Over 40 hours of navigation with rough seas, gusts of wind and two lows to deal with, the second of which at night, near the Galician coast, tacking about after Finisterre. It’s a Bay of Biscay one doesn’t forget, the one faced by the Class40 IBSA and by the fleet engaged in the second stage of the Transat Jacques Vabre, which started from Lorient (Brittany) on Monday at 10:45 am, with terrible weather and an angry sea. But the angrier the sea gets, the more Alberto Bona and Pablo Santurde del Arco fight back, and they do it with an excellent positioning, in second place at the 12:00 pm reading on Wednesday, November 8, past Finisterre, after the first southward turn.
Alberto and Pablo run fast: always in the leading group, who leads the Class40 fleet, they clock up mile after mile, with the mirage of the trade winds and the heat, while they manage to free themselves from one gust of wind, and then another. Audio messages from Bona also come from aboard, although in reality it’s the boat that speaks, with the sound of the falls from the waves – a constant rhythm – and the blows that says a lot about the speed and the sea. “All is well on board IBSA”, begins Alberto, with the words that now seem to be a mantra for the sailor, “We have sailed well so far. It’s been very challenging, as expected we found a rough sea. We know we have to cross it quickly and run south”.
Almost the entire fleet chose to remain close to the coast for the delicate passage before Finisterre, which marks the exit from the Bay of Biscay, sailing upwind between the land and the forbidden area, challenging the second front. At dawn, the exit from the imaginary channel between the Galician coast and the “no sail zone”, finally an offshore tack to place the boat in the best position to begin the descent to the South, thus closing a very demanding and tactical phase of the regatta. So far, just over 400 miles have been covered: 3,300 more to go, and – as expected – there is no lack of challenges: 7 boats within three miles, then 17 miles ahead of the rest of the fleet