Route Du Rhum: Ultime Trimaran Leader Passes Halfway Point

Sailing 1800 miles in about 5 days is amazing to me. Gabart passes halfway point. (Actually he did that at about 10:00 UTC on Nov. 8th.)

Way down south, more than 1,800 nautical miles southwest of Saint Malo, in the warmer climes and flatter seas west of the Canaries, François Gabart continues to blaze a trail to Guadeloupe chased by Francis Joyon.

But as the days and hours tick by in the 2018 Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe solo transatlantic race, Joyon has found it harder to stay in touch with his younger rival. The skipper of IDEC Sport is now trailing Gabart’s blue and white rocketship, MACIF, by over 120 nautical miles.

The main enemy right now is fatigue. Garbart is entering the tradewinds to cross the Atlantic.

On another topic, a lot of the slower boats that took shelter in Spain because of the storms that greeted the fleet early in the race, may be coming back onto the course. (The Route Du Rhum isn’t a non-stop race, so they can still finish.)

One of the 40 class monohulls didn’t take refuge, is still working south. Merron – out of one “horror show” but one more to come. She has some interesting things to say about the race so far.

British skipper Miranda Merron on Campagne de France in Class40s has been showing all her experience in keeping her race on track through the very difficult conditions in the early stages of this Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe.

[SNIP]

“Top wind speed in yesterday’s horror show was 55 knots. A sail change in ‘just’ 35 knots cost me nine miles in the wrong direction. When things go wrong and it’s windy, it takes a while to sort out, especially alone.

There were 2 low-pressure systems (not big enough to get a name, but big enough to be problems) with a third one hitting tonight.

For a look at the conditions the folks are facing… The Atlantic Analysis (From NOAA) indicates that the “significant” wave-heights are on the order of 6 or 7 meters, in the area east of Spain. (That link isn’t to an archive, so it will change as NOAA updates the forecasts.)

‡ NOAA defines “significant wave height” as the average height of the top 1/3 of waves. Individual waves can be higher.

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