by Matthew Thomas
Unlike the leaders, the ‘Two Pips’ have had a reasonably quick passage through the doldrums. Careful playing of each puff and being a little further to the west has meant they’ve had a little better weather, and looking at their 4 hour average, they’re now exiting this area of very little wind at 8 knots, nearly two knots better than their competitors.
This extra speed has allowed them to reel in ‘Groupe Setin’ and pass them, and they’re now seriously challenging ‘Zetra’ which is only 12nm ahead.
The edges of the doldrums are full of squalls and the girls have been playing each and every one. Play them correctly and you end up with more wind and a speed boost, plus the accompanied rain on the back side of the squall. Make a mistake and you’re suddenly going nowhere in zero wind and waiting for it to pass.
Now 450nm from Fernando de Noronha, they are starting to see the wind build and will be close reaching in 13knots of wind which will give them some fast sailing as they close their first landfall before heading on towards Recife where they will start the final 1500nm leg to the finish.
Out front, ‘Le Conservateur’ is still leading by only 14nm from ‘V and B’ which is pushing hard as they get ready to pass Recife, 30nm to the west.
‘Ceila Village’ is now in Itajaï and the second Multi50 across the line, while Sam Davies and Tanguy Lamotte on ‘Initiatives – Cœur’ have now arrived and secured a well-earned 5th place in the IMOCA Class. Sam is back in the IMOCA Class after her spell as skipper on ‘SCA’ in the recent Volvo Ocean Race.