La Rochelle – The start of the standby period for the single-handed round the world record is only a few days away, as it gets underway on Sunday 22 October. François Gabart is already studying the weather situation closely with the routing team run by Jean-Yves Bernot. In the last two years, the man they call “the Wizard” has established a relationship of total trust with the skipper of the MACIF trimaran and his team, to decide on the best window to set sail and step up to the plate of this single-handed round the world record!
François Gabart together with the whole team will be on standby as of Sunday, with a view to attempting the single-handed round the world record. The skipper is ready and so is the MACIF trimaran. All that remains is to choose the right time to leave and this means opting for an ideal weather window to get the record attempt off to a good start. “Today, we are considering a weather window that takes us roughly up until the equator. Our main concern is having good weather as far as the southern hemisphere. Obviously, when the boat sets sail, we have a fair idea of what to expect as she makes the transition from the North Atlantic to the low pressure areas of the South Atlantic, but there is still some uncertainty. We will have to cross our fingers so that everything after that works well”, explains François Gabart.
The skipper of MACIF, the team, and the weather routing team have made the departure procedure as simple as possible. “The advantage of a solo record, is that we do not have the constraint of bringing a crew home. On the other hand, there are still about thirty people working on the project in need of clear information. It is also important to inform the public, so that people can come and see us on the day we set off and so that they can follow the adventure.”
In practice, how do they work?
“Red means that no weather window is in sight. We indicate the number of days ahead of us in which it is unlikely that we will set sail. It can be a very short period, just like it could last four to five days, but it shouldn’t be much more than this. If it is orange it means a window is forming. When it turns green, this means we’re leaving”, says François Gabart, who will give the final go-ahead.