One gybe after another…
  • Maxi Spindrift 2
November 7, 2014

The race continues in the trade winds. Despite unstable winds, Spindrift 2 shaved another 20 nautical miles off Loïck Peyron’s lead last night, with 1,500 miles to go until arriving in Pointe-à-Pitre.

Thanks to his perfect gybing over the past few hours, Yann is now only 150 miles behind the race leader. Loïck, like Yann, is constantly adjusting his route so as to stay in this vital wind channel on the edge of the anticyclone.

In an unstable, moderate trade wind, intermittent optimal conditions are allowing the heavyweights of the fleet to accelerate on a flat sea. The skippers are making the most of these conditions, reaching speeds of well over 30 knots.

Strategy remains crucial, however, as the competitors must not only watch their opponents’ moves but also veer south, where the trades seem to be more consistent and, more importantly, stronger.

Lionel Lemonchois, currently in third place, seems to be darting towards the south. Time will tell whether it is just a short, sharp acceleration, or whether it will give him a chance of catching his rivals.

Weather report on 7th November by Richard Silvani, onshore router:
The high-pressure system and its ridge!
« The Azores High has taken up residence over the Azores, with a ridge extending eastwards towards mainland Portugal and another extending south-west towards the Lesser Antilles. Spindrift 2 skipper Yann is focusing on this West Indian ridge. He needs to find the right road to reach the highway to Guadeloupe, so he will need to do much gybing over the next 48 hours. For now, he must deal with low to moderate trade winds, which are unstable and constantly shifting, so he must constantly adjust his configuration. »

Ranking of Ultimate class at 08:00 UTC:
1. Loïck Peyron / Banque Populaire VII, 1415,4 nm to the finish
2. Yann Guichard / Spindrift 2, DTL 154,16 nm
3. Lionel Lemonchois / Prince de Bretagne, DTL 277,58 nm
4. Sébastien Josse / Edmond de Rothschild, DTL 342,98 nm
5. Francis Joyon / Idec Sport, DTL 408,05 nm
6. Sidney Gavignet / Musandam - Oman Sail, DTL 422,53 nm
7. Yann Elies / Paprec Recyclage, DTL 599,56 nm

Next official ranking at 11:00 UTC.