Since their successive passages yesterday of the Cape of Good Hope at 11:37 UTC and then Cape Agulhas four hours later, the men of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild are navigating the Indian Ocean. The six sailors are having to deal with sailing conditions the crew describe as difficult. Indeed, with strong and shifty winds in terms of force and short, cross seas, the journey south is no picnic, particularly in light of the fact that this dive down towards the austral latitudes is accompanied by a significant drop in temperature. At the 06:00 UTC position report, Franck Cammas, Charles Caudrelier and their four crew were positioned at 48°28 south and had a lead of 887 miles over Idec Sport.
In the thick of things
The contrast aboard the flying blue maxi-trimaran is striking. There’s no doubt about it, the crew, now the fastest of all time on the descent of the Atlantic, has switched sailing mode since entering the Indian Ocean, as detailed by Yann Riou, contacted at daybreak: “It hasn’t been a very pleasant night. The wind is particularly shifty in force and it’s very tough to get the Maxi making headway as she should and at a constant pace in these conditions. We’re doing our best, taking it in turns at the helm quite a lot, but it’s not always easy. The sea state is really poor, not big but short and crossed, which is forcing us to helm as the autopilot gets lost in this kind of sea. The conditions are putting a strain on the both the men and the boat.”
With the crew now sailing close to a latitude of 50° south, the atmosphere has clearly cooled on deck and below the cuddy of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild. “From one watch to the next, we can really feel the difference. We’ve been on a south-easterly heading since we passed the tip of South Africa and conditions today are a world apart from those yesterday. It’s been cold since last night and we’re having to equip ourselves accordingly before taking up our watch on deck. We’re here, it’s the Deep South!”, admitted the media crewman.
To tackle this new day in the Jules Verne Trophy record attempt, the sailors of Gitana Team have managed to retain a lead of over 887 miles in relation to their virtual adversary.