10 days into the race, and the fleet of 45 Class40s spread out over more than 750 miles between the north of Madeira and soon the latitude of Nouakchott in Mauritania, continues to slide along the African shores, where an unstable trade wind is still blowing. For 35 of them, the Canaries are already relegated in the logbooks, and it is the rounding of the island of Sal in Cape Verde, a mark to be left to starboard, that occupies the minds of each duo. The Imocas, at least those who are not sailing with the head of the Class40 fleet, have avoided the proximity of these islands, for fear of the strong devents and this brutal break in the trade winds over the entire zone. The leader of the Class40 fleet, Redman (Carpentier - Santurde) will have to make his way through. There is no way out to the east for the Class40s, who are exempt from the doldrums and will begin the Atlantic crossing directly to Fort de France, which the first boats could reach (with the usual reservations, as there are still more than 3,500 miles to go), from November 30 on.
Sailing in last position only three days ago, well isolated to the west of the whole fleet in the exclusive company of Serenis Consulting (Galfione - Péron), Antoine and Olivier Magré (E. Leclerc- Ville-La-Grand) have won the prize for resilience, patience and stubbornness. The pressure they found on the edge of the North Atlantic lows propelled them in a long, fast tack to 27th place, a performance in progress. Jean Galfione and Eric Péron, back in 25th place, have been eyeing the 24th place dearly defended far to the east by Vogue avec un Crohn of Pierre Louis Attwell and Maxime Bensa. In another race configuration and at the front this time, the Belgian-French duo Jonas Gerckens - Benoit Hantzperg at the helm of the Max 40 Volvo has also given itself, thanks to a clear western gap, the means to come and compete with the leaders of the event, the formidable Antoine Carpentier - Pablo Santurde on their no less formidable Mach 40.4 Redman. With the expected slowdown during the crossing of the archipelago, it is a grouping of about twenty Class40s that will offer the unprecedented and eminently exciting show of yachts racing amidst the islands, with this entry into the vast Atlantic that will constitute the long final sprint of the Transat.
Fact of the day:
Luke Berry - Lamotte - Module Création
After the difficult passage of Gran Canaria yesterday, Luke and Achille noticed during the night that the Class40 had a big speed deficit. Early in the morning, after inspection, the verdict fell: a huge tarpaulin was wrapped around the keel! The two men immediately started maintenance operations to free themselves from this tarpaulin, lowering the spinnaker and making numerous half-turns in all directions. After some time, the operation was a success and Lamotte-Module Création resumed its hunt for the leaders.
Performance of the day : This morning, we would like to mention Charles-Louis Mouruau and Andrea Fantini (Guidi) fighting for the 11th place with Croatia Full of Life (Calliste Antoine - Ivica Kostelic), but also the girls of the Boulangère Bio, Amélie Grassi and Marie Riou now 9th, as well as the 10 places gained by Antoine and Olivier Magré (E.Leclerc - Ville-La-Grand), with 384 miles sailed in the last 24 hours! For the record, the 24 hours record for a Class40 is 429 miles, Ian Lipinski's Crédit Mutuel (17.9 knots average!).
The forbidden zone of Mauritania is not a DST but a forbidden zone that the Race Direction has installed to avoid possible pirates or thieves who could attack the boats. In the same way, there is a forbidden zone for the race, stable by the DC, along the Brazilian coast, where we meet on the one hand a lot of small unlit fishing boats, but also everything that comes out of the Amazon river, waste, tree trunks etc... Source: Race Direction Sylvie Viant
Quotes of the day :
Freedom - Thomas Bulcke
"In the gale, the medium or strong wind, the banette moment is a unique moment in its kind. Lying stiff as a board trying to relax to find sleep. Glued to the bulkhead, you can hear the water running along the hull, the waves crashing on the deck, followed by the water trickling down on the boat. You can feel the boat vibrating as it accelerates, stopping as it plunges into the front wave, rearing up, zigzagging in the hellish surfs. Add to this the sound of the boat bouncing on the waves, the sound of the wind whistling in the mast to remind us that at any moment, it can send us a small gust that will tip everything over and we'll go to hell. Lying in my bunk, I have to accept to be this vulnerable little thing without defense who is just looking for a few minutes in the arms of Morpheus before my turn comes to defy the elements. It will then be up to Thibaut to place his trust in my arm which will guide our beautiful boat through the waves with agility. In short, you will have understood that I can't sleep."
