After rounding Madeira on Tuesday night, the fleet had to negotiate the wind shift caused by the Portuguese island. While some took the wiser option of gybing along the windless corridor until they found a well-established trade wind, such as IBN Battouta Tribute 2022, Amhas and Gryphon Solo II, others tried to cross it with varying degrees of success. It was the option chosen by Milai Around The World that paid off, unlike their Canadian counterparts aboard Whiskey Jack. It was a gamble that allowed the Japanese crew to break away and gain a 70 nautical mile lead over their dolphin Sec Hayai, and thus be the first to cross the Canary Islands, the second course mark on this first leg.
After the episode of rounding Madeira, the fleet, still under the influence of an 18 to 25 knot northerly/northeasterly flow, quickly reached the Spanish archipelago. While Masa Suzuki and Koji Nakagawa have already passed it, it is now the turn of the other duos to tackle the crossing. Will the lesson of the Madeira windless corridor have been learned to better apprehend those generated by the islands of Tenerife and Gran Canaria? In any case Sec Hayai, Amhas, IBN Battouta Tribute 2022, Gryphon Solo II and Whiskey Jack would be well advised to imitate Milai Around The World which was able to exploit the wind acceleration caused by the gully between the two islands, without entering the DST (traffic separation scheme) of the ‘Western Canaries’ while positioning itself perfectly between the two wind corridors which can reach up to 60-70 nautical miles (110-130 km) in length…
With an average of 250 – 300 nautical miles sailed per day (301 Nm leg record for Whiskey Jack), the fleet is 24 hours ahead of the pre-start estimates. The first competitor is expected to arrive in Mindelo, Cape Verde on Sunday.
Class40 The Globe en Solidaire has crossed the Straits to Gibraltar to collect parts to repair the damage caused by the collision at the start and join the rest of the fleet in Cape Verde to continue the adventure.