After 2,600 miles of hard racing, Antonio de la Rosa as crossed the finish line in Kourou (French Guyana)… he win the Atlantic Solo Rowing Race Rames Guyane in 64 days 3 hours 26mn

Would you wish to join this human adventure by taking part in the « 2016/2017 Rames Guyane » Atlantic single-handed rowing race ?Do not hesitate to contact Jean-Pierre Habold : Cette adresse email est protégée contre les robots des spammeurs, vous devez activer Javascript pour la voir.

 and he will provide you detailed information, the race instruction documents as well as a list of boats for rent or purchase.

Huge disappointment for Olivier Ducap who, after a strong performance and near the finish line, has been forced today to abandon the race for medical reasons. The rower needs a doctor’s care, suffering from a right heel infection. That does not allow him to continue his way through to Cayenne. He should be repatriated by helicopter and transferred to Cayenne's hospital around 5:00 PM (Cayenne time zone) where he will receive the necessary basic care and medical attention.

Antonio de la Rosa is leading the race with 70 miles to go to the finish line

337 Nautical miles to the destination of Cayenne, French Guyana…. As the rowers approached the South American coastline, some major developments have happened as expected and feared. The strong coastal currents have sucked up several of the row boat racers and carried them south some 100 or so miles off course towards Brazil. The huge struggle is to fight the currents and keep the heading...
Jacques Ditte

positioncourantJ49mercatoroptimiseFor 50 days, the North Road rowers have been fighting against northern and northeastern winds to avoid getting further south, trying to keep up with the Great Circle Route. As they are getting closer to the finish line, winds from the south are now blowing them northwards instead, impacting the sailing plan they had been scrupulously observing for several weeks. Fortunately, this was obviously just a new incursion of the ITCZ (Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone), which shift in the Americas  moves from north to south, resulting for about 36 hours a high occurrence of south to southeastern winds with heavy rain against the fleet. Nevertheless, these unfavourable weather conditions have led to a sharp fall in the distances travelled and have affected the morale of the skippers, now confronted with doubt.

As for Jean-Pierre whose lead has slipped during this episode, the fear of not being able to cross the line is becoming more and more vivid. It is a gamble, being acted out over a number of options.
For the North team, the bets are off, all of the rowers have taken their decisions, for some just in time, and hope now that the proof will bear out in the coming days. The group of seven Northerners at the outpost has been splitting into two distinct options.
The first choice accepted by five rowers (Jean-Pierre Lasalarié, Harry Culas, Salomé Castillo, Antonio de la Rosa and Laurent Etheimer) is to keep their focus on the original heading by speeding towards the first barrier of unfavourable streams in the hope that it can help their descent to the South, such that they in turn would swap low enough in the second stream – favourable this time - to successfully approach the coast and cross the finish line into the area bounded in the south of Iles du Salut. This involves losing a little more than 2,30° latitude over the 8° longitude that lies ahead. Nevertheless, with a well established wind from the north-east, this could prove to be a powerful strategy.
The second option being adopted for the moment by the skippers Olivier Bernard and Olivier Ducap and probably later on by a few others following consists of diving into the maelstrom to bypass through the south while benefiting strong currents. It would allow them to reach a rather low position and be perfectly in axis with the finishing line.
Neither of these options, however, for the time being seems to be superior to another, but we will soon be well informed.

For the moment, the team of closest rivals keep a step back over the progression of the rowers in front, still waiting a few days to choose a route over the other before arriving at a decision.
Meanwhile, Didier Torre and Patrice Maciel have rejoined their route further south at a speed frequently climbing close to 3 knots. They may have finally reached the beginnings of the famous South Equatorial Current they have been seeking for so long. They would then see their efforts rewarded and audacity proven successful.

Race update... Midterm

Past this first month since the start of the race, the lead of the competitors begins to feel ahead of them the second half of the course. Rowers having passed the longitude 30° W, or about a third of the distance to Cayenne, are benefiting at last from favourable conditions to drive west without having to struggle stubbornly with the north winds which had highly complicated the start of the crossing. Some rowers went through 30 to 55 miles in 24 hours in recent days, an alternation meaning that the trade winds may not be far away even if they aren’t quite really settled in the area. The going forward trajectory of the boats should be expected to accelerate. In first place, Jean-Pierre Lasalarié, with a good lead over his closest rivals, is starting counting down the days before the arrival, keeping his eyes riveted on the progress of its Spanish competitor, Antonio de la Rosa, slowly approaching his way. But the ocean (the road) lying ahead of the bows of our northern sailors looks like they’re in for some disturbed conditions, stirred in an inextricable and chaotic tangle of currents in all directions. The flow of the South Equatorial current is much wider before the Guyanese coast than it was during the 2012 edition and its intensity generates an equally powerful counter-currents phenomena.

At the other end of the area, Didier Torre, the audacious Breton who escaped to the great South continues its descent to pick just above the Equator the “conveyor belt” of strong east to west currents. Its option might be the good one. Everything will depend on the time it will take him to make his way through the Doldrums before finding the currents to lead him directly to the Cayenne finish line.

The skippers at the outpost hope to cover pretty soon 1° per 24 h. At this pace, Jean-Pierre should be able to reach the finish line in just under 25 days from now, around December 10th. For much of the fleet however, it seems wise not to anticipate an arrival before December 20th, just a few days before Christmas. The crossing then will have last about 60 days against 36 for the 2012 edition This evidently raises the issue of perishable food on board and the autonomy of the rowers. Some, as Gérard Marie, have begun to solve the problem by fishing sea bream. His latest catch has allowed him to save a day food ration.

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