It will be a symbolic stopover for the Gitana Team then, as well as being another opportunity to try and snatch a record time from Ellen MacArthur. The English sailor covered the 265 miles which separate Dalian from Qingdao in 1 day 2 minutes and 53 seconds. Despite the short distance to cover, Lionel Lemonchois and his men know that these few miles across the Yellow Sea could well reserve some unexpected encounters, such as the numerous fishing boats and drifting nets which slowed the maxi-catamaran's progress during the record between Yokohama and Dalian.
Shortly after crossing the start line situated off Dalian, the ‘crew-writer', Nicolas Raynaud, conveyed this to us: “We crossed 'the line', that of our previous arrival in Dalian, at 5h46'58''UT. We have a nice little E'ly breeze of around fifteen knots and flat seas. We're reaching under mainsail/ solent with 15/18 knots of boatspeed. The sun is finding it difficult to pierce the cloud layer and the visibility is slightly less than 1 mile. There's a real chill in the air so we're covered up as if it's the month of February.”
Weather flash from Sylvain Mondon (Météo France)
A disturbance situated over Peking is generating 10 to 15 knot SE'ly winds in Korea Bay. This system is shifting towards the east and is passing across Dalian over the course of Friday night. The result of this shift is that winds will clock round to the south temporarily. Indeed, a second system currently forming over Zhengzhou is shifting slowly to the east, which will cause the winds to back to the SE and then E on Saturday morning over the north of the Yellow Sea.
Rain will colour the proceedings again for Gitana 13, as well as a period of rather light winds of between 5 and 10 knots during the transition between the two disturbed systems.
The crew of Gitana 13 between Dalian and Qingdao
Lionel Lemonchois (Skipper / helmsman / watch leader)
Ludovic Aglaor / Olivier Wroczynski / Nicolas Raynaud / Antoine Mermod / David Boileau / Léopold Lucet