Hanging a left

Groupama 3 prepares to skirt the South Atlantic high

Tuesday February 9th 2010, Author: James Boyd, Location: none selected

 

Date/time Lat Long Spd Crs 24 hrs DTF v Orange2
               
09/02/2010 08:00 24°04.84 S 034°41.73 W 27.2 147° 451.1 20 151 398.1
09/02/2010 07:00 23°41.13 S 034°56.84 W 27.4 153° 446.8 20 177 394.3
09/02/2010 06:00 23°17.60 S 035°09.34 W 24.9 153° 444.7 20 201 392.8
09/02/2010 05:00 22°54.68 S 035°21.07 W 26.2 157° 445.6 20 225 391.2
09/02/2010 04:00 22°31.63 S 035°31.62 W 25 158° 446.8 20 247 390.1
09/02/2010 03:00 22°08.58 S 035°39.74 W 24 170° 448.3 20 268 387.5
09/02/2010 02:00 21°48.57 S 035°46.37 W 20.5 159° 453.1 20 287 388.1
09/02/2010 01:00 21°28.51 S 035°54.18 W 23 162° 459.1 20 306 389.5
09/02/2010 00:00 21°06.90 S 036°01.17 W 21.9 163° 458.7 20 325 389.6
08/02/2010 23:00 20°47.65 S 036°07.60 W 20.3 158° 457.3 20 343 391.4
08/02/2010 22:00 20°29.87 S 036°15.16 W 18.3 154° 458 20 360 395
08/02/2010 21:00 20°12.30 S 036°20.74 W 18 171° 459.7 20 376 399.5
08/02/2010 20:00 19°55.76 S 036°24.76 W 14.4 150° 462 20 391 405.8
08/02/2010 18:00 19°27.94 S 036°35.74 W 10.9 166° 482.1 20 418 419
08/02/2010 17:00 19°17.58 S 036°37.63 W 12.5 166° 497 20 426 432.4
08/02/2010 16:00 19°03.93 S 036°42.80 W 16.4 155° 514.7 20 439 441.9
08/02/2010 15:00 18°47.29 S 036°48.44 W 16.6 166° 527.8 20 455 447.6
08/02/2010 14:00 18°31.14 S 036°49.00 W 18 191° 539.2 20 467 456
08/02/2010 13:00 18°11.75 S 036°45.23 W 19.7 195° 547.2 20 479 465.2
08/02/2010 12:00 17°54.43 S 036°40.70 W 17.8 194° 555.5 20 488 475.7
08/02/2010 10:00 17°20.07 S 036°27.53 W 20.6 206° 574.1 20 505 499.3
08/02/2010 09:00 17°01.99 S 036°18.45 W 17.8 202° 574.9 20 513 511.3
08/02/2010 08:00 16°41.77 S 036°12.02 W 23.2 197° 577.3 20 525 519.8

With her virtual opponent, Jules Verne Trophy record holder Orange 2, picking up speed and also sailing a shorter course to her east, so Franck Cammas' Groupama 3 has lost more than 100 miles of her lead in the last 24 hours. This has also been due to her encountering lighter winds over the course of yesterday afternoon.

While they have had to remain close to the Brazilian coast, costing them miles, Cammas and his crew have been lucky to be able to make the turn to the southeast, to skirt the St Helena pressure, so far north up the South Atlantic. They turned southeast mid-afternoon yesterday and only in the early hours of this morning did they pass the latitude of Rio.

This morning Groupama 3 is back up to speed, slowly regaining miles on Orange 2 and gradually turning her bow ever further left.

Weather-wise, Groupama 3 is just edging into the northwesterlies ahead of a front in the northeast quadrant of her first Southern Ocean depression centred at 50degS. The forecast for the next 24 hours is neither great nor awful as the depression. By tomorrow morning the European model has the centre of the depression moving NE to around 45degS but its fronts seem set to spawn an additional low with a ridge between this and the main depression. The effect will be favourable northwesterlies but very much less pressure, the winds dropping to 10 knots (and of course dead downwind).

Thursday the weather situation is looking more volatile still with an area of high pressure possibly moving over Groupama 3. So the next 48 hours are likely to be reasonably slow and will definitely see Navigator Stan Honey earning his money.

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