MERRY CHRISTMAS ST. HELENA
After eight days at sea and a constant battle against the clock, the crew of IDEC SPORT is continuing to dive down the South Atlantic off the coast of Brazil between Salvador da Bahia and Rio de Janeiro.
Sailing on a bearing of 180° at 18° latitude S, Francis Joyon and his men are making the most of a 15-knot easterly wind. With the wind on the beam on the port tack at a constant speed of 25 knots, conditions are allowing good speeds and they have regained around fifty miles in the past 24 hours over their virtual rival, the title-holder.
This morning Joyon and his men are around ahundred miles off the pace set by Banque Populaire V and are sailing further east to get round the St.Helena high. This zone is not going to make things easy for them. They are happy to be making gains for now, because the wind is likely to drop off in the next 36 hours. This is due to a ridge of high pressure blocking the way south, meaning it looks like a busy and tricky Christmas.