The Doldrums are continuing to prove difficult to decipher for the crews on the Transat Jacques Vabre
The MOD70s drove through and gave little away, in turn the Multi 50s leaders are through a without giving too much more away and now the IMOCA Open 60s are in the thick of it having learned little of value from those who preceded them down the passage to Itajai. The top five IMOCA wont have grounds for confidence in the outcome until Sunday evening. And behind them for Class 40, their trade winds are faltering.
In relative terms Class 40 have it easier. GDF SUEZ (Rogues - Delahaye) continue to lead even with the lighter winds heading them, but those who are chasing them seem to have slightly better conditions, less shifty and squally. And so it seems that the hunters pulled back a few miles, and separated further in the shiftizng breeze.
SNCF Geodis (Amedeo - Tripon) have managed to sail a good direct line whilst Campagne de France (Mabire - Merron) and ERDF- Des Pieds et Des Mains (Seguin - Richomme) had to cut back to the East losing as they tussled over third place. But still these softer breezes for the leaders might cause some compression at the Cape Verdes but the east, the African option is still looking good for Phoenix Europe (Duke - Alran) who were fast last night.
Both MOD70s sprint on down the Brazilian coast at over 25 knots in winds turning north-east off Cape Frio. With 730 miles to go early this morning Oman Air Musandam were just 24 miles behind leaders Edmond de Rothshcild.
1500 miles north the first two Multi50 are just out of their especially active Doldrums. With 730 miles to go early this morning Oman Air Musandam was just 24 miles behind leaders Edmond de Rothshcild. After being 100 miles behind at the entrance to the Doldrums at 8 deg N, Actual had overtaken FenêtréA Cardinal by the afternoon. But Erwan Le Roux and Yann Elies on FenêtréA Cardinal managed to alter their course to the East to get out of the worst of it and escape quicker into the trade winds which they have managed to do, retaking the lead at high speed this morning.
Macif (Gabart - Desjoyeaux) made their choice to cross at 28 deg W making an almost direct course from the Cape Verdes and then getting into the difficult zone during last night at around 7 deg 30 North. But to PRB moved west to join the other IMOCA rivals and this morning Vincent Riou and Jean Le Cam and have taken the lead whilst Master CoQ (Beyou - Pratt) , Safran (Guillemot Bidégorry) and Cheminees Poujoulat (Stamm- Legros) have all gained around won forty miles in less than twelve hours! But it will likely be this evening, Sunday, before the outcome of these Doldrums because this morning they still had over 100 miles of suffering still to deal with.
François Gabart ( IMOCA Macif ), "We're right in the Doldrums, right now there is not much wind ... And apparently by the looks of thing our rivals have wind behind us. For us we are getting squalls one after the other . We came in in the late afternoon Saturday with black clouds and very dark but luckily there was a moon, because we could see the squalls coming a bit. We had it good with wind to get to 8 deg N now it's weak and unstable wind. "