Gitana begins to pick up the pace again

The Doldrums are now just a memory in Gitana 13’s wake as the maxi-catamaran’s crew have been sailing on starboard tack in the tradewinds of the northern hemisphere since yesterday afternoon.

With over 32 days at sea to their credit, Lionel Lemonchois and his men still have 2,467 miles to cover before they make the Elizabeth II Bridge at the entrance to the River Thames, and the end of their attempt upon the Tea Route record, non stop from Hong Kong to London. The maxi-catamaran is currently passing off the Cape Verde islands, which the crew have opted to leave to port.

Since their passage of the equator last Wednesday night, and with their crossing of the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone beginning last Friday, the sailors of Gitana Team have only had a little respite over recent days. Today they’re savouring the end of what is always a stressful zone.

However, this period of recuperation will be short-lived for Lionel Lemonchois and his nine man crew. The reasons for this are that, as Sylvain Mondon predicted, the forecasts for the climb up the North Atlantic seem to be confirmed: “The current situation is fairly complicated since the disturbed W’ly air flow usually situated between 40 and 50 degrees north has been shifted towards Iceland by the high pressure settling over the U.K. This configuration is enabling a stormy low to develop over Spain during the start of the week, and then it will move between Madeira and the Azores at the end of the week. Since no front will be able to encourage the downwind conditions synonymous with rapid progress, they’ll have to make use of the winds produced by the slow moving stormy low. Nevertheless, in order to hit the favourable S’ly winds of between 20 and 25 knots, they will have to sail close-hauled for several days beforehand and cross the residual ridge of high pressure from the Azores High.”

Keep up with their progress on their website.