The Sails of Change crew had been watching for the weather window that opened today (Saturday 14 Jan) in the North Atlantic since the middle of last week. Yann Guichard was keen to seize what would have been the first opportunity for a start since the maxi trimaran went on standby last October, even though it was packed with uncertainty.
How would you describe the weather window that up until today looked promising?
“It was excellent as far as the Equator – the router had us there in just over five days. But after that there was no favourable low-pressure system to link up with the trade winds and reach the Cape of Good Hope inside 13 days, which is not a good time. This was the first opportunity for a start since we went on standby, but it was far from perfect. We studied the files again late last night alongside the overall forecast* that came in at around 23:00 before our router Jean-Yves Bernot, our navigator, Benjamin Schwartz, and I made a decision.”
In your heart of hearts, did you think you should start?
“I really wanted to leave today, just behind the front which passed through at around 14:00, so in the middle of the afternoon. But it’s a very difficult decision to make. Postpone for better weather in the southern hemisphere and the Bay of Biscay becomes impassable due to the sea state until next Wednesday. And on Wednesday, the window in the North Atlantic shortens and may very well close again. We are already mid-January with a month of standby left. It is a double-edged sword, interesting and challenging!”
Yann Guichard and the 10 Sails of Change crew members remain fully focused on the evolution of the weather window.