The GLOBE40 fleet left Tangier in the Strait of Gibraltar mid afternoon on Sunday and have now reached the first course mark of this first leg, the Madeira archipelago. In a north/north-easterly flow of around 20 knots, the Class40s have quickly covered the 600 nautical miles separating Cape Spartel from the Portuguese island. A long reaching leg, admittedly uncomfortable, but which enabled them to achieve good speeds and cover good distances in 24 hours. With 250 to 300 nautical miles swallowed up per day, the duos will have taken barely two and a half days to reach the first course mark. While the Japanese crew aboard Milai Around The World were the first to round Madeira and set the left-hand indicator for the second mark in the Canary Islands, they were closely followed by their competitors. Only 60 nautical miles separate him from Gryphon Solo II, the last crew at sea. The first section of this round the world race has been successfully completed.
The sailors, who have been battling with strong conditions since the start, will not be able to take advantage of the easing wind forecast for the night for long. Once they have rounded the island, they will have to redouble their concentration in order to negotiate the wind shift caused by its coasts. A windless corridor which can prove to be a trap for anyone who ventures there. After that, the fleet will be heading for Tenerife on a steeper tack, the second and final mark on the course before Cape Verde.
For Class40 The Globe en Solidaire Eric Grosclaude is waiting to receive parts so that he can repair and set off again.