The doldrums loom large
After negotiating Cape Verde yesterday, Giancarlo Pedote and Martin Le Pape are making headway 300 miles offshore of Equatorial Guinea this Thursday and are continuing their descent southwards bound for the archipelago of Fernando de Noronha. A ‘slo-mo’ descent seemingly. “It’s been a calm night. Too calm even. We’re a bit fed up with this light air. It’s a bit tough for the nerves to see the others catching up without being able to do much about it, but it’s a kind of foretaste of what to expect with the doldrums”, commented the two co-skippers of Prysmian Group. Indeed, the next major obstacle in this 15th Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre for the IMOCAs is already looming. The latter will soon have to traverse the famous intertropical convergence zone, which is always a section that sailors approach with trepidation. “We don’t really know what’s going to happen, but we do know that there’s a risk that those astern of us will catch back up with us. There’s also a chance that we may catch up with those ahead of us too of course, but you’re always looking in your rear-view mirror. We’re trying to locate a way in that will quickly carry us through into the trade wind of the southern hemisphere. We think that gateway lies at around 25° west. As a result, we’ll try to aim for there”, explained Martin. “The strategy by our pursuers will doubtless be to line up behind us in a bid to see which hole we fall into so they can go around it. It’s a bit of a cruel game, but unfortunately that’s the reality”, concluded the sailor from the Finistère, well aware that in the doldrums luck is also part and parcel of the passage.