Gitana 13 take the Indian Express

The weather window selected by the Gitana 13 crew has proven to be the right one. The maxi-catamaran has racked up a great time to the Sunda Strait – less than a week after setting off.

Now the crew are entering the Indian Ocean, and after a week spent in closed waters, Gitana 13 is now slipping along downwind on the steeper waters of the Indian Ocean.

Benefiting from some well-established SE’ly tradewinds, the crew will finally be able to test the boat’s potential. Skipper Lionel Lemonchois commented: “We’ve got 22 to 25 knots of breeze, which is enabling us to drive Gitana 13 at speeds close to 25-30 knots. The seas are building gradually and the atmosphere is wetter on deck now. The sailors on watch have swapped their T-shirts for foulies. Everything seems to be in place to enable us to pass the Reunion Islands at a steady pace… some big surf awaits.”

Weather analysis for next 4,500 miles:

Sylvain Mondon, onshore router for Gitana Team:
“The highly favourable SE’ly tradewinds will enable Lemonchois to maintain an average speed of around 25 knots throughout the first half of this ocean crossing. This regular tradewind air flow is the result of two vast zones of high pressure: the first close to Australia and the second close to Africa.

“These two systems are shifting slightly eastwards as they fill in and the second zone of high pressure will settle and stretch right across the breadth of the Indian Ocean on Saturday 23 August.

“A fine and slightly favourable SSE’ly swell is accompanying Gitana 13, so she should make fairly rapid progress over the next four days. After that they will have to line themselves up to negotiate several fronts to the south of Madagascar, prior to reaching the Cape of Good Hope.”

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