Sailing aboard such a boat, deprived of all modern navigation system, in one of the most inhospitable regions of the planet, requires uncommon courage, seamanship, and maybe luck. No sailor seems to have, for now, got the jackpot. And that is the glorious uncertainty of this very rare moment in the race, when a dozen Prototypes and as many Series boats are fighting, get angry, are sometimes desperate, to find a meaning in the inexplicable, and strength in desperate situation.
Could it be then possible that the day’s fortunate one, considering the positions and rankings in the afternoon, is named Matt Trautman, the South African? More than 35 miles in the West to the leaders, he just slipped his Mini Mac, Plan Magnen 2003, in fourth position, and continues his ascent at an admittedly modest 5.19 knots but twice faster than Thomas Ruyant and his group. At the same moment in the East, a lot of thinking is done and all are trying desperately to maintain a tolerable speed; and tacking replaced the jibes in the trade winds. Between the young Thomas on Faber France and Laurent Bourgues (Prim’Soins) – eleventh proto, they are 8 sailors « glued » on both sides of the direct route, since this morning, and unable to take off the speedometer. Henri-Paul Schipman (Maisons de l’avenir Urbatys) and Bertand Delesne (Entreprendre durablement), by nature or impatience, stay east where the wind must come in the end. The western Trautman, but also Pierre Brasseur (Région Nord pas de Calais/Ripolin), Sebastien Picault (Kickers), even François Cuinet (Plan Jardin) and, further Rémi Aubrun (At Children’s project) benefit of a few wind between stormy showers, which allows them to achieve few miles to the south and to the trade winds – that the movement of the anticyclone of St. Helena in the very southern hemisphere will reactivate in the South and then South-east on the skippers route. Now, is the « good » West option will remain one for long, when they will have to tighten the wind more than others? We may bet that it will not…
The threatening Lobato
The accordion, or the elastic as you want, is the gap we sometimes like to measure between the protos and the series leaders, for a long time close to a hundred miles, it was this afternoon only a little bit more than sixty miles. Charlie Dalin (Cherche sponsor-charliedalin.com) enjoys a little pressure. The man, inspired since Funchal, is fast whatever the speeds are. He approaches the area of sharp slowdown with Xavier Macaire (Masoco Bay) to over 10 miles and Francisco Lobato (ROFF TMN), which continues, some 46 miles leeward, more west. The first four are sailing within 11 short miles, while the tall Briton, Oliver Bond, the Artemis team’s member is in fifth position.
Farewell Cape Verde
The archipelago of Cape Verde, was busy these days, it empties slowly. Caroline Vieille (Fondation Jérôme Lejeune), the Norwegian Staale Jordan (Stormy) and Emmanuel Laurent (Domaine des Thomeaux) are still there, and we are pending for good news. Maxence Desfeux (Matmut), 600 miles from the leaders, is back at sea and on the road to the great adventure of his life.
Ranking at 3pm, Wednesday the14th of October 2009:
1. Thomas Ruyant (Faber France): 1 375 miles from the finish
2. Henri-Paul Schipman (Maisons de l’avenir Urbatys): 4,25 miles from the leader
3. Bertrand Delesne (Entreprendre Durablement): 5,88 miles from the leader
4. Matt Trautman (Mini Mac): 11,29 miles from the leader
5. Pierre Brasseur (Région Nord Pas de Calais – Ripolin): 20,65 miles from the leader …
1. Charlie Dalin (Cherche Sponsor-charliedalin.com): 1 425,95 miles from the finish
2. Xavier Macaire (Masoco Bay): 10,15 miles from the leader
3. Francisco Lobato (ROFF TMN): 10,55 miles from the leader
4. Ricardo Apolloni (Ma Vie pour Mapei): 11,65 miles from the leader
5. Oliver Bond (Artemis): 28,59 miles from the leader