Topsy-turvy weather, strategies under review!
Since late morning on Wednesday, the forerunners of the fleet, all classes included, have had to contend with a meteorological brain-teaser that is forcing each of them to keep reviewing their strategies. After the bracing winds encountered in the ocean off Cape Finisterre, they are admittedly all content to get their breath back, but the depression located to the southwest of the Azores is at odds with all attempts to get a move on. As a result, the rapidly tiring crews now find themselves faced with the need to rethink their strategic options on an hourly basis.

Late Wednesday afternoon, Loïck Peyron and Jean Baptiste Le Vaillant on Gitana Eighty were still confirming the tactical quality the two men have demonstrated unstintingly since the start of the race. For the moment, they are doing very nicely in this complex phase of the contest. Still in third place, the blue monohull, which opted to avoid the ridge of low pressure via the east, is currently gaining ground nicely on their direct opponent Michel Desjoyeaux. Courtesy of this fine attacking coup, Gitana Eighty is preparing to pick up the wind coming from the direction of Gibraltar. Having set out with the aim of testing the boat and measuring himself against the rest of the fleet, Loïck Peyron is yet again demonstrating, if any further proof were needed, his immense enthusiasm and talent.

After two days of silence – due to the demands of sailing -, Loïck Peyron shares his latest thoughts with us:
This race s a world away from the one two years ago, when the course in the end hardly deviated from the orthodromic (direct) route. In this Canarian archipelago, for example, things are going to be complicated, very complicated. We're slap-bang in the middle of an anticyclonic Rubik's cube. Although we're making slow progress, there's still a lot of hard work ahead of us. In a nutshell, we're not out of the woods yet. Fortunately, after our forty knots of wind last night and our 22 to 24-knot spurts which caused us a few frights, we were able recharge our batteries a bit, but it's still going to be very tough….”

Faced with the same chaotic weather conditions, Gitana 11, meanwhile, has still not decided one way or the other to stop and replace its missing foil.

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