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Leyton on the Transat Jacques Vabre - Day 10

by Andi Robertson 16 Nov 2021 09:04 GMT 16 November 2021
The Transat Jacques Vabre starts from Le Havre, France © Vincent Curutchet / Alea

DAY 9 - Doldrums life... unpredictable and with company

The Doldrums for the OceanFifty Leyton means trying to second guess what the next cloud lines will bring; squally showers and winds jumping about everywhere or - worse still, next to no wind. And Sam Goodchild and Aymeric Chapellier have company as rivals Armel Tripon and Benoit Marie have just appeared.

Lying fourth, Goodchild and Chapellier now have 950 miles or so to make to the turn at the Brasilian island of Fernando de Noronha and the good news this morning is they are sailing 10knots faster than their rivals to the west. Goodchild believes they should have escaped the Doldrums by tomorrow, and for all of its reputation for prolonged calms Leyton is still making 22 knots this morning!

Sam Goodchild this morning: "It's getting a bit busy, we are just coming up to the Doldrums and we are not on our own. We have the P'tits Doudou (Armel Tripon/Benoit Marie), they have just turned up three miles to windward, we saw them on the AIS and can see their lights. Currently I have stars above my head but there is a line of black cloud. We had one black cloud last night which lost us a few miles.

"We are just trying to figure our with Aymeric and Marcel what the deal is with the ones up ahead, what they are bringing, what sails we should have up, what we should be ready for.

"Tomorrow will be light, drifty weather and we will see if we then get a chance to come back at our friends in the west who are still going quick which is not what we wanted, but everything is possible in the Doldrums. Let's wait and see!"

DAY 10 - Out The Doldrums... Or Not... Never Ask The Question!

Lying fourth Leyton have made up nearly 100 nautical miles on the OceanFifty class race leaders Primonial since yesterday. There is around 300 miles to make to the little Brasilian island of Fernando de Noronha which is the most southerly turning mark on the Transat Jacques Vabre race from Le Havre to Martinique. Sam Goodchild and Aymeric Chapellier are quickest in the OceanFifty class this morning making over 17 knots, but - as ever - Goodchild warns you never say you are out of the Doldrums....

This morning the British sailor reported, "Are we out of the Doldrums yet? Well, that is not a question you ask or answer....when you say you are out you're not! And we saw yesterday afternoon our friends in the west were going SSW at good speeds but last night they were stopped, which is good for us. We are not out the Doldrums and will just carry on going SSW until we get to Fernando.

"There is quite a lot of Imo Sat imagery (satellite images) of activity ahead of and the guys to the south and west of us are still stopped and so we are just making the most of what we have and go from there. We had a busy night, this second night was busier than the last one with more clouds and we have been moving all the time which is good. It was a bit of an active night, just trying to keep on top of it.

"And yesterday was a chance to just catch up on rest, I think we both got some good, longer sleep which was good, proving we really needed it. We are just plugging away."

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