New record to Cape Leeuwin
|Date/time||Lat||Long||Spd||Crs||24 hrs||DTF||v Orange|
|22 Feb 08:00||45°36.99 S||117°50.21 E||30.5||88°||718.6||13 534||-129|
|22 Feb 05:00||45°39.73 S||115°38.87 E||29.1||87°||716.8||13 611||-124.1|
|22 Feb 01:00||45°40.66 S||112°40.18 E||30.1||88°||709.2||13 719||-123.2|
|21 Feb 22:00||45°42.95 S||110°32.41 E||28.3||86°||681.5||13 796||-123.7|
|21 Feb 19:00||45°49.51 S||108°25.58 E||30.7||87°||661.1||13 870||-120|
|21 Feb 16:00||45°57.53 S||106°22.14 E||31.8||85°||664.9||13 941||-121.9|
|21 Feb 13:00||45°57.95 S||104°09.53 E||26.3||97°||656.7||14 022||-126.1|
|21 Feb 10:00||46°01.21 S||102°06.33 E||31.5||88°||663.1||14 095||-139.7|
|21 Feb 07:00||46°03.74 S||099°54.65 E||30||90°||664.9||14 173||-169.1|
|21 Feb 04:00||46°03.61 S||097°45.46 E||30.9||88°||669||14 251||-189.3|
|21 Feb 01:00||46°08.00 S||095°39.77 E||29.9||87°||673||14 325||-206.5|
|20 Feb 22:00||45°22.87 S||094°18.07 E||28.4||163°||717.2||14 397||-218.1|
|20 Feb 19:00||45°07.50 S||092°43.19 E||32.3||82°||741.8||14 462||-214|
|20 Feb 16:00||45°19.45 S||090°31.07 E||24.7||85°||746.3||14 535||-219.9|
|20 Feb 13:00||45°26.90 S||088°28.64 E||29.1||88°||751.4||14 605||-210.5|
|20 Feb 10:00||45°29.32 S||086°15.49 E||32.7||92°||752.1||14 684||-207.1|
|20 Feb 07:00||45°27.82 S||084°01.31 E||32.2||93°||756.4||14 767||-204.3|
|20 Feb 04:00||45°24.14 S||081°47.14 E||31.3||89°||754.7||14 851||-207.8|
|20 Feb 01:00||45°26.80 S||079°34.79 E||31.7||93°||757.7||14 932||-202.7|
|19 Feb 22:00||45°19.51 S||077°15.63 E||32.2||95°||755.3||15 023||-214.7|
|19 Feb 19:00||45°14.53 S||075°08.77 E||32.6||90°||757.5||15 105||-218.5|
|19 Feb 16:00||45°07.78 S||072°49.39 E||32.4||93°||759.6||15 195||-231.2|
Franck Cammas and the crew of Groupama 3 have ticked off another landmark in their attempt on the Jules Verne Trophy. This morning at 04h 17' 47''GMT they passed Cape Leeuwin, southwest Australia, the second 'great Cape' and in doing so set a new record for the Indian Ocean crossing (from the Cape of Good Hope to Cape Leeuwin). Their new time of 6 days 22 hours 34 minutes compares with 7 days 5 hours and 35 minutes for their virtual opponent and Jules Verne record holder, Orange 2, and faster still than their last attempt, when their time was 7 days 17 hours 13 minutes. Their record time is surprising given that the weather conditions they have experienced are far from ideal.
At present for example Groupama 3 still trails Orange 2 - at the latest sched they are 129 miiles behind, having clawed their way back from 450 miles behind on Thursday morning. The maxi-tri looked like she might overtake the depression/front that they have been riding and this was prevented when they put in a short 70 mile hitch to the south on Saturday moring. Since then they have consistently been making 30+ knot speeds in strong northwesterlies. In terms of longitude, Groupama 3 is in fact now almost neck and neck with Orange 2, only she is 300 miles further north.
“A circumnavigation of the globe is quite long!" said skipper Franck Cammas. "We still have a long way to go, but it’s fabulous to come here and see the seascapes and the colours: there is a moon, which is gradually reappearing and things will get nicer, even if the nights are short. It often makes you think of the mountains down here...
"The boat goes quickly and we're trying to take it into the right place, which isn't always simple… The southwesterly wind kicked in again six hours ago as these past 24 hours we've been bumping into the rear of a cold front, unable to get past this barrier! As we wait for it to break up, we’re making the most of the situation to drop southwards and a low is coming up behind us. We’re going to aim for the south of New Zealand."
Cammas continued: “The water is at 3°C but it’s not a zone renowned for its icebergs. We're keeping a close eye on the radar all the same though. The cold set in a few days ago: we don't hang about in the cockpit and we wear gloves for manœuvres. Moving about is a little harder on deck: it's not a very pleasant region to sail in. The halfway point on the course will be a big psychological breakthrough as we’ll be heading home from that point! However, the climb up the Atlantic is always longer than the descent… And the Pacific hasn't yet stabilised - the entry of it at least. Nothing has been handed to us on a plate during this attempt. We’re battling with this but we're still inside the time."
In terms of the forecast ahead, Groupama 3 still looks to be in danger of outrunning the depression and this should happen sometime in the early hours of Wednesday as she is drawing level with Tasmania. At this point an area of high pressure will have formed to the south of Australia, and the depression she is riding is effectively stopped in its track, although a secondary depression is forecast to be spawned from it heading just behind Groupama 3's track as it heads up into the Tasman Sea. This transition will be another tricky time for the crew. The good news (ish) is that the depression to their southeast as they head into the Pacific looks reasonably stationary, which means they shouldn't run out of wind. The bad news is that the sea state in the northwestern sector of Southern Ocean depressions can be quite evil and given what happened last time Groupama 3 was in this area....the crew will have to play it very safe.