12 days into the Transat Jaques Vabre and Malizia, skippered by Boris Herrmann and Will Harris, is almost out of the doldrums and heading into the last 1200nm of the race.

To see a recap of the first 6 days click here.

 

Looking back over the last 6 days of the race we can see that Boris and Will had to deal with their decision to take the Westerly route that proved to have less wind than initially hoped. This meant that they were stuck in their group of 6 boats (including Bureau Vallee and Maitre Coq) in the West, whilst the Easterly group made significant gains with Charal pulling out far ahead of the Easterly group.

 

 

Day 7 saw the team find some wind in the morning only for it to die down by the evening leaving the pair in great cruising conditions but less than ideal race conditions. However, they stayed in good spirits and didn’t let this deter their positive attitude for this long race.

 

Day 8 there was bad news from our fellow racer and good friend Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss, after word reaches Boris and Will that Alex has had to pull out of the race due to a collision with a UFO and that his keel is only hanging on by the hydraulic ram. The team offered assistance but luckily both sailors were fine and able to assess that the damage would not sink the boat but it is a sad situation especially for this new IMOCA.


Day 9 – We got to enjoy a morning coffee with Boris, partway through sailing this famous coffee route and travelling at 30 knots with the wet and wild Atlantic providing a beautiful insight into this offshore race with some amazing drone shots too.


Day 10 – Everyone is always interested in how daily life works on a race boat when you are powering along at great speeds. How do you cook, sleep and also shower? Well, thanks to Will we were given a full demonstration of exactly how this works in practice on the high seas.


The team is also very committed to furthering ocean science and we have had our ocean sensor running throughout our Atlantic race measuring ocean CO2, PH, salinity and temperature. This data will be transmitted to our partners Max Planck and Geomar and eventually submitted to SOCAT the worldwide database. For this race, we also teamed up with UNESCO-IOC to carry a drifter buoy which we deployed on day 10. More information on this here.


During the day the boys had an amazing run with great speeds and averaging 20 knots over 24 hours, they caught up really well with the pack. However, as they approached the doldrums it became less certain how their positioning would play out and which boats would make it through quickly.


Day 11 All the boats were bunching up in the doldrums allowing Malizia the chance to catch up on some of the front runners. With a disappointing doldrums sail for Charal and Apivia steaming ahead the positioning of the boats changed significantly during this time. On Malizia the pair set our Quantum Code 0 and headed into the doldrums. *link to Quantum article*


Day 12 The guys are nearly out of the doldrums and show us the crazy contrast from one minute to the next. With calm pond conditions with zero wind and the boat spinning in circles to suddenly having full rain and high wind stormy conditions – there is never a dull moment.


The next few hours will be quite telling, if Malizia can pick up speed and keep up with the front pack then the guys will be in with a chance of moving up the ranks.


Back on land a lot of work has also been happening with our kid’s project, we have schools from around the world following the race and using our kid’s ocean challenge kit to learn more about the ocean and climate change.

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