Night messages – Tuesday 6th june

Visit Valle D’aosta (128) – Roger Junet / Estelle Greck

« Hi all, the start of the race has been fairly wet and quick. For once, we passed Saint-Marcouf and Wight with some breeze. All’s well aboard. We’ve been really lucky to have this moon with us!! We’ve just eaten our first hot meal, which has done us the world of good! We’re resting as far as the south-west tip of England as it won’t be easy to get around. It’s nice weather, not too cold, so great conditions! See you soon. »

Edenred (165) – Emmanuel Le Roch / Basile Bourgnon

« Hi all. The calm conditions have been ongoing since 17:00 hours. We have a fabulous sunset, but the lack of breeze is a bit hard on the nerves, especially when it seems to be working to the right, the left, above and below us. We’re taking it in turns at the helm to ensure we do a good job. The fleet has squeezed right back together. We’re awaiting the wind, which is due to kick back in for a fresh start to Tuskar. It’s a great atmosphere. We’re eating, sleeping and performing well. »

Unep / Univerre (168) – Renaud Courbon / François Champion

« Hello land. It’s been a bit more complicated. The wind has died and we’re at a standstill. In fact, we’re going backwards! On a positive note, we’re tucking into some cold sausage and it’s a fabulous setting. However, it may start to seem like time is dragging a bit soon. At least we’ve had the chance to watch a magnificent sunset. As we watch out for the slightest sniff of breeze and keep on smiling, we’re ready to switch to action mode. Goodnight. »

Kite (144) – Greg Leonard / Hannes Leonard

« Well, it was an intense 30 hours with the lively breeze at the start and the fruity channel crossing. The Mach 3s are not known for their dry comfort and Kite did not disappoint. The Solent passage was uneventful with a kind following current.  Monday offered glorious spinnaker conditions albeit requiring constant attention. These are the days we dream of as sailors. At least until the wind disappears as it did just before Land’s End. We now find ourselves trying mightily to keep up with Black Mamba in 2 kts of wind and as much current at times. The Longships lighthouse was ghostly lurking in the shadows as we passed nearby trying to hide from the current. We are looking forward to a more spirited climb of the Irish Sea. So far, we are happy to have seen many fulmars, kittiwakes, and gannets. Cheers. Hannes and Greg. »

Le Bleuet de France (135) – Charlotte Cormouls-Houlès / Claire-Victoire de Fleurian

« Hello land, all’s well on the Bleuet de France: we’re finally out of the calm conditions and we’re making headway towards Land’s End under spinnaker at 8 knots. It’s been a wonderful day: great speeds under spinnaker this morning, which prompted a broach shortly before we exited the Solent. We had a sunny afternoon, but it was too calm: we made the mistake of sticking to the north of the TSS, which led to being becalmed for a number of hours… However, it was a great opportunity for us to rest as the first night was testing in terms of fatigue and there’s still a long way to go! Goodnight all, Charlotte and Claire-Victoire. »

Chinook (124) – Julia Virat / Melodie Schaffer

« Hello all. A deep orange round moon has just risen, it’s magnificent! And it looks all the better now that the boat is finally powering along at a decent speed. Since my last message 24 hours ago, there have been a whole load of sail changes and manoeuvres. Last night, we got slightly caught out by the current before rounding the Isle of Wight (it was our second punishment after yesterday’s technical woes, which included a night with a succession of blackouts, which killed the power to the autopilot and quickly sent the boat over on her ear! We’ve since resolved the issue. The passage through the Solent went very well as it was broad daylight for us! At least that’s one benefit of our memorable deficit… Once we were clear of there, we spent the whole afternoon trapped in a windless zone, but I understand that those in front of us also had a short passage void of air. We then decided to take a southern option across the Casquets TSS to link more quickly onto a steadier breeze and get in more westing by avoiding the effects of the south coast of England. Fingers crossed. So that’s where we’re at. The spinnaker has filled nicely with a J2 on top and hup, she’s rocketing along. It doesn’t take away the disappointment of our deficit, but there’s no choice other than to hang on in there and bounce back. There’s a sense of frustration at slogging it out for such a disappointing ranking, but there are so many things still to learn, as much in terms of our new pairing, as sailing Chinook, which I’m yet to find my feet on. For now, she’s surfing along and she seems to like it! I’m going back to look at the moon and the sails and remain focused. Goodnight land! »

Dékuple (184) – Pietro Luciani / Hugo Picard

« Le coup de Trafalgar à la pointe anglaise. Pas de bataille navale cette fois, ou simplement vélique, alors que nous avions une dizaine de milles de retard sur la flotte, le courant et les vents faibles ont rebattus les cartes et nous ont permis de recoller au groupe de tête. Après un bon bord de poney en milieu de nuit, nous voilà aux coude à coude avec les copains, dont Edenred. Traversée de la Mer Celtique express, nous arriverons en milieu de matinée à Turskar Rock avant de mettre le cap sur le Fastnet. On ne lâche rien. »

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