Groupama 3 v Orange 2
Groupama 3 v Orange 2

Switching on the afterburners

Groupama 3 now 750 miles ahead of Orange 2 with an ETA of Saturday

Thursday March 18th 2010, Author: James Boyd, Location: none selected

 Image above courtesy of Expedition Navigation Systems and PredictWind

 

Date time Lat Long Spd Crs 24 hrs DTF v Orange 2
               
18 Mar 08:00 31°52.91 N 032°11.44 W 30.3 14° 563.5 1 576 746.6
18 Mar 07:00 31°23.03 N 032°15.35 W 29 565.1 1 600 727.1
18 Mar 06:00 30°54.70 N 032°15.41 W 26 351° 569.7 1 622 710.4
18 Mar 05:00 30°29.58 N 032°11.17 W 22.8 351° 578.9 1 638 697.7
18 Mar 04:00 30°15.15 N 032°07.44 W 7.3 590.2 1 647 694.8
18 Mar 03:00 30°09.31 N 032°13.82 W 22.5 72° 599.8 1 655 693
18 Mar 02:00 30°03.97 N 032°44.16 W 15.6 77° 598.2 1 676 678.7
18 Mar 01:00 29°48.46 N 033°02.07 W 25.8 38° 593.7 1 698 663.6
18 Mar 00:00 29°29.45 N 033°15.83 W 22 46° 586.5 1 720 647.7
17 Mar 23:00 29°15.83 N 033°42.25 W 29 65° 578.6 1 745 628.2
17 Mar 22:00 29°07.16 N 034°11.26 W 28.2 60° 573.1 1 768 611
17 Mar 21:00 28°51.34 N 034°39.01 W 30.3 60° 555.9 1 796 588.8
17 Mar 20:00 28°33.38 N 035°05.70 W 28.3 54° 536.7 1 825 564.3
17 Mar 19:00 28°17.11 N 035°33.64 W 32.3 60° 519.5 1 854 539.3
17 Mar 18:00 28°01.66 N 036°04.55 W 33.3 61° 503.5 1 883 514.2
17 Mar 17:00 27°44.46 N 036°35.19 W 30.9 58° 493 1 914 486.9
17 Mar 16:00 27°28.37 N 037°03.32 W 28.2 56° 487.8 1 942 463.7
17 Mar 15:00 27°13.48 N 037°29.65 W 26.8 65° 483.5 1 969 436.3
17 Mar 14:00 27°02.83 N 037°57.09 W 27.4 79° 485.2 1 993 412.2
17 Mar 13:00 26°53.23 N 038°26.95 W 27.5 71° 488.1 2 018 387.3
17 Mar 12:00 26°45.34 N 038°56.99 W 28.2 72° 495.3 2 041 369.6
17 Mar 11:00 26°23.64 N 039°08.62 W 33.2 496.8 2 064 347.3
17 Mar 10:00 25°51.95 N 039°12.10 W 32.1 489.8 2 091 325.8
17 Mar 09:00 25°24.36 N 039°15.53 W 28.4 479.9 2 114 305.7
17 Mar 08:00 24°55.33 N 039°22.06 W 30.1 13° 470.5 2 140 282.2
17 Mar 07:00 24°25.84 N 039°27.26 W 28.6 464.1 2 165 258.5

Yesterday at midday, Groupama 3 made a significant gybe towards Europe and has since between massively adding to her advantage over Jules Verne Trophy record holder, Orange 2. At the latest sched she is now almost 750 miles, or more than a day ahead of her rival with more to come in the southwesterly winds of the next 24-48 hours.

At present the aim of skipper Franck Cammas and his nine crew is to position themselves ahead of a cold front, associated with the depression directly to their north, which should propel them most of the way to the finish line off Ushant. However, the course isn't likely to be direct, and in the early hours of this morning, Groupama was forced to return to the unfavoured northerly gybe.

"Right now, we're going to have to deal with a depression, which we hope we'll be able to play with as far as the finish... " said Cammas yesterday. "It's going to be windy with quite a lot of gybes, in fact we're starting our first manoeuvre right now. The skies have become greyer, so the weather's reminiscent of Brittany, but the temperature is still quite high.

"The manoeuvres are very smooth after forty-five days, but it's still a tricky moment as it's in situations such as these that you can damage material. We're going to have to be careful, especially in 25 knots... We have to stay on the pace now and not take any risks. However we can do it without forcing ourselves to stay in the low: it'll all depend on the sea state. We're confident about the condition of the gear because we've looked after the boat throughout, but we'll be attacking a similar phase to that of the Southern Ocean..."

Fred Le Peutrec added: "We've hooked onto the system, which will continue as far as Brittany: if we don't have any technical issues, we shouldn't have any more fears about the weather. We're now riding the last train of wind which goes all the way to the finish... We must ensure we don't have any mishaps, but there's no reason for us to worry. The seas aren't heavy yet so we can reasonably hang onto some high speeds."

Sylvain Mondon from Météo France gave his take this morning: "Groupama 3 has been sailing in very variable breeze since Wednesday evening. The prevailing southwesterly wind of around 20 knots, is subject to some vast variations according to the progress of the fronts. Ahead of a rather active front, the wind is shifting round to the south, increasing in strength - as it did on Wednesday evening. In the early hours of this morning, the reverse of this situation occurred: a fairly inactive section of the front caught up with Groupama 3, temporarily generating very light west to northwesterly winds. However, the air flow is set to shift back round to the southwest as it freshens, enabling Franck Cammas and his crewto pick up speed again towards Ushant. A number of gybed will be necessary to best exploit these large variations in the wind."

The current forecast is suggesting Groupama 3's finish at the line off Ushant's Le Creac'h lighthouse, between Saturday morning and Saturday evening. It will then take around two to four hours for the giant trimaran to reach the Port du Château marina in Brest.

 

 


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