Gitana 13's crew was located at 18°S this afternoon, using good conditions to make progress toward the equator and the Pacific doldrums. Olivier Wroczynski, called Zolive by those around him, sketched out the scene for us: “The weather has really heated up: it's now 22°C and the sun is warm. We've put away our oilskins and put on shorts. It's beautiful, and really nice to be back in these conditions.” Lemonchois and his men have one complaint: the wind, which is blowing at an average of 12 knots—20 in the gusts—hasn't allowed the team as much as they would have liked in the way of lengthy stretches on one tack.
The trade winds are unfortunately expected to weaken in the coming days: “We should be able to maintain at least 10 knots, but we won't avoid the temporary drops in pressure. We're following a winding road to the northern hemisphere," said Lemonchois. Nevertheless, the maxi-catamaran is making good time...yesterday it again logged more miles than projected. This is a positive point that rewards the sailors' efforts.
Team Gitana still needs to jibe regularly to stay in the good wind that they picked up when they first reached the trades. But these frequent turns also add distance each day to the route to San Francisco. “We're going to have to work our way westward in the next few hours in order to stay in the best breeze. The watches are taking their turns and the whole crew is giving its all, because we know that we need to keep at it...behind us, the trade winds are very weak! We're looking to a way point at 13°S and 95°W,” said the skipper of Gitana 13.