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It's getting tougher!


End of day 7 of a raging race, which quickly entered the depressed North Atlantic systems and their strong westerly winds. FOR THE PLANET, the valiant 2019 Verdier design and its no less intrepid skipper Sam Goodchild, keeps on playing the leading roles, as it does since the start of the season with the help of Antoine Koch. In third place, some thirty miles to the north-west of Charal (Jérémie Beyou), the British sailor continues to make good speed in the heart of the Azores archipelago, between Faial and Florès. He has escaped the ridges behind the front he crossed yesterday, which slowed down many of his pursuers. This morning, he hooked onto the south of a new low system, just as virulent as the previous one, with strong winds and heavy seas. He's on a virtually direct course towards the tip of Brittany, firmly sticking to his initial strategy of going fast while limiting risk-taking. There are still a few gybes to come, which may or may not make it easier to close the gap with the race leader,  Paprec Arkea (Richomme). Sam, an old adventurer despite his 34 years of age, refuses to focus on the gaps with his rivals, concentrating instead on the boat's progress and his own race. Its a long way to (Tipperary) Lorient!


Sam Goodchild

« Paprec made a good choice. It s easy to regret afterwards. I dont have any regrets for not following him as when the decision was made, the risks were great and I was happy not to risk too much. My choice was to stay with the majority of the fleet and let him get away. He’s rewarded for that so congrats to him. No regrets.
At the moment, I’m lined up behind Charal but it depends on what happens the next 24 hours, if he manages to make a break in the westerlies. But the Azores and the finish line is not that straight forward just yet. And there’s quite a few things that could change so we’ll see what happens. Right now, I m just trying very hard not to get too wound up in the competition and not put too much pressure on myself as that’s not gonna help. I just try to keep on sailing my own race and go as fast as possible and not get wound up on what the others are doing.
A few strategic opportunities are possible to the finish. Choices will have to be made and risks be evaluated. There’s a big storm coming towards Europe. It could grow big.
I’m happy with the way I’ve sailed so far, the way I like, not taking huge risks. Sailing tidy. I’ll try to finish in the same manner.
We’ve had a few small damages to fix on board. Not affecting the performances so far. We lost a few miles here and there repairing. Boat and me are tired. Expecting harder conditions, strong winds and bigger seas. Its a long way to the finish.
Temperatures are dropping. Still pleasant for now. Does not affect me. Its more a relief to cool off after heavy maneuvers. Nights are getting longer. Make sure I eat more food to get the body going. »

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