Straight south

The way south in the Doldrums of the second leg of The Ocean Race is tough and difficult. And it requires a high level of concentration to keep some movement in the boat at all times in the light wind. The GUYOT environnement – Team Europe has managed this job well in the past hours. Around 200 nautical miles in the zone of calm winds have already been completed with a very direct course to the south, but at least the same distance still lies ahead of the black boat of the European campaign to break through the belt of light winds around the equator and then pick up speed again in the southern hemisphere towards Cape Town.

“We had a very good night with up to 10 knots of wind, which allowed us to make up a lot of ground and get out in front. We seem to have got a good lane, even though it didn’t look like it at the start. We’re still in the Doldrums, but we’re still heading south in a nice straight line. We are still in good spirits and at the moment very happy with what we have achieved here in the last few days. But we keep pushing and we know very well that it is far from over,” reports Bowman Phillip Kasüske.


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The view of the crew around helmsman Robert Stanjek, navigator Sébastien Simon, pit Anne-Claire Le Berre, onboard reporter Charles Drapeau and Kasüske is mainly to the east, where the four competing boats got a bit stuck during the night, but got more into the wind again on Monday afternoon.

Navigator Sébastien Simon therefore keeps a close eye on the satellite image on board: “The start of the Doldrums was at five degrees north. And the Doldrums are currently very wide. We will only be through behind the equator.” But his concentration is not only on the wind fields, but also on other cells on the screen: “The satellite image shows us all the big showers and the big clouds. We can see some lightning. We are a bit scared of the lightning because we don’t know what can happen under the lightning.”

Some five days after the start of the leg from Mindelo/Cape Verde to Cape Town/South Africa, only 700 of the total 4600 nautical miles have been completed. The initially expected arrival time on 9 February will therefore probably be pushed back further.

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