• Dodging Equatorial Wind Vacuums



    TRACKER

    After three weeks of racing on "Brest Atlantiques", the days are similar and similar for the two leading boats, the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild and Actual Leader, which are progressing at moderate speed towards the equator. For its part, the trimaran MACIF, left Sunday in the west, is preparing to accelerate and probably to regain ground to its competitors. It remains to be seen how much ...











    After a crossing Rio-Cape Rich in twists and a rise of the Namibian coast which will have offered to those who have approached unforgettable images, to put in the "best of" their logbooks, a certain monotony s' has been installed on "Brest Atlantiques" since Sunday. Especially for the two boats in the first two places, Maxi Edmond de Rothschild (Franck Cammas / Charles Caudrelier) and Actual Leader (Yves Le Blevec / Alex Pella), whose northward progression is slowed down by weak winds (8 -10 average knots), hence speeds quite unusual for these racehorses (16.7 knots average 24 hours for the first, 9.6 for the second, pointed at 415 miles of his rival this Tuesday at 16h).

    In his message of the day, Actual Leader's media man, Ronan Gladu, does not hide a certain desire to finish off as quickly as possible with this Atlantic ax: " We are bypassing the Sainte-Marie anticyclone. Helena from the north is hard work. The weather files are uniform and give 10-12 knots of wind throughout the area, but on the ground, it's different: very unstable. The wind is often weaker than expected, especially in the "soft", suddenly, under some clouds, we find ourselves in air holes, where there is only 2-3 knots of wind. And the nonsense is already not "fun" on a sailboat on a human scale, but then on an Ultim! We still have a minimum of 48 hours to go on like this. "







    "It's monotonous, yes, recognizes Franck Cammas in a video shot by the media man Yann Riou , but sometimes it's good to have days without maneuvers, where you can check the boat and tinker before attack the northern hemisphere. It is true that the equator seems long to cross, but at the same time, we come from far away, from Cape Town, it is not the door next door. " Maxi Edmond de Rothschild However jibe in the morning for an edge to Brazil to position itself with the best possible angle relative to the southeast trade winds and ended, finally, good speed, the climb to the equator.

    Except big rebound, it should cross in front of trimaran MACIF which, for its part, will cross in the coming hours a not very active front, behind which it will find winds of south, then of south-east, which will allow him also d 'bend its course to the north and start a cavalcade reaching (crosswind), with the hope, shared by his two skippers, to return, if not on the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, at least on Actual Leader. " When we look at the progress of Actual, we see that they are a little slower than we had imagined, it is rather a good thing," said Gwénolé Gahinet to the media man Jérémie Eloy, François Gabart added: "We are moving faster than the routes, it's pretty cool. " And that will make the next days thrilling ...









    Here is the word of the board sent this Tuesday, November 26 by Ronan Gladu, media man aboard Actual Leader, which continues its recovery towards the equator.

    "We're going around the St. Helena High by the north, and it's hard work, but it's hard for me to move so slowly, and sometimes in the wrong direction." But Yves and Alex are serene : "We knew what we were getting into " by choosing this route.
    And it's a new adventure, this road! The weather files are uniform and give 10-12 knots of wind throughout the area. But on the ground, it's different: very unstable. In Brittany, during a depression, I often experienced, between forecasts and reality, the wind is often stronger, especially in laughter. In fact, in an anticyclone, it is the exact opposite: the wind is often weaker than expected, especially in "soft". So, under some clouds, we find ourselves in air holes, where there is only 2-3 knots of wind.

    And the nonsense is already not "fun" on a sailboat on a human scale, but then on an Ultim ...! Between hulls that hit, as dead, under the effect of the swell, but especially composite sails of more than 300 kilos each which faseyent: it is the horror! Fortunately, the slightest breath of air revives the machine, with the mast that rises to 37m high! All the appendages that can be removed from the water are raised, and we have an average of 8 knots of wind, which makes us evolve from 5 to 18 knots of speed, but not always in the right direction!

    Since the weather no longer reflects the reality of the body of water, as most of the indicators of wind on board, Yves and Alex block a lot by observing the water and sails, the old! The sea, each cloud, is analyzed by the experience of the sailors. In these conditions, with the repetitions that accumulate, they jibe like on a Hobie 16! A real choreography, to look for the slightest laugh. But they need to be two to maneuver, which is not easy, given the pace of gybes!

    We still have a minimum of 48 hours to go on like this. Meanwhile, Macif flies west. Who will win in this fight against the anticyclone? Gitana, it's obvious: they will not be long in getting back into the trade winds: it will hurt! In any case on Actual Leader, the long-term fight continues, the guys do not let go: each breath of wind is exploited to its fullest! "

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    This article was originally published in forum thread: 2019 Brest Atlantiques Blasts Off started by Photoboy View original post