D+14 metal .Pedal to the abaud! onboard Mir by Eric Mas .The weather, bles .Rudder trou W .90’ N 64 43.42’ Position_ 22 54 Speed_ 13.7 nds n beam’ cereal
BreaKFAST_ ‘su h MEAL 1_ tabboule t pudding nu zel ha t_ er dess ms h ‘bolet’ mushroo MEAL 2_ pasta wit
Pedal to the metal onboard Mirabaud!
Dominique Wavre and Michele Paret gybed yesterday morning and set a course towards the West Indies, which they expect to reach today. Their timing was critical as it sets up their entry into the Caribbean Sea. “Threading through the islands is quite tricky,” said Dominique. “Partly because there are large lumps of rock to avoid, but principally because you are very likely to lose the wind in the lee of the islands. The aim is to give the islands the widest possible berth, but also to avoid too much boat handling as it slows us down.” Mirabaud and most of the other competitors are likely to sail between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, through the Mona Passage. The last few hours of the race have been particularly tough on Dominique and Michele, the
north-westerly Trade Winds are blowing hard, keeping them drenched in spray and they have been forced to steer the whole time as the rudder is damaged. Spirits are high nonetheless – Dominique told us over the phone that he is “more determined than ever.” The Caribbean Sea presents a new style of race and different tactics; the co-skippers are not as familiar with this stretch of water. “We think that it could be quite patchy,” said Dominique. “There will therefore be opportunities to exploit and we are determined to make the most of them.” The first competitors are expected to arrive next Wednesday or Thursday, but until then the race is still on – it’s not over until the fat lady sings!
The weather, by Eric Mas
Eric Mas, a specialist from Meteo Consult, has been keeping a close eye on the weather patterns since the start of the Transat Jacques Vabre. “There isn’t much mystery at the moment in terms of the weather for the IMOCAs as the Trades are now well established and all the competitors have reached them. There is very little variation in strength and direction,” he explained.
The IMOCA class leaders reached the Caribbean Sea this morning; they are making the most of a strong 20-25 knot, gusting 30, north-easterly Trade. The boats behind them are also enjoying good conditions, although slightly less strong at around 20 knots. “The key to success will be judging when to gybe,” said Eric Mas. “Competitors should also be keeping a look out for squalls as the wind direction can shift quite drastically.”
Mirabaud is having rudder trouble – the problem started on Sunday night and has meant that Dominique and Michele have had to take turns to helm, as the autopilot can’t keep the boat on course. “The boat is pulling to the left,” said Dominique. And for the moment, they don’t know why. “We are running hourly shifts,” said Dominique. “It is extremely physical and means we can’t rest properly or focus on other tasks, which is
quite problematic. We are keeping our chins up though!” Safran, Mirabaud’s closest rival, is suffering from a similar problem and skipper Marc Guillemot has announced that they are going to pull in to Santa Domingo to fix it. Not so for Mirabaud – the next stop for the duo is on the other side of the finish line in Puerto Limon!
IMOCA ranking 15/11/2011 - 8:00 GMT 1. Virbac Paprec 3 2. Hugo Boss 3. macif
0.00 +76.60 +232.80
... 7. Safran 8. Mirabaud
Mirabaud & Cie, banquiers privés Laurent Koutaïssoff 29, boulevard Georges-Favon 1204 Genève T: +41 58 816 23 90 M: +41 79 786 78 93
MaxComm Communication Bernard Schopfer T: +41 22 735 55 30 M: +41 79 332 11 76 email@example.com
Crédits photos Wavre/Paret