it yesterday to extract themselves from a zone of high pressure skirting the traffic exclusion zone along the north coast of Brazil. Usually less active in this section, the doldrums had swollen again ahead of the bows of the five-arrow maxi-trimaran, forcing the duo to put in a series of zigzagging gybes to remain in a corridor of breeze. In contrast, the timing of the top duo in the Transat Jacques Vabre enabled them to sail a virtually direct course some 1,500 miles before the finish. As such, both the weather pattern and the extra miles along the route go a long way to explaining the deficit they’ll have at the finish.
ETA, late in the day on Tuesday 14 November
Whilst the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild was sailing downwind again this morning having finally hooked back up with the NE’ly trade wind, Erwan Israël took the time during his watch to send us a few images and congratulate the winners and the team in second place, who both made landfall last night: “Our little playmates Banque Populaire and SVR finished last night. Hats off to Armel and Sébastien. They were absolutely untouchable in this race. Congratulations to all the team as well. And bravo to Tom and François, who also sailed an extraordinary race. They didn’t manage to keep pace at the end, but it was a great duel in any case. As for us, we’ve just escaped the doldrums and we’re heading downwind towards Martinique. We’re pulling out all the stops to stay ahead of Sodebo. I think we must be about 200 miles ahead. I think we’re due to finish in around 36 hours’ time.”