Yesterday afternoon was marked by the start of the Transat Jacques Vabre. At 13:30, the 42 duos involved in this double-handed, non-stop and unassisted race, set off from Cape of Heve, in Le Havre, in bright sunshine, for a journey of 5,400 nautical miles (10,000 km) to Itajaí in Brazil.
The representatives of Stand as One’s 14 sponsors, came in numbers to support Eric and Sam. On board of the Etoile du Roy and in exceptional weather conditions they were able to enjoy the great start of Stand as One who took fourth place in the race at the early stages after departure.
So, a gentle start, in contrast to the coming weather. Indeed, more than 40 knots of wind and a trough of eight meters are forecast in the Bay of Biscay, starting from tonight. The wind has already started to get stronger and our skippers will have to play it tight in the initial 48 hours if they do not want to jeopardise their chances of reaching Brasil.
Faced with these conditions, Eric and Sam took the safest decision by choosing to route their boat to the west and then back down south. Their goal remains unchanged : to finish the race and arrive at Itajaí!
During the first telephone conversation with the organisers of the race, Eric commented: "The conditions are damp. Sam (Goodchild) just woke up and we will put another reef. We are all wet, there is the sea, it begins to rise, but all is well. On our way to the west, we made our decision and we will not change our mind. We know that the wind will increase and we'll have to reduce the sail and travel due south. We know that the sea will be bad. There is a great atmosphere with Sam, we are happy to have found the sea, we want everything to go well. I slept for just 1 hour, Sam slept for 5 hours !"
Tonight, Eric sent to Gaël, Team Manager of Stand as One, this message :
"It is not easy to type on the computer because the boat jumps in all directions. We are soaked and shaken but the moral is good. We will savour these 18-20 days of navigation although right now we are just going through a rough patch.
The sea has calmed down a bit but it is still big. The sun sets on a clear sky. There’s just a few dolphins who came to spoil the picture but ... Tonight the grbs promise us 35 knots"
Stand as One now occupies the 17th place in the ranking.
Follow the progression of Stand as One live on: http://tracking.transat-jacques-vabre.com/fr/ and don't hesitate to send your support to Eric and Sam on Twitter using the hashtag # C1SH !