One of the issues in racing across the North Atlantic in the spring is the danger posed by icebergs. They drift south from Greenland and the Davis Strait and making the turn around Newfoundland into the Atlantic. These bergs are right in the path of racers coming across from the U.K. Thus, the Artemis Transat Race committee designated a turning mark, a so-called ice gate, that the boats must pass to the south to avoid the worst of the ice. Below is a recent report from the Race (the picture is an underway shot from the racer BritAir)
From the press release: Bumping at mid-morning into yet another light patch (foreseen by our expert Jean-Luc Nélias four days ago), the leaders have to be on deck to try and prevent the dreaded speedometer values downfall. Less than 0.5 knots of speed for PRB, race leader, at the 10:00 GMT position update – Vincent Riou sees Loick Peyron gradually gaining miles while Brit Air, even faster, closes the gap as well.
The 12:00 position update showed the wind on the zone was not exactly as forecasted, since Generali did tack but managed to keep sailing to the SW heading straight towards the front of the fleet, Marc Guillemot aboard Safran (5th) is getting better everyday, and now only feels the pain from his ribcage after having performed physically demanding maneuvers such as tacks (be sure not to miss Kito de Pavant’s feature concerning that particular matter).
While the “Vintage Finot division” (as Yannick Bestaven aboard Cervin EnR calls Roxy, Akena Verandas and his own ex-Aquitaine Innovations) is putting on a great fight, Marco is gradually escaping, getting his physical potential back. Sam Davies (Roxy) and Yannick Bestaven (Cervin EnR), positioned north, are seen as coveted targets by Arnaud Boissieres (Akena Verandas) who thinks his position further south is favorable.