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Transat Jacques Vabre: Cape Finisterre finally in Maxi Edmond de Rothschild's line of sight!

by Gitana Team 9 Nov 19:03 GMT From 7 November 2021
Transat Jacques Vabre - Gitana Team © Y.Riou / GITANA S.A

After setting sail at high speed from Le Havre at midday on Sunday at the head of the fleet, the skippers of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild have had to be patient in their passage across the Bay of Biscay. The reason for this was a ridge of high pressure, barring the way forward for the Ultimes as they tried to make for Cape Finisterre and their entry ticket for the downward escalator into the Atlantic.

In this barometric stagnation over the past 36 hours and more, each of the duos has had to try to get their steeds moving forward amidst the gusts and make the most of every last puff of air to make southing. In this game of patience and humility, solely ocean racing holds the keys, a fact that thrilled the founder and owner of Gitana Team, Benjamin de Rothschild. Aboard the five-arrow maxi-trimaran, Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier took the gamble of favouring the eastern side of the racecourse, just like the duo on SVR-Lazartigue. It's a strategy that's paid off and it means they can now tackle the Iberian coast in a favourable position. At the north-west tip of Spain, more boisterous conditions - 26 / 28 knots - await the leaders in the Transat Jacques Vabre. In this way, the coming hours are likely to see a lot of action on deck with a few manoeuvres on the programme.

Live from the ocean, day 2

After a second night in a row slugging it out on the racetrack with the wind still pretty much a no-show, Charles Caudrelier sent us his morning postcard: "Life's good aboard. We're slowly getting our bearings. We're not overly tired because we're managing to sleep in these conditions. We're beginning to eat well too and get into the swing of things offshore."

He also made the most of these few words addressed to Gitana Team's shore crews to discuss the rather atypical start to this transatlantic race: "Yesterday we scared ourselves a bit in the very light airs, as our rivals a little further west were still making headway... We battled it out all night and all day with SVR - Lazartigue. In the early hours, we were in front, so that's not bad! Added to that, we were the first to latch onto the breeze as forecast, so we weren't in too bad a position. We're making good headway now, the sea is flat and the wind has stabilised to 10 knots. Our problem now is SVR. She's very quick in the light airs, but it's nice to be together, racing side by side like this! We're approaching Cape Finisterre where we're going to have a boisterous passage before hooking back up with some lighter breeze for a large part of the Atlantic descent..."

"Southbound at 20 knots! Boy does that feel good..."

After more than 36 hours contending with light airs, this morning Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier, accompanied by the duo on SVR-Lazartigue, were the first to latch onto the fresh breeze and regain speeds worthy of their carbon giants. With it came a sense of deliverance, which the skipper made no secret of in his first images from on-board.

Positions on Tuesday 9 November at 18:00 UTC:

1. Sodebo // Thomas Coville & Thomas Rouxel
2. Maxi Edmond de Rothschild // F. Cammas & C. Caudrelier + 0,6 miles
3. Actual // Yves Le Blévec & Anthony Le Marchand + 13 miles
3. SVR Lazartigue // François Gabart & Tom Laperche + 16,2 miles
5. Banque Populaire XI // Armel Le Cléach et Kevin Escoffier + 47,3 miles

Find the positions on the trackers.

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