Quotes from the fifth radio vac

Alessandro Di Benedetto - Team Plastique
© Sylvain Gabarra

Alex Thomson (GBR, Hugo Boss):
I managed to get some sleep and the cold I’ve had since the start of the race is going away. I don’t measure myself  against Macif. Those boats are faster than me in these conditions. I look at Gamesa, Maitre CoQ and SynerCiel to measure myself. (regarding the collisions with fishing boats) Accidents happen at sea, it’s part of the race but it does make things much more stressful.

François Gabart (FRA, MACIF):
Hi, all, hi Bilou! Wind is complicated to deal with, it’s changing all the time, it’s going to be the same for the others in a few hours. The sea is ok, though, I’ve seen worse.
I had fun in the last 24h, great feelings, good sensations.
Whether I’m leading or 10th, I’m doing the same things when it comes to the boat, the tactics and the rhythm. But I won’t deny I really enjoy being the leader.
my route until the doldrums is going to be a simple one, there won’t be much strategy involved for me or the others. We’ll have to be good and careful.

Armel Le Cléac’h (FRA, Banque Populaire):
The weather is nice here, the sky is clearer and clearer as we go south. I can see Bernard Stamm, we’ve been sailing close since the beginning of the morning. I haven’t seen flying fish yet, but I’m sure I will. I don’t have lime to cook them, but I have olive oil. The outside temperature 24°C and the wind is between 12 and 25 knots. Weather files were saying 35 knots, though.

Jérémie Beyou (FRA, Maître CoQ, taped):
I had strong winds all night long, cross winds. I’m trying not to push the boat too hard, even though there’s a fight with Alex Thomson. I can’t see him right now. We’ve talked a little bit when there was no wind, he wasn’t happy to see me come back. There are always a couple of details to be fixed on a boat like ours but everything is fine. So far so good (in English!).

Bernard Stamm (SUI, Cheminées Poujoulat):
I’m fine. I’ve had no time to rest but the conditions are getting better now, especially the sea. The boat is completely drenched, there’s no place for me to protect myself from the splashing water. But I kept the inside of the boat clean and tidy, everything is pretty much where it should be.
I’m tired because I had to handle the sails a lot because I had to make several changes. I’m very happy with the performance of the boat.
I saw Banque populaire a few hours ago, but I don’t see her any more, I’m not sure where Armel is.
I have to manoeuvre a lot but it’s not complicated, it’s what sailors do. I’m sailing at 13.5 knots.

Tanguy de Lamotte (FRA, Initiatives-Coeur):
I had a busy night, with 35-knot gusts and sail changes every hour or so on a very bumpy sea. I can get some rest now, and hopefully in the afternoon. I’m trying not to push the boat or myself too much, but last night was difficult, I didn’t sleep or eat and I hadn’t anticipated that situation. I hope you’re all following the race!

Vincent Riou (FRA, PRB):
The weather is mostly cloudy, but definitely calmer than yesterday. Since we left the front behind, we’ve had a lot of wind and rain but it is getting better. We’ve been shaken so much, I need to clean up the boat. The strongest wind was yesterday, with gusts at 40 knots. The cross sea is very weird, really, it’s a strange feeling. I was the first to go west and make that choice, but eventually it didn’t pay off, it’s not such a great choice, I was expecting better conditions. But nothing too bad either, we’ll see in a couple of days.

Alessandro Di Benedetto (FRA/ITA, Team Plastique, taped):
I have a cold, I’m taking antibiotics, it’s getting better and better. I’m starting to fully realise what solo sailing in such a race is like, I’m in full race mode now. The boat is doing fine, no problem, I’m really enjoying sailing on Team Plastique, even in strong winds, rain and cloudy weather. But the weather is getting better now. My boat is not a recent one but she still feels like a formula one, these boats are so fast. But they’re physically demanding!

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