Article with anonymous sources
ATLANTIC BREST. The Sodebo 3 U-turn: the Pros' explanation
Largely in the lead after the successive stops in Brazil of Maxi Edmond de Rothschild in Salvador de Bahia and Macif in Rio de Janeiro, Thomas Coville and Jean-Luc Nélias, on Sodebo 3, turned back on Thursday afternoon. Rarely seen in offshore racing! Didier Ravon conducted the investigation.
Faced with the storm on their course, Thomas Coville and Jean-Luc Nélias chose to turn back on Thursday evening "as a precaution".
In 1976, battered by the terrible depressions that followed, Eric Tabarly on Pen Duick VI turned around, before changing his mind and winning his second English Transat. By looking carefully at the mapping, and also thanks to the incredibly reliable weather forecasts today, Sodebo's route from 3 to 180 degrees from the road to South Africa is being questioned.
Considering its speed - more than 25 knots! - It's hard to imagine a technical problem, even if these multihulls have staggering performances, one rudder or one drift less. The routers are in full swing after 6,000 miles covered by average freaks!
Severe depression then dorsal
We therefore tried to find out more and interviewed eminent specialists, well-informed informants who did not wish to be quoted. We promise, we do not give our sources... but they are reliable we can assure you!
[The Ultim Sodebo 3 is of course built to withstand the worst weather, but Thomas Coville has chosen to spare his horse in the South Atlantic]
The Ultim Sodebo 3 is of course designed to withstand the worst weather conditions, but Thomas Coville has chosen to spare his horse in the South Atlantic.
"In fact the weather situation is interesting" says the first one: "If you look at the 7-day forecasts, you realize that if you leave Rio between now and in 2 days, you arrive at the same time in Cape Town. This is due to a solid ridge of ice that jams just north of the ice line and prevents any passage. »
"In addition, a small snarling depression is mistreating the fleet on the night of November 14, and tomorrow, with strong northeasterly winds of 30-40 knots and heavy seas. »
"So there are several options: one, you wait at the bistro in Rio for two days before leaving. Secondly, if you have minor damage but it could get worse, you also have a stand in Rio (which Macif did; N.D.L.R.). Three, you come back to wait for the friends to get away from the depression before heading south again. »
"After all, we are at sea and ready to jump if things change. So we can see who has chosen what... To sum up, it's about being on November 18 somewhere on the approach to the ridge, in good shape and in good spirits for a new start after the fleet has been grouped..."
The second expert does not say anything else but remains more measured: "Coville and Nélias, who have a little bit of experience (a good ten Cape Horn between them), have made a good decision as a sailor. Going into the hard with strong wind, cross seas and heavy swells was more than risky. Going back round, turning back to let the depression pass was clearly the solution. »
The third, who totally agrees with this decision, does not mince his words, not without humour: "With these press releases from big companies that make the Pravda of the late Brezhnev look like a libertarian newspaper, we no longer know what to do...". It's said!
What we are certain of on Thursday evening is that Atlantic Brest is back on track, and exciting.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator