• Choosing The Right Route

    After nearly three weeks at sea, the three trimarans still racing on "Brest Atlantiques" continue their progression towards the equator, which they should cross Thursday. But while so far, all of them followed quite similar routes, the trimaran MACIF has opted since Sunday for a path full west, which François Gabart and Gwénolé Gahinet hope to make the fruits by the end of the week.

    The cogitation is at its peak right now aboard the three trimarans of "Brest Atlantiques", which continue their ascent of the South Atlantic, but also in the heads of their respective routers, Marcel Van Triest for the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, Christian Dumard for Actual Leader and Jean-Yves Bernot for the MACIF trimaran. A trimaran MACIF aboard which François Gabart and Gwénolé Gahinet have indeed chosen since Sunday to stand out from their little playmates following a path full west, 90 degrees from the direct route which, if it does not translate to the not in the standings (650 miles behind the first, the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, Monday at 16h), could eventually pay off.


    In a video sent by Jérémie Eloy, the media man on board, the two skippers explained their choice: "Two options have emerged: one taken by our two competitors, which is to leave almost full north downwind in the wind rather weak, and a second which is to cross a ridge in the prolongation of the anticyclone, to fetch a front, namely a zone of wind a little stronger. The idea is to cross this front and win in the west to then recover the trade wind with a better angle. "

    François Gabart and Gwénolé Gahinet have therefore chosen this second option which, for the first, has advantages: "It is a trajectory that seems faster, a little more complicated too, with a lot of maneuvers, changes in sails, three transitions in weak wind to manage. But whoever tries nothing has nothing, and on paper, it seems to be better. Since the departure of Brest, we have rarely had big strategic options very different, it has always been a little closed, this is the first time we really change philosophy and we place ourselves differently compared to a system weather. It's interesting, it's gameplay and a little more suspense. "

    Aboard the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, which has, at 16h, 245 miles ahead of Actual Leader (Yves Le Blevec / Alex Pella), launched in an outboard west, we follow closely the road followed by the trimaran MACIF, as confirmed by Franck Cammas to media man Yann Riou: "We saw MACIF gyber (to jibe) and go to the south-west. Obviously, he's taking a completely different option from the one everybody seems to have been following for a few days, because there's a 1000-mile front of our growing area, with wind behind him. South West. One of the models actually gives this optimum route, namely to pass through this front and make a round on the other side, it's not going to be a very simple road, there will be work for them. "

    And the Aixois to add, about a possible shift in the trajectory of Maxi Edmond de Rothschild related to the MACIF option: "It does not change anything for us, we are not in the same places, not in same time, our optimal route is not the same, in any case, it is not worth taking their option by going to the southwest. » Results of the races by the end of the week ...

    While it was thought Sunday that the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild would find high average speeds in the second half of its ascent of the South Atlantic, it was finally slowed down in weak and unstable winds (8-15 knots) which did not really allow him to lengthen the stride.

    The leadership of the duo Franck Cammas / Charles Caudrelier is not actually really threatened, since if Actual Leader (Yves Le Blevec / Alex Pella) remains within range (197 miles at 8am), he will have to recalibrate to west at a time to aim for nearly the same point of entry into the Doldrums, probably at about 25 ° West longitude.

    For its part, the MACIF trimaran (François Gabart / Gwénolé Gahinet) follows a very southerly route towards the Brazilian coast, which explains why its delay is becoming more and more important on the head of the fleet (576 miles compared to Maxi Edmond de Rothschild at 8am), he should in the coming hours cross a front with a little wind, remains to know whether he will then continue to go west or back to the equator.

    The equator where the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild is expected in three days, Thursday, November 28, the continuation and end of the program in the northern hemisphere, once the Doldrums crossed, announcing itself quite favorable for him, according to Christian Dumard, weather consultant of the race direction: "Franck and Charles should bypass the Azores anticyclone not too far in the west to get a depression that should allow them to finish in a flow of South. "

    Here is the word of the board sent this Sunday, November 24 by Ronan Gladu, media man on Actual Leader.

