At today’s radio link-up, hosted each day from 1015 UTC, the skipper of Edmond de Rothschild Group was the first to pick up. Keen to respond to the barrage of questions, whilst those crew on watch were driving Gitana XV hard, Sébastien Josse quickly reviewed the first few hours of racing: “The first night was rather nice. We were able to slip along on relatively flat seas, with the way ahead lit by a beautiful moon. Yesterday evening, we were within sight of Race For Water and Spindrift Racing, but the cover of darkness changed the order. We’ve now switched to race mode by going from visual observation to computer-aided observation.”
The sailor then described the current conditions and those forecast further down the track: “The conditions are those we were expecting. The weather is beginning to deteriorate: the sea is becoming choppier as we’ve hit the Gulf Stream. It’s wet, but it’s still manageable because we have around twenty knots of breeze. We’re expecting fairly similar weather conditions, though the wind is set to pick up again to over thirty knots over the course of the afternoon. However, the good news is that we’ve entered nicely into the expected air flow. We’re going to have to stay in this lane so as we can best handle our trajectory,” admitted the skipper of Edmond de Rothschild Group. Questioned about the sail the blue trimaran was carrying, Sébastien Josse humorously sidestepped the question: “It’s a secret! Let’s say that we’re carrying the sail of the day!” In fact, though the boats are identical, this being the philosophy of this new series of one-design trimarans, the crews are what will make the difference thanks to their choice of sails and trajectories.
Aboard Edmond de Rothschild Group, concentration is the current watchword. Indeed the damage suffered in the early hours by the Swiss one-design, serves as a timely reminder that at these speeds the slightest impact can have serious consequences. In fact Stève Ravussin’s men hit a container and thus damaged their daggerboard. A serious handicap, they’re currently attempting to effect repairs, but for now they’re no longer really capable of keeping up with the pace set by the head of the fleet.
A weather round-up
The weather conditions have stabilised after the light-air start in New York: the south-westerly breeze filled in over the ensuing period to reach around twenty knots in the early hours. Following on from this, the fleet is due to enter a front, which is associated with a depression forming over Newfoundland. However, this front will shift across towards Europe at the same speed as the trimarans (between 25 and 30 knots) and all the crews will be able to benefit from this perfect situation to carve out a nice straight wake across the Atlantic… However, tonight is forecast to be livelier, with squalls of over thirty knots and a visibility, which will decrease with the rain and is likely to hang around until they reach Brest! As such, there are no significant options to be had, but their landfall in the Scillies could well make a difference as the five MOD70s will remain tightly bunched until they reach the South-West tip of England. The pressure on the crews will be constant then and at noon this Sunday, Edmond de Rothschild Group had opted to sail a little deeper to the South so as she can slip along more easily once the breeze picks up.
Message received from onboard at 1600 UTC this Sunday
“It’s been a rapid transition for this first day of racing aboard Edmond de Rothschild Group, from the New York furnace yesterday, to being alone at sea today. 25 knots of breeze and a building sea, but we’re still able to go fast for now at between 28 and 34 knots. The night’s record was 37.4 knots, which is a record for the boat under gennaker and full mainsail. The Gulf Stream is pushing us along nicely at around 2 knots. We’re already soaked and we won’t have the time to dry out before Brest…”
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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