• Afterburners Ignighted!

    Acceleration at 30° south

    After a relatively peaceful two-day transition along the Brazilian coast, the crew of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild has begun to put some easting into its course, gradually bending the 32-metre giant’s trajectory round towards the point of entry into the Southern Ocean, the Cape of Good Hope. Very quick over the past four hours with an average speed of over 35 knots at the 07:00 UTC position report, Franck Cammas, Charles Caudrelier and their four crew have also increased their lead over the current record holder to 428 miles this Monday morning. We’ve got it, aboard the flying maxi-trimaran the pace is set to accelerate over the coming hours whilst the temperature will drop as the six sailors plunge towards the southern latitudes.


    Since exiting the doldrums on Friday, the six sailors aboard the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild have benefited from mild sailing conditions throughout the weekend. They’ve managed to post high speeds on a long sprint on port tack offshore of the Brazilian coast, without forcing things for either the boat or the men. Franck Cammas commented on their performance: “we’ve maintained some high average speeds at some points of sail, which aren’t usually synonymous with going so fast. We knew that the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild was capable of doing that, but it’s always better to have confirmation of it out on the water. One of the strengths of this flying boat is being swift when sailing close to the wind, as we have been over the past three days.”
    Despite the constant speed, the men of Gitana Team have benefited from the ordered seas and warm yet very pleasant temperature to get some rest, whilst also going around the boat, checking the platform and the systems before they dive down towards the Deep South.

    Change of atmosphere ahead

    “It’s pitch black and we’re making very fast headway aboard the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild. The boat is sailing under autopilot, settled into position at 35 knots, regularly offering up 39, 38 knots to the crewman on watch, who has his hands on the mainsheet traveller, poised to ease if need be”, begins the nocturnal message from Yann Riou, our media crewman, before continuing his picture postcard in the company of one of the boat’s skippers, Franck Cammas: “We’re at 30° south and we’re going to have to further increase our longitude, but we’re gradually approaching the start of our circumnavigation of the Antarctic and the Southern Ocean. Last night, I pulled out the fleece I’d taken off to the south of the Canaries, which is the first indication of a change of atmosphere. The temperatures have dropped quickly, because offshore of Rio yesterday we were still very hot on deck. The wind will swing round to offer us more downwind conditions within the next ten hours or so!”

    After covering more than 5,500 miles over the ground since leaving Ushant, making an average speed of 28 knots, the crew led by Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier is about to reach one of the first objectives it had set itself. Indeed, coordinating their connection with a train of austral low-pressure systems is a crucial point for this start to the record and a very tricky section for tackling the Indian Ocean with a competitive time. The six sailors have managed to absolutely nail the timing of this first major appointment.

    Position of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild on 18 January at 06:45 UTC:

    Lead in relation to the record: 442.6 nm
    Speed: 37.1 knots
    Course: 156°

    Numbers to note:

    Passage across the line: 10 January 2021 at 01h 33' 46'' UTC
    Passage of the equator: 15 January 2021 at 14h 48’ 32’’ UTC, in 5 days 13 hours 14 minutes and 46 seconds
    Deadline for beating the record: 20 February at 01h 3' and 15''

    From Brest to Rio de Janeiro

    Aboard the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, there was rather a peculiar atmosphere yesterday; a combination of the very bad and sad news coming from land and the complete contrast with the immediate environment on the 32-metre giant. In fact, for the past 36 hours, Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier’s crew has been benefiting from ideal conditions for both the men and the machine. The six sailors are slipping along on a long port tack offshore of the Brazilian coast and should pass the latitude of Cabo Frio and Rio de Janeiro at the end of the day. Indeed, despite the SE’ly breeze easing to around 12 knots since the middle of the night, they are powering southwards at an average speed of around 20 knots. Yesterday was also very interesting purely in terms of miles in the bank as it enabled the sailors of Gitana Team to rack up a lead of over 280 miles in relation to their virtual adversary.

    The first week of the record attempt

    After setting sail from Ushant on 10 January at 01:33 UTC, the crew of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild ticked off the first week of its Jules Verne Trophy record attempt last night offshore of Brazil. Seven days, during which time the latest Gitana has covered 4,700 miles over the ground, namely relative to the surface of the earth, at an average speed of 28 knots. When you’re aware that the latter number includes the 24 hours at a virtual standstill in the doldrums, you get a better understanding of how fast life is whizzing by on Gitana 17. This long sprint southbound on port tack, which began on exiting the intertropical convergence zone, clearly marks a transition between two highlights of the descent of the Atlantic. These more ‘peaceful’ times now, which are just as quick, are much appreciated by the crew: “All’s well aboard! It’s fairly calm here. The conditions are enabling us to get some rest, as the temperatures are neither too hot nor too cold and the combination of ordered seas and a medium wind are allowing us to make good gains along the course. We must have covered over 700 miles in one day yesterday, with around fifteen knots or so of breeze, which is very pleasing it has to be said”, admitted Yann Riou at daybreak.

    Appointment confirmed

    On setting sail on the crewed round the world record under sail one week ago, Franck Cammas, Charles Caudrelier and their weather router Marcel van Triest were targeting a precise date and time to the south of Brazil. The idea is to position themselves offshore of Latin America just as a front bound for the Deep South detaches itself from the continent. The race to make the connection with this train of low-pressure looks nicely on track and should take place early in the week. In just a matter of hours, life aboard will change drastically aboard as they hitch a ride on the express train south. Fleece layers, gloves and hats will make their comeback on the deck of the blue flying maxi-trimaran, whilst the permanent whistling of the appendages will cause the decibels to ratchet up. As such, days synonymous with a transition, like those the six members of the crew are currently experiencing, are a precious commodity for getting rest and recharging the batteries.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Gitana Crew Packs Their Round The World Bags started by Photoboy View original post