After going back to Code Amber on Wednesday, Francis Joyon and his crew have been hoping that weather conditions will allow them to set off to conquer the Jules Verne Trophy on Saturday 12 November. But their hopes may well be thwarted once again as “the latest changes in the North Atlantic have clouded the situation,” explains the Idec Sport crew. The coming hours will be decisive.
In the last few days, Francis Joyon – along with his router, the crew’s seventh man – has been poring over weather models, with the steadfast hope of seizing an opportunity to leave tomorrow, on the morning of Saturday 12 November. But the situation has now blurred due to the latest evolutions in the North Atlantic. “The latest data shows a high from Mauritania will be shutting off the trade winds, which would mean that the crew would have to go much further west to get to the Equator. In doing so, it would fall several hours behind the record they are aiming to beat,” explains Marcel Van Triest.
The Equator target
With these doubts on the horizon, there’s no question of setting off straight away. A Jules Verne Trophy attempt requires weather conditions to be reliable and stable enough for making it to the Equator and the Southern Hemisphere in good time. This is the only certainty to hang onto for those aiming to take on this absolute speed record, before far greater predictability meets them as they continue the round-the-world race.
Francis Joyon, Clément Surtel, Bernard Stamm, Alex Pella, Boris Herrmann and Gwénolé Gahinet remain on the alert, ready to leave as soon as conditions take a favourable turn enabling them to take up this planetary challenge once again.
Source : www.idecsport-sailing.com