Fernando de Noronha astern
Having rounded the Brazilian archipelago of Fernando de Noronha at around midnight last night, Giancarlo Pedote and Martin Le Pape have now hung a right to begin their climb up to Martinique. Propelled along by a fairly bracing SE’ly trade wind, they are currently in downwind conditions weaving their way along the length of a no-go zone off the South American coast measuring nearly 2,000 miles long. “We’re powering along under spinnaker in 25 knots of breeze with peak speeds of 23-24 knots. We’re scared stiff for our spinnaker. If it blows out, the end of the race will likely be a bit lengthy”, commented the co-skipper of Prysmian Group who, alongside his associate, is trying to time the gybes as best he can as the local breeze curves round to the left. “We’re trying to gybe in line with the fluctuations in the breeze. We’re in direct competition with Maître CoQ, which is positioned just ahead of us. We’re going to hound them right to the last. We’re hoping we can overtake them over the course of the day, as well as steal a bit of a march on those astern of us, who don’t seem to be as quick as us on a downwind point of sail”, concluded Martin, still positioned in 10th place in the IMOCA category in this 15th Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre.