Escaping the high, the storm ahead. As expected, the weather systems in the North Atlantic are very volatile. The route to Newport therefore still has a few surprises for the crews in The Ocean Race and makes routing difficult. The GUYOT environnement – Team Europe with skipper Benjamin Dutreux is currently heading for an intense low-pressure area, which is definitely a cause for concern.
After days of high-speed sailing in the trade winds and then escaping the high pressure ridge, a new scenario is now unfolding for the crew of Dutreux, Robert Stanjek, Annie Lush, Sébastien Simon and onboard reporter Gauthier Lebec. To avoid the risk of steering into the doldrums in pursuit of the fleet, GUYOT environnement – Team Europe has so far avoided a turn to the west, now lying furthest east in the field of four boats. A low-pressure area moving from Miami to the north-east could thus directly hit the team with its core.
A look at the weather forecast monitor shows an intense red and purple colouring – signs of a violent storm. Benjamin Dutreux casts a critical glance at the screen: “The Americans are very happy to see us. They welcome us with a big low pressure. Some forecasts predict 60 knots of wind. It is not a light one. Biotherm has already set a tack. I think they probably don’t want to go into the storm.” The French competitors are around 170 nautical miles south-west of GUYOT environnement – Team Europe, so they have other options for action.
Annie Lush, who has sailed around the world twice in The Ocean Race, shares her skipper’s concern: “A North Atlantic hurricane. We’re not happy. 60 knots is a lot,” she explains. Meanwhile, there will hardly be any way around the storm. And behind it, things will get tricky again. Because a large area of high pressure is forecast for North America for the expected arrival in Newport.