Tomorrow and through the course of Sunday and into Monday, the westerly wind will build violently with gusts of up to 40-45 knots expected in the English Channel and the Raz Blanchard. During the day on Monday, the wind is set to veer to the North behind the front as it eases, thus opening up a window of opportunity for the Transat Jacques Vabre’s organisation team to launch a start.
Three of the four competing classes will definitively leave the Baie de Seine in their wake and make for the Atlantic and Itajaí. Meantime, always with the aim of favouring a bunched finish in Brazil, the 70-foot trimarans will set sail a couple of days later on Wednesday, where conditions are still likely to be very bracing at the start, building as they reach the north-west tip of Brittany.
“The organisation team is doing the best it can in what is a complicated situation”, comments Sébastien Josse, skipper of Edmond de Rothschild. “We’re discussing the matter a great deal with the Race Committee, which has the same concerns as us. We’re all hoping for a great race and the organisation team is seeking to find the best possible compromise in a weather system that isn’t leaving many opportunities. On Monday, the three classes taking their official start will be able to exit the English Channel on a single tack with the northerly wind but they will then have to deal with a difficult Bay of Biscay. On Wednesday we’re set to have 30 knots of westerly wind at the start and there will still be 4 to 5-metre waves with the passage of an active front at the north-west tip of Brittany. There isn’t a perfect configuration. We’re aware of that and we accept that this is the nature of our sport. It’s down to us to prepare for it as best we can.”