Tuesday, November 6, 2007

under 3 reefed main and staysail

Today is the second day of racing and there is a change of scene aboard the Orma multihulls. The initial light airs gave way this morning to a steady breeze and big seas off the Iberian peninsula. The acceleration was short lived but necessitated great care aboard the trimarans. Aboard Groupama 2, after leading for a large part of the day, Franck Cammas and Stève Ravussin are now in 2nd position, less than a mile behind the new leader out West, Gitana 11.
The forecast gales which have swept across the fleet for a large part of the day off Cape Finisterre have seen the speeds shoot up: "We're currently in big, short seas, with 40 knots of breeze. Groupama 2 is burying all three bows into the waves but we are being very careful. We've reduced the sail area a fair bit and are currently under 3 reefed main and staysail, which is the minimum for these boats! The aft ballast is filled to the brim to gain stability" said Stève during the daily radio session this lunchtime with race HQ. He went on to specify that "It will soon be over though!" This feeling was confirmed by the skipper of Groupama 2 mid afternoon: "The wind and the seas are in the process of quietening down and we've been able to hoist some more sail up so we can slip along better."- http://www.cammas-groupama.com