Davies survives fourth night at sea in storm conditions

It has been a torrid and stormy time for Sam Davies and Sidney Gavignet onboard Artemis Ocean Racing in what has turned into a battering for the IMOCA 60 fleet in the Transat Jacques Vabre. Overnight the duo were slamming hard into over 30 knots of wind in their race to Costa Rica having left Le Harve, France on Sunday in a civilised 10 knots under a blue sky.

Decisions about the route for the highly experienced pair have been about preservation of the boat rather than the optimum course – Sam commented from onboard: “We have been thinking seamanship first and everything else second. Actually, it’s quite strange because it’s the first time I’ve ever done that, but the optimum route would take us right through winds of up to 50 knots, which means probably gusting near 70! And potentially 10 metre waves!”

As the fleet have split, Artemis Ocean Racing is now well committed to the south. Although it has been blowing a solid 30 knots since yesterday evening which are potentially boat breaking conditions the weather has now settled down slightly, with a more consistent wind direction establishing itself. The wind strengths should have eased a little for everyone over lunch time, meaning Sam and Sidney will be shifting back into ‘tactical’ sailing mode as their thoughts turn from looking after the boat to their strategy for the next section of the race – however, the respite won’t last long, with the winds forecast to increase again tonight for a further 6-9 hours of mid-Atlantic hammering!

Sam commented from onboard: “Hello everyone on dry land! Out here it is not dry! The night has been nice though as we crashed along in 30 knots of wind under a starry sky. To appreciate the sky, however you need to be dressed in full oilskins and ski mask as someone has left the washing machine on the cold rinse cycle! There have even been some shooting stars that I could appreciate from the shelter of the cuddy looking backwards... alongside the Plough! Otherwise, all is fine on board Artemis. The repairs are holding up and we are enjoying the ride.“

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