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16
Feb
2015

Other news

Bernard Stamm: "Slowing down to avoid having to manage the unmanageable"

After sailing with their foot on the brakes for the last 24 hours, to avoid the worst of the storm conjured up by the ex-tropical cyclones Diamondra and Eunice, which appeared bang in the middle of their route across the ...


After sailing with their foot on the brakes for the last 24 hours, to avoid the worst of the storm conjured up by the ex-tropical cyclones Diamondra and Eunice, which appeared bang in the middle of their route across the Indian Ocean, Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam have seen the wind get significantly stronger since last night. Indeed, they are now sailing away to 45-knot winds with increasingly heavy seas, but are managing to maintain suitable working conditions as they anticipated the situation so perfectly. "We slowed down to avoid having to manage the unmanageable", explained the Cheminées Poujoulat skipper, who is nonetheless prepared for a rough few days.

The current situation is not an easy one for the Barcelona World Race leaders. The main reason for this is that on their way to Cape Leeuwin, two tropical depressions merged into one huge storm. The team is now having to sail with 45-knot winds at its heels and heavy seas, with six to eight metre troughs. "It's not particularly pleasant, as we're sailing along with a southern flow and crosswinds. The good thing is that we have been slowing down for the last 24 hours to avoid finding ourselves in the heart of the storm, so we're not out in the battlefield", explained Bernard Stamm this morning, having clearly anticipated the situation and decided to carry very little sail aloft.

Three reefs only

"Yesterday, we were sailing with staysail and three reefs on the main sail. Suffice to say that for the last few hours we haven't had much going on at the front. We have slowed down a lot and are slightly exposed to the waves, but we're doing well. We're making the most of this time to do some maintenance and seaman work, and to eat and sleep, because once we get going again, we'll still be in the depression and we'll have to hold on tight for a while longer. We'd better get as much rest as we can", stated the Swiss skipper, who was not quite sure how much longer they would be laying low.

Still a little more air

"It will all depend on how the depression moves. This being said, the main thing for us is to avoid putting ourselves in a precarious situation. The timing was terrible for us, and to a lesser extent for Neutrogena. This is my first time having to slow down in a race, but it's not worth trying anything when we know we'd fail. In the end, there were no two ways about it. The only solution was to slow down. We have obviously given up a few nautical miles to the Guillermo Altadill – José Munoz duo, but that's the way it goes", highlights Bernard, who has begun analysing their next steps. "I haven't gone into great detail for the time being, but there's no doubt the next few days will be eventful, because once the storm has passed, we'll still be left with 35-knot winds that won't be dropping any time soon".

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