Rough conditions during the Transat CIC challenge the sailors

The Transat CIC lives up to its reputation. This solo Atlantic crossing is extreme and has been testing both skipper and boat since the start. For the large part of the first 5 days of the race the fleet faced strong winds and rough seas. Holcim-PRB, like several other IMOCA boats in the race, has suffered from these conditions. Wednesday morning, May 1, while in 5th position, Nicolas notified his shore team that the bowsprit was broken. This triangular part at the front of the hull serves as an anchor point for the boat's largest sails used in downwind sailing (wind coming from behind). The skipper managed the situation calmly even though the conditions were still challenging at the time he discovered the breakage. The French skipper secured Holcim-PRB and immediately stated that he is safe and will continue the race. Naturally, this is a hindrance for the rest of the route to New York, which is about 70% downwind sailing.

Yesterday, the IMOCA fleet once again faced a depression, causing challenging meteorological conditions: 35 to 40 knots of wind with gusts of over 45 knots and very short waves. At the front of the fleet, an intense battle unfolded with impressive speeds displayed by the leading boats. For Nicolas, these strong wind conditions prevented him from losing too much ground to his competitors during the fifth day of the race. The following night however, was more complicated with the passage of the depression's center. Nicolas reports from onboard:

Last night, we had a small depression center coming causing a wind shift, and I wasn't very lucky as I caught a little windhole. But we know this is all part of the game and the race is far from over. I will continue my race and try to gain positions by using strategy.

Nicolas Lunven

Since late morning, Holcim-PRB has been able to pick up some wind and resume its course towards New York. But the hours to come are unlikely to be restful. The skipper explains in a voice message sent to his team this morning:

Right now, the wind has come back a little, but not in the right direction. So it's a bit complicated. I'm heading towards the goal and I know I will reach it, but I'm going to have another transition to go through. Otherwise, it's rather nice and mild, so it allows for a little time outside, to take a tour of the boat inside and out. We don't rest too much because we have to be alert for adjustments while continuing to push in the direction of New York. We had a beautiful sunrise earlier, and I have plenty to eat!

Nicolas Lunven