An eventful weekend, that of Alberto Bona aboard the Class40 IBSA: a cut in the forehead, a slightly lower but steady average speed, a stormy Saturday night, then calm, then another demanding bout.
This edition of the Route du Rhum is proving to be extremely difficult, and while the big Ultims are now traveling fast towards the finish, the small Class40s are still zig-zagging north of the Azores, where all sorts of things happened over the weekend: from calm to a 30-knot wind, up to the current situation, that sees the bows of the group of the first ten – Alberto Bona included – once again facing North-West towards the orthodromic route (that is, the shortest circumference arc that joins start and finish), with the aim of taking another “gust”, and then descending South with greater speed.
At the 7 o’clock check this morning, IBSA is tenth; same choices as the leaders, but lower speed: it proceeded at just under nine knots over 4 hours, and 6.7 knots over 24 hours, while the leading Class40, Paprec Arkéa, has an average of 10 knots over 4 hours, and is now travelling at 10.6. The gap is 35 miles, which however fosters a careful and reactive course, which does not let go of any direct opponent.
The analysis at the start of the fifth day is a demanding one: the regatta is tough, still in winter style, gray and with cross waves; then come fatigue and weariness, because winds and disturbances don’t get along well with the chance of getting rest. If Alberto wished for a hard test, he got it. But there is also good news: first of all the perseverance and the performance of Alberto and the Class40 IBSA, their ability and concentration to stay in the leading group, having made consistent and correct choices. So far, the regatta is keeping its promise: a thrilling race that gives great emotions and keeps us glued to the screen!