Dominique Wavre and his fellow competitors are currently picking their way around the western edge of the St. Helena High and over the next few hours will face the recurring dilemma at this stage of the race: should they take the shortest route or the longer faster one?
“This is a transition phase,” Dominique points out. “It is still around 25 degrees, so quite hot, but no longer tropical…more temperate.” This weather subtlety is the first indicator of the transition phase that precedes the Southern Ocean; it is a very tricky part of the race and demands constant attention. “We will soon get into the ice-cold southerly winds which herald the Southern Ocean – we are not there yet, but it won’t be long now!”
Dominique is ready for the next challenge; he has given Mirabaud a thorough going over and declares the yacht to be in good condition. “I am following Michele’s daily instructions to the letter. She briefs me on what needs to be checked and maintained and where necessary, she checks with our suppliers before sending me a very specific job list that I combine with my firsthand observations. I have ticked off a few days of DIY this week and am now just doing routine maintenance on the boat.”
Under full main and genoa, Dominique is currently reaching past the Martin Vaz islands, “I am making the most of the warmth,” he says. “It’s a great shame that I can’t stock pile the heat for later on!”