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Return to the news 09 July 2012

Atlantic cavalcades

Krys Ocean Race Multi70 Edmond de Rothschild Sébastien Josse

The Krys Ocean Race fleet isn't dawdling in the North Atlantic. Still sailing on the leading edge of a cold front, which is generating some boisterous south-westerly winds, Edmond de Rothschild Group and her adversaries are continuing their express transatlantic. Having set off from New York a little over 48 hours ago, Sébastien Josse and the crew of Edmond de Rothschild Group are keeping pace and were lying in second place at the 1600 UTC standing, whilst Spindrift Racing, positioned further North and hence closer to the direct route, is leading. Of note is the fact that Florent Chastel has racked up a new speed record on the boat: 40.7 knots!

The MOD 70s in the Krys Ocean Race have already been at sea for some 48 hours. As announced prior to the start in New York, the pace is steady aboard the one-design trimarans and those crews who've managed to hook onto the transatlantic express by positioning themselves on the leading edge of a cold front, certainly aren't lying idle. And although these downwind, boisterous conditions are getting the speedos spinning, they also call for the utmost concentration from the helmsmen and trimmer, who haven't spared any effort since the first few hours at sea. Aboard, referring to the atmosphere as wet would be a gentle euphemism: “It was a lively and pretty windy night. We had up to 30-35 knots with a fair number of squalls and a cross swell, which didn't facilitate the steering. We reduced the sail area and we are sailing under two reefs and solent at 140-150° from the true wind. Such angles are slightly more open, which is enabling us to manage the speed and gradually slip along towards the North-East. We're maintaining an average of 28 knots and it's more ‘bearable' than last night's 30-35 knots. At the helm, you have to constantly adapt so as not to put too much pressure on the boat. As such, with this upcoming ‘light patch', it will be easier to negotiate the waves,” admitted Sébastien Josse at the noon radio link-up.

Indeed the wind should become less intense over the coming hours as the Azores High is climbing northwards. At the same time, this south-westerly breeze will veer and form an established westerly. With this rotation, the fleet of MOD 70s will have to negotiate a gybe and change tack for the first time since leaving New York. This manoeuvre and the moment chosen to launch into it will be strategic and certainly decisive for the next stage of events: “The breeze is set to calm a little midway through the afternoon or early tonight, but there will still be 25 knots of breeze and 2.5-metre waves…” announced the skipper of Edmond de Rothschild Group.

After the damaged daggerboard on Race For Water over the opening hours of the race, it's the port foil on Musandam - Oman Sail, which gave up the ghost last night. Handicapped in terms of speed without this appendage, the skipper of the Omani trimaran explained that they'll be able to make Brest without an issue, but they'll have to ease off the pace to achieve that and only drive the boat at 70% of her potential. It's a tough blow for Sidney Gavignet and his men, who'd got off to a very fine start in this race. These two issues with damage come as a timely reminder, if need be, that sailing is a mechanical sport, and that at the current speeds the MOD 70s are making, concentration and vigilance are unquestionably the watchwords aboard.

Message from Antoine Koch received on Monday 9 July

“All's well aboard Edmond de Rothschild Group, though it's very complicated, impossible even, to type on the keyboard!! Life is even more complicated inside the boat than on deck. It's just as wet, but as you can't see the waves coming, when the boat nosedives – which happens about once an hour – you fall flat on your face down below... Moving about the boat is a long and difficult process… Aside from that, this express transatlantic is living up to expectations and the speedo only rarely dips below 30 knots. Florent has improved on the boat's speed record: 40.7 knots... Until tomorrow, Antoine Koch.”

A cartography is available on the Gitana Team website.

The positions are updated every three hours with standing at 00h, 03h, 06h, 09h, 12h, 15h, 18h and 21h French time (UTC+2)

The crew of Edmond de Rothschild Group

Sébastien Josse (skipper, helmsman)

Antoine Koch (navigator - helmsman)

Christophe Espagnon (trimmer - helmsman)

David Boileau (trimmer - helmsman)

Thomas Rouxel (trimmer - helmsman)

Florent Chastel (bowman)

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