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20
Mar
2015

Other news

Bernard Stamm: "It's been a bumpy ride!"

After their long journey North, Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam - the leaders of the Barcelona World Race - changed tack yesterday morning to sail in a northern sector set between the anticyclone in the Azores islands and the low pressure conditions developing to the East of Portugal and the Gulf of Cadiz.


After their long journey North, Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam - the leaders of the Barcelona World Race - changed tack yesterday morning to sail in a northern sector set between the anticyclone in the Azores islands and the low pressure conditions developing to the East of Portugal and the Gulf of Cadiz. As a result, the two Cheminées Poujoulat skippers were, this Thursday, sailing with strong and unstable winds - both in terms of strength and direction - which made their journey a delicate one. However, they are currently speeding along at 14 knots, and at that pace they should be sailing past Madeira and the Canary Islands by this evening, before making the most of favourable conditions tomorrow and finally making their way North-East towards Gibraltar.

"It's been a bumpy ride. And with good reason: we are right in the middle of the Portuguese tradewinds, that are full of squalls! During the rougher moments, we reach 35-40 knots and as we are always facing the sea and are starting to pick up speed, the boat has had to jump a few waves! Sailing for Cheminées Poujoulat is a bit like being in a rodeo! ", commented Bernard Stamm this morning. "What we are experiencing at the moment is no picnic, even though at these latitudes, people may think we're quietly taking in the sunshine. The sky is gloomy and the winds are extremely variable. Last night was particularly difficult for us. Our speed was rising from 15 to 30 knots in the blink of an eye and we were shifting 40° in one go. In these kinds of changing weather conditions, it's not at all easy to carry the right amount of sail", stated Jean Le Cam, also highlighting their need to be on constant lookout.

Gibraltar scheduled for Sunday

Hauling in, slackening, slackening, hauling in. This has recently been our two men's job out on deck, each in turn trying to keep up the pace they set from the very start - even though they are safely in the lead, 1,000 nautical miles ahead of Neutrogena, their closest rival. "We are making cautious progress, but we are indeed making progress. I must admit that the boat is sometimes overcanvassed, but we don't have a choice as reducing the sails during high winds means we would get stuck and that's not what we're looking for in a race", declared the Swiss skipper, who also said he has not thought much about the finish line. "When things start heating up as they are now, we focus on making progress without breaking anything", he explained, adding that the wind should become even stronger over the next 24-48 hours. "There's a depression right before Gibraltar. We noticed it five or six days ago. We'll have to sail past it before reaching the Mediterranean". That next step is scheduled for Sunday morning. "It's perfect, as that means we'll be sailing through the strait during the day", said Jean, satisfied.   

 More information about the Barcelona World Race 


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