The game of win and lose on the second leg of The Ocean Race goes into the next round. Speed sailing in the south-east trade winds after crossing the Doldrums lasted barely two days, then the long arm of the St Helena High grabbed hold of the fleet.
At 12 degrees south latitude, it was the GUYOT environnement – Team Europe that was the first team to be slowed down by the unusually strong high pressure. The easterly position, which had still proved profitable in the Doldrums and provided higher wind pressure on the way south past the northern Brazilian coast, now became a brake block for the European team with skipper Robert Stanjek, navigator Sébastien Simon, pit Anne-Claire Le Berre, bowman Phillip Kasüske and onboard reporter Charles Drapeau. While the competing boats in the east are still in the wind and heading south at speed, the GUYOT environnement – Team Europe already have the next manoeuvres in the pipeline to adapt their sailing wardrobe to the new conditions.
“We have had some big manoeuvres in the past hours. First we changed the boat from J0 and J3 to the J2 to sail with it for a few hours,” Sébastien Simon reported from on board. However, with the wind breaking and the changed course to the southeast, the next conversion was already necessary. However, it could not be prevented that the lead of formerly 70 nautical miles has melted almost completely in the meantime. Navigator Simon is already talking about a restart of the race. But the mood on board is high: “We are fighting, we are fighting for every mile,” says skipper Stanjek.