Escoffier was positioned 4th on the 5am ranking and wide awake when called up for the morning radio chat, poring over the weather files and full of doubts about how things are going to pan out.
"I've just changed sails, I'm making a sandwich of organic bread and dark chocolate. I do not have a sweet tooth, but a bit of dark chocolate is nice. I will have to see what sauce I can eat it with, I think it will be with dark bread. It is going to be very light today.
Last night we had just 3 knots and seconds later 20 knots hitting. It shakes things up a bit… it is not all that simple, I will have to ask Jean (Le Cam) for advice, he knows this sport inside out. For me, I’m heading down South at the moment, but I might have to go East. From here it looks like it could be a nice route to take, no? (he says laughing)
It's not easy to decide. Looking at one weather forecast, it makes sense to head 100° due East, and looking at another makes me want to head directly South. In situations like this, you have to move fast. I've made four sail changes since last night. I'm trying to make the boat work at its best and we'll see.
"The best lane”
I'm pretty happy with my 4th place! Right now the places are not really fixed..those who are heading straight South have accepted they might benefit from a short term gain, but after that we’ll see...I owe being in 4th place to having had a good start to the race and to these three or four past days that haven’t been bad at all. I’ve had good weather, then I had a lapse in speed in the Doldrums, with two or three sail choices to review, some electronic calibration problems, and no doubt some fatigue as well, because everyone took a bit of a blow with everything we had to deal with during the first few days of the race.
Now I'm making the most of the soft winds to change a prematurely worn-out rope, I'm also fixing two or three leaks on the ballast pipes - I've made some very clean repairs! - and we'll see what I decide to do today. It's time to make my final move before reaching the Cape of Good Hope and the fast speed race that is coming up. The stakes are like in athletics: you have to get organised to ensure you are in the best lane".