After the Doldrums, the fleet of five Imocas in The Ocean Race has picked up speed again. For GUYOT environnement – Team Europe, its position in the east of the fleet has paid off so far. The black yacht has been able to defend the lead it took two days ago and is now heading south along the South American coast.
Benjamin Dutreux, who is skippering the European campaign but is sitting out for this leg and has handed the lead to Robert Stanjek, is delighted to watch the team from afar: „They did a very good job in their strategy through the Doldrums and came out first. That’s great news, very cool. The current position is very good – east of the fleet but on the same line. This gives them less distance and the better angle to the wind. Perfect for the speed of the boat. They probably have more wind a little further away from land as well. At the moment it’s 17, 18 knots of wind speed. That’s very good for our boat. The next big task is to round the St Helena High. You have to avoid the high pressure zone at all costs. The leg is not over yet, it’s very long. Only a third of the leg has been completed.“
His observations coincide with the crew’s experience directly on board. After the calm days, the picture in the south-east trade winds has now changed for Robert Stanjek, Sébastien Simon, Anne-Claire Le Berre, Phillip Kasüske and onboard reporter Charles Drapeau.
„We’re moving pretty fast right now. Life is not that easy on board. But we are happy about the strong night. Seb has put us in a strong position – on the inside lane, a bit more separated from the land. I think we have a little bit more pressure than the others. We see that on the hourly updates that we can even extend our lead very slowly but persistently. We are sailing the J2 and the full main at an angle to the true wind of 80 to 90 degrees. The crew is also making great progress. We are now sailing the boat at 108 percent of our previous data. This shows that in a few hours of intensive and concentrated work, other results are now being achieved: more feeling for the boat, long stable flight phases for a high average speed,“ reports Robert Stanjek and continues: „Overall, the conditions are very positive at the moment. Not much wave maybe 1.5 m – still quite a hard hump here. Life is extremely strenuous on board right now. But that’s part of it.“