10 November 2023

Alberto Bona had foreseen it: a patch of calm would have shuffled the cards, and so it happened. Off the Portuguese coast, after three days of very challenging weather, the absence of wind breaks in, favouring the teams who have stayed further away from the coast and “trapping” the leading group, because those arriving from behind often have more information to manage what happens to the leaders of the fleet.

The fifth day of navigation is “hard inside out”: not because of the waves and the upwind, but for the little wind and the frustration of finding oneself in the least favourable stretch of the route, waiting to understand how and when to hook up to the trade wind, which could be the right lift for Porto Santo, the Portuguese island in the Madeira archipelago which acts as a mandatory gate for the race.

With about 900 miles from Lorient already travelled, the approach to the “gate” becomes a test of maturity and patience for the Class40 IBSA. Meanwhile, with just over a quarter of the total distance to be covered left behind, the arrival date in Martinique of the second stage of the Transat Jacques Vabre is starting to become more certain: the landing at Fort du France is now scheduled between 21 and 22 November, while the closing and awards ceremony has been moved from November 23 to the 24th.

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