After having suffered over the last few days in the Azores the passage of a front generating winds of up to 60 knots, the GLOBE40 competitors will have to face a new low-pressure system today and on Monday on arrival in the Bay of Biscay with winds of up to 50 knots and seas of up to 10 m in the northern part of the Bay.
Faced with this situation, the leader of the leg AMHAS chose yesterday to slow down voluntarily to get behind the hardest part of the phenomenon.
A difficult choice as Craig Horsfield (AHMAS) explains: “We are going to try to slow down, we are going to look for the east by slowing down. We only have one mainsail and three reefs. Over all we are gutted after all the days of racing and working hard to get a lead that we have effectively stopped for now. It’s hard to do and to accept.
GRYPHON SOLO 2, which passed through the Azores gate yesterday, expressed the extreme harshness of these moments: Joe Harris “Last night was the hardest night of our entire round the world race. The wind and sea state continued to rise until we were in 9m seas and 60 knots of wind. We had prepared with 3 reefs in the mainsail and staysail, which worked well up to 50 knots of wind. But the gusts above rocked the boat hard and made Roger and I wonder, huddled in the cabin, if we were going to get knocked over and rolled. It was frightening. We were both thinking about life rafts, EPIRBs and rescues. But eventually the 60-knot gusts died down and we were able to continue… It makes you think. Driving to the edge of the cliff… looking over the cliff… but not jumping… or being pushed!
SEC HAYAI in second place still has a significant lead over GRYPHON SOLO 2 (284 miles this morning).
The first arrivals in Lorient are still planned for Wednesday 15th.