La Boulangère - Amélie Grassi
"We spent a dream day, 20 knots and great sun, a little sea for even more fun surfing. Conditions that we never get tired of. Marie and I had a great time at the helm all day, we gave it our all, had great speed and it's great to be in the top 10 tonight. (9th this morning editor's note) Tonight we are trying to rest well and to prepare the next step, like everyone else we are looking for the right passage to make the most of the little wind that will take us to Cape Verde... a fun headache".
Milai - Anne Beaugé
"Today, we had a hard time resisting the assaults coming from all sides, by those who went around by the west, those who took a shorter route by the east, we are being devoured faster and faster... Last night was superb, the spinnaker edge was quite loose and kept us on our toes. That said, the vmg is also good to be flat and dry ! We steer a lot, and this has the consequence of creating in each of our backs a sharp and sneaky cramp, between the scapula and the spine. For me, the feeling is that my muscle has turned into beef jerky ... ". We relax with the songs of Ivica Kostevic on the VHF, taken up in chorus by Charles Louis Mourruau, and with the visit of birds on the deck, a magnificent tern (?) which came to turn 100 times around the boat, to steal the velcro of the gennaker, and to settle on the roof. We're starting to ration our chocolate, we didn't plan enough, considering the weak trade winds!"
Seafrigo - Sogestran - Cedric Chateau
"The nights follow one another and are not at all alike, to say the least. For the past 48 hours, we have been battling against unfavorable weather conditions and seeing our direct competitors disappear from our radar with speeds that leave us dreaming. Well tonight, strangely enough, while the forecasts were not very different from the day before, we are no longer negotiating squalls with erratic winds, it's all over, quite the contrary! Our counter shows a nice average and moreover, on the direct trajectory of the island of Sal, our next target. And it seems, which is a major world discovery, that the state of our morale is directly connected to the boat's speedometer (well ok maybe also a bit to the results table...)."
Leclerc Samsic - Simon Kervarrec
"Today, on board, it was DIY! There are days like that when everything decides to break at the same time .... So it started with a snag in the spinnaker, then a cleat that decided to unscrew itself and finally, the mule's life that didn't want to hold the mast anymore! After all, apart from taking it in the head, we wonder what it is really for! Apart from that, the boat is going well even if I feel like I'm in Vasymolo 3000 mode compared to the Magre flashed at 17,3kt at the PoseReport "
Croatia Full of Life - Calliste Antoine
"Night in contact with Guidi, playing in the winds of the Canaries. Currently in a western option on the fleet to go down to Cape Verde, we are catching up with the pack of the first ones who hit the calms before us. We won't have to wait too long to cross: my brother, my sister and my girlfriend are leaving Martinique on the 29th... "
Edenred - Emmanuel Le Roch
"A delicate and decisive day, with a sleepless night ahead! After a great night under the big spinnaker at an average of more than 16 knots, we had a different atmosphere on board all day, with a lot of sea and a wind that didn't affect the counter at more than 8 knots. Downloading files, understanding the systems, routing, more routing, updating the scores, I use all the tools to have as many cards in hand as possible and make the right decision. Our lead over the fleet will melt like snow in the sun. On our side, we will try to pull once again our pin from the game not a beautiful trajectory, the next night looks like one of the most important of this transat ! We are at the bottom! Hoping to have a bit of success. Redman always leads us the hard life on speed. Morale is good and we are ready to go on !"