"A new regatta begins" for GO CIRCULAR
But as they approached the important longitude 143 East, where the first points of this leg will be awarded, the position of the chasers became quite uncomfortable. The lead has decreased as Holcim-PRB stumbles into a zone of light winds located in front of a low pressure front. The series of gybes carried out by the team along the ice exclusion zone allowed Kevin Escoffier to keep a favorable flow as long as possible. However, this time, the advantage is with the hunters. Biotherm and Team Malizia, who are continuing to reach at high speed in a steady northerly wind, are keeping up a high pace and nibbling miles off the leader. Paul Meilhat and his team are now only 167 miles from the rear of the green and blue monohull. Boris Herrmann is 187 miles behind and 11th Hour Racing Team is 201 miles behind.
What might send a chill down the spine of Kevin Escoffier, Abby Ehler, Sam Goodchild and Tom Laperche is finally being accepted on board with a philosophy. "The positive is that we have a small period of calmer wind, which will allow us to sail the boat around. But the negative point is that it will allow our competitors to come back! It's true that we had a huge lead. We were all hoping that this would allow us to change weather systems in relation to the other boats. It's not going to come down to much. There are no regrets: we also protected the boat when we had to, we pushed her when we had to. We sailed very well at the beginning, and we were also successful because we were able to catch a weather situation that allowed us to start from the front. This time, it's the opposite for our competitors. That's part of sailing! On board, we are doing our regatta. The atmosphere is always good. We had a few little things to do, but nothing important" said Kevin Escoffier from the south.
The next few hours will continue to be favorable for Holcim-PRB's opponents and the gaps could even fall below 100 miles. The Swiss monohull should be able to start again this evening and resume its crazy port tack race towards the East thanks to a relatively easy sea. The day will be long for Kevin Escoffier and his crew, who are nevertheless eager to accelerate again and protect their leadership position at all costs. Holcim PRB skipper adds with optimism:
“Today is the start of a new regatta! But Holcim-PRB has always managed to be in front in contact, so there is no reason why it can't continue.”
After 11 days of racing, only a quarter of the course has been completed by the four boats in the race (Guyot Environnement announced its withdrawal the day before yesterday). But this gives us a very precise idea of the intensity that will be played out to win first Cape Leeuwin then Cape Horn and finally Itajai, the end of this epic leg!
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