2, 600 miles left in Route d'Or record attempt

Lionel Lemonchois and his nine-man crew on board the maxi-catamaran Gitana 13 have re-entered the northern hemisphere.

This means that their attempt on the Route d’Or record – fully crewed – from New York to San Francisco is entering the home straight. Team Gitana has so far spent 26 days 17 hours and 32 minutes covering the 7,500 miles between equator crossings in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

With less than 2,600 miles to go before Gitana 13 reaches the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge, the team’s ten sailors are ready for the final part of their attempt at breaking the record between New York and San Francisco.

Lemonchois commented, “We’re in the thick of the doldrums, with big dark clouds loaded with squalls, and with winds fluctuating from 6 to 22 knots. But nothing too nasty for the time being. After the equator, there’s a big windless area up ahead. Our forecast is proving accurate, and we’re going to have to skirt around the east side of this low-wind barrier.”

Onboard, the team has begun to ration its stores. The maxi-catamaran’s crew planned for around 40 days of fresh food and freeze-dried alternatives?always less appetizing. After 33 days at sea and five days on forced stand-by near Cape Horn, the team is forced to adjust its eating habits: butter, cereal bars and the little things that make the day-to-day a little easier are running out. As a result, during their final days at sea ? around ten, if the projections can be believed ? Gitana 13’s skipper and crew will have freeze-dried dishes for most of their meals.