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Barcelona World Race: Indian Summer

Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam's bow crossed over into the Indian Ocean 24 hours ago.

Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam's bow crossed over into the Indian Ocean 24 hours ago. Indeed, last night at 10.35pm (Paris time), i.e. 24 days 21 hours and 35 minutes after their departure from Barcelona, the Cheminées Poujoulat team passed Cape Agulhas, one of the points located to the East of the Cape of Good Hope, thus officially marking a change in scenery. The two skippers were the first to pass the point, 39 hours before Jean-Pierre Dick and Loïck Peyron during the previous edition of the race on board their Virbac-Paprec 3.

Comfortably ahead of the pack for the last 10 days, Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam were quite naturally the first to cross over into the Indian Ocean. The event was closely followed by onlookers, although the skippers did not notice them much, as revealed by the Cheminées Poujoulat skipper around noon: "Being in the lead feels good, it's so much better than being last!  Things seemed a little abstract though.  It only became a reality for Jean and I about 10/12 hours after passing the Cape of Good Hope." No celebrations on-board: the skippers are both focused on what lies ahead of them for the next few days. After having faced strong wind a few hours ago, Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam are now thoroughly enjoying the simple yet incredibly pleasant rays of sun piercing through the clouds. "The sun does us a world of good, as bad weather often means heavy rain and low clouds".  The team will no doubt have to face this bad weather quite shortly, as the South is renowned for being a land of shadows.

Keeping a close eye on the anticyclone

Over the next few days, even though their desire to stay in the lead will no doubt remain in the back of their minds, the focus will more than ever be to adapt their strategy to ensure the best possible compromise: "For now, things are going pretty well, confided Bernard. We have spotted an anticyclone that will give us the wind we need to sail to the Kerguelen Islands at a good angle. But there are times when we need to sail full speed ahead so as not to miss certain weather conditions, and that's precisely what's happening now. Normally things should run smoothly with the anticyclone, but if it decides to go South our door will close, so we want to make as much headway as possible. Suffice to say, this phenomenon will be closely monitored over the next few hours aboard the Cheminées Poujoulat boat, and every nautical mile gained towards the East is worth taking.

*As a reminder, the winners of the previous edition of the race were forced to ask for a technical stop in Recife (Brazil) during their descent of the Atlantic.  

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