Life outside the Olympics…

Life outside the Olympics…Far Outside

Lionel Lemanchois’ bad-ass maxi-catamaran Gitana 13 is working on continuing its record-collecting world tour – this time, trying to beat the record from China to London. Lionel and crew have had a stroke of luck that has spared them some of the upwind battle expected in the run to the Java Sea.

Coming up toward Natuna, the main island in the Indonesian archipelago of the same name, Gitana 13’s crew had to make a strategic decision about the route and – after much deliberation – opted to round to the east of the island.

The first sight of land since Hong Kong, Natuna proved to be a fine spectacle for the ten sailors – they gradually discovered a volcano situated along the eastern seaboard as it appeared through the clouds. That wasn’t the only nice surprise that Natuna had to offer: The air flow from the monsoon was diverted by the land, bringing a steady Northwesterly breeze for nearly 6 hours. It was an unexpected change in direction, and one that enabled the Gitana 13 to gain some precious miles in the record attempt.  The rest of the story is here, and more shots of Gitana are here. Don’t forget to catch news of Gitana, as well as all the other breaking news in the world of sailing, at SA’s Sailing News.