The transfer to Itajaí is progressing well for the GUYOT environnement – Team Europe. After the start on 16 March in Cape Town/South Africa, the transfer crew of Sébastien Simon, Phillip Kasüske, Jimmy le Baut, Clovis Gautier and onboard reporter Charles Drapeau expect to arrive in Brazil on 29/30 March and then get the yacht ready for the start of the fourth leg of The Ocean Race. On 23 April, the fleet of five Imocas will set off from Itajaí on the 5550 nautical mile leg to Newport/USA.
Despite all the disappointment of having to abandon the third leg of The Ocean Race on 1 March after the hull bottom was delaminated, skipper Benjamin Dutreux has nevertheless tried to find positive approaches: “The repair was a real team-building job. We saw what we could achieve. It gave us a good mindset for the future.” While he and co-skipper Robert Stanjek and Annie Lush are now using the transfer to recharge their batteries at home, for Jimmy le Baut and Clovis Gautier from the Tech Team, the trip from Cape Town to Itajaí is a chance to see the yacht in full action.
“Life is pretty good, we’re pretty happy on the boat. Sébastien, the skipper, is in charge of giving us the weather routings, which we try to follow at each turn of watch. We respect the routing in order to arrive in Itajai on March 29th before midnight. Life on board is smooth, the boat is working well, the bottom of the hull is not moving anymore, which is good news knowing that the boat came back for this. All the systems are working well, we don’t have any problems with the pilot, the sails are nice and we have rather mild conditions as we haven’t had more than 20 knots of wind. We are currently under J0 with the mainsail up and everything is going well. We alternate with J2 sometimes but it’s pretty calm,” reports Jimmy Le Baut.
For Clovis Gautier, the Atlantic crossing is an unexpected opportunity to broaden his sailing experience: “It’s a chance I couldn’t pass up. I think if I had said ‘no’ to this, I would have regretted it all my life. Before, I was only on the boat for hours. This is really a big step for me. It’s exciting to see how everything works, how the crew works, what life is like on board. This knowledge will make it even easier to work together in the future.”
In addition to the concentrated work on board, the crew also has the opportunity to enjoy a few free hours in the South Atlantic during the transfer. “We run a similar watch system during the transfer as in the race. However, all five crew members are now involved – including the onboard reporter. This gives us the opportunity to send someone off for a day off every 24 hours. The other four then each have three hours on watch and three hours off. I used my first day off to sleep in. I slept for almost 16 hours. I was pretty tired before, because I switched to the guard system right after arriving in Cape Town. But now I’m well rested and looking forward to my next day off.”