The numbers in each box refer to the number of bergs sighted

The numbers in each box refer to the number of bergs sighted

Ice gate for the Artemis Transat

Race Director Sylvie Viant announces compulsory waypoint gate competitor must pass south of

Thursday May 8th 2008, Author: Jocelyn Bleriot, Location: United Kingdom
Having kept a careful eye on the ice reports, the Race Direction team for the Artemis Transat has announced it is to include an ice gate on the course. The risk of collision with an iceberg is obviously one of the singlehander's worst nightmares, and a major hazard at this time of year on the North Atlantic.The gate is along a line of latitude, and in an attempt to force competitors to stay south, they are now obliged to pass some point along the line to starboard.

"Given the number of icebergs and their presence very far south this year," explained Race Director Sylvie Viant, "we felt, after having consulted the skippers, that it was a necessary move, because safety is our first concern."

The gate, a 130 mile long line located between 47º and 50º W at 40º N (to the south of the Grand Banks), will made the course longer by approximately 210 miles, or a total of 2955 miles now.

In this respect on boat that may be at an advantage is Marc Guillemot's IMOCA Open 60 Safran. This is fitted with an unidentified object detector. The prototype, which will be tested during The Artemis Transat, consists of a miniature thermo-sensitive camera fitted on the masthead. The camera detects all objects which show a significant temperature difference with their environment - the system is essentially developed to spot icebergs and growlers, and originates from the special binoculars used by sea rescuers to catch a 'thermal signal', like the emerged head of a man who has fallen overboard.

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