Sunday, November 4, 2007

Coffee Run

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Click to enlarge - Photos by - onEdition
The Transat Jacques Vabre is a two-handed race which follows the traditional commercial coffee route between France and South America. This classic offshore race is held every two years for the Open 50 and 60 monohull and multihull classes. The 4,300 mile route is anything but straightforward. First, there are the effects of the Channel just after the start, then crossing the notorious Bay of Biscay. After around five days you start to head into the fickle trade winds. Once south of the equator the temperature rises, the wet weather kit is replaced by shorts and t-shirts but the positive feeling onboard can quickly be changed by the next weather system; the doldrums. A zone of unpredictable winds, where you encounter violent thunderstorms, followed by calms and constantly changing wind directions. From here the teams face the final hurdle as the thermal breezes off the Brazilian coast can hold up your sprint to the finish line in Bahia. -