PAYING THE TOLL IN THE SOUTH
The Christmas truce is over. After a long straight run yesterday, which allowed the crew of IDEC SPORT to perform better than expected in the South Atlantic, they have now entered a transition zone, where they have to pay the toll before entering the more powerful winds further south.
Early yesterday afternoon after a long straight track due south, Francis Joyon, Bernard Stamm, Alex Pella, Clément Surtel, Gwénolé Gahinet and Sébastien Audigane carried out a series of gybes in winds which were forecast to ease off. It is not surprising that speeds fell and the gap to Banque Populaire V increased, as in 2012, the latter managed to keep on the fast track although going further via the west of the St. Helena high. This morning the red and grey trimaran is 647 miles behind her virtual rival.
Soon, the crew of six will be tacking upwind in light airs. However, in spite of all the hard work ahead on Monday between two weather systems there is the promise of an acceleration as the winds come around and strengthen as they head towards te cape of Good Hope. Tomorrow in this attempt at the Jules Verne Trophy, it will be like entering a different season as they approach the Southern Ocean.