On Sunday night, The Ocean Race Europe fleet dipped into the Doldrums and is now swapping “champagne sailing in the trade winds”, as Pit Anne-Claire Le Berre of GUYOT environnement – Team Europe called it, for the game of patience in the calm wind zone around the equator. Slowed abruptly the Imocas are now trying to drift south as fast as possible to get into the south-east trade wind and pick up speed again.
“We really enjoyed sailing downwind in the trades. With gybing on the big shifts we tried to push south as much as we can, not taking too much risk compared to the fleet, which invested more in the west,” reported skipper Robert Stanjek, and navigator Sébastien Simon explained the strategy: “We want to stay close to the fleet, but on the inside position. That’s why we set a lot of gybes. The trade winds were a bit capricious, so we had to jibe all the time.”