    "A nice day to" eat the mile ", straight to Brest, via the island of St. Helena.As Yves said," we must enjoy it, because it will not last! "Indeed, we are moving inexorably to the "soft", the weak wind, with many transitions, until the Doldrums, which also looks very thick.The fleet is tightening so it's not over with a Macif ambush behind us !

    The first "crystal ball" routes have fallen. And it's not easy in the North Atlantic. Either we bypass the Azores anticyclone almost to Newfoundland, to hang a depression to the point Brittany (estimate: 15 days!). Either we cross the Azores anticyclone to the east, upwind for long days (estimate: 13 days). Mrs. Irma announces an arrival between December 6 and 9 in Brest itself.

    Morale is good on board: to have fun, Yves & Alex take turns at the helm, happy like anything! My laugh of the day is Alex garden, when the wind rises: indeed, Yves had a mini-shower installed on the deck (a salt water pipe). However, there is so much pressure in the plays, that during long edges like this, the ends crash and dry on the winches. And, at the moment of shock, nothing happens ...

    Yves to comment " there are many who have put on the roof like that" . To remedy this, it is necessary to re-humidify the turns of ends on the winches. Often with the means of the edge, that is to say the gourd. But thanks to Yves' deck shower, Alex takes pleasure in "watering his plants", whistling with his pipe: "and a little for the green plant" (listening to GV), "and for the red" (listening to J2), "and for the yellow" (listening to J0) ... Promised , next watering, I film the scene, but there I was so stupid to laugh, I did not succeed!

    Good evening everyone and very, very fast! "

    While there is still a little more than 4000 miles to go to Brest, the fleet of three trimarans racing on "Brest Atlantiques" continues its progression north in the middle of the South Atlantic, in an unstable trade wind which forces the crews to maneuver a lot. At the top, the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild is retensioning the elastic in his favor.

    Since Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier crossed the course mark of Robben Island, off the Cape last Wednesday, we can not say they spared themselves: twelve gybes along the African coast to get around, by the way. is, the St. Helena anticyclone, eight more in its north to do what the meteorologists call a "seagull wing" and go recover the trade wind of the southern hemisphere, the two skippers of Maxi Edmond de Rothschild must now perfectly master this maneuver that consists of going from one edge to another when the wind comes from the back of the boat.

    And it is probably not over, especially as the trade wind is particularly unstable in the middle of the South Atlantic, especially in the direction, even if, since last night, the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild now follows a straight path close to the direct road, heading northwest, and found speeds in line with its potential, an average of 30.6 knots between the Sunday rankings from 12 noon to 4 pm. The magnificent drone images shot by the media man Yann Riou attest to this: the trimaran designed by Guillaume Verdier (with the Gitana Team's design office) has returned to flying mode!

    Expected consequence: the advance of the leaders is widening again on their pursuers, Actual Leader (Yves Le Blevec / Alex Pella) and the trimaran MACIF (François Gabart / Gwénolé Gahinet) being pointed at 16h to respectively 188 and 253 miles of Maxi Edmond of Rothschild. Aboard the three boats, the time is now for strategic reflection to find the best possible route to the equator and then to a point of entry of the Doldrums which seems much more to the east in the sense of the climb than it was in that of the descent. "They do not have to go west, there is a possible road near Cape Verde, so a passage from Pot-au-Noir to the east," confirms the weather consultant. Race Direction, Christian Dumard.

    To note that less than two days after its abandonment, Sodebo Ultim 3 resumed the sea Sunday, heading to Brittany, Thomas Coville having entrusted in a video of thanks sent by the media man Martin Keruzoré: "We did not want to finish on a bad note, it was not the project to stop permanently in Cape Town, unfortunately, it stops here, but it was a great adventure on a new boat that will definitely be in the game. "
    This article was originally published in forum thread: 2019 Brest Atlantiques Blasts Off started by Photoboy View original post