The first night of the second leg in The Ocean Race was a search for the wind. The fleet of five Imocas tried to escape the lee of the Cape Verdean island of São Vicente after setting off into the night. But it was not easy to catch the wind lines. The crews who had chosen the course far to the east succeeded best. GUYOT environnement – Team Europe made some manoeuvres during the night, but could not follow their competitors. On the course chosen further west, the calm was more pronounced. In addition, the light wind is not one of the favoured conditions for the black yacht.
After a day at sea, skipper Robert Stanjek reported: “Of course we were very happy that we were able to push forward after the start and dominate a bit. But after we were around the island, we had the first difficulties with the lee of the island. We actually did quite well, maybe a bit too hectic with too many gybes. At some point it was then a question of breaking through this low wind zone. Probably the boats to the east had more wind for a longer period of time. We were then unfortunately on the wrong side of the competition. We actually lost 20 miles over the first night, when we were sometimes drifting around at one to two knots. That hurts. That hurts a lot. Other than that, we’ll keep trying to fight here and give it everything we’ve got to get back.”
Late in the afternoon of 26 January, GUYOT environnement – Team Europe also reached a wind field and initially managed to nibble away a few miles of the deficit. But there are still around 4600 nautical miles ahead of the fleet and many low wind zones that could tip the course of the race.