Thirty hours into racing and all four of the trimarans competing on the Brest Atlantiques race have already reached the latitudes of Gibraltar.
The leaders Trimaran Macif (François Gabart/Gwénolé Gahinet) and Edmond de Rothschild (Franck Cammas/Charles Caudrelier) have been at full pelt throughout Wednesday afternoon averaging 28-29 knots of boat speed, with top speeds of at over 40 knots.
Just behind, sailing on a the latitude of Gibraltar, Sodebo Ultim 3 (Thomas Coville/Jean-Luc Nélias) is not letting go of the leaders, just 54 miles from the leader, while Actual Leader, who slowed down passing Cape Finisterre in an area of lighter breeze, is now 162 miles away.
Ahead lies one gybe to be taken between the Azores and Madeira before a fast surf down to the equator.
What happens next? Routing specialist Christian Dumard, who works with the race director, explains:
“They are currently finishing rounding the Azores high from the south in a sea that has calmed down, this is what we call a seagull’s wing.
Then they will gybe, probably at night, between Madeira and the Azores, and head south towards Rio. Where the first are expected in about 7 days.”