Three days in and almost at the Cape Verdes

Banque Populaire 245 miles ahead of Groupama 3

Tuesday January 25th 2011, Author: James Boyd, Location: none selected

Image above courtesy of Expedition Navigation Systems and PredictWind. See a bigger version here.

Date Lat Long Spd Crs Spd Dist DTF v G3
      Inst   24 hours      
25/01/2011 08:05:00 UTC 21°56.41'N 027°57.84'W 28.8 221° 29.3 703.5 22 635 245.3
25/01/2011 06:00:00 UTC 22°54.27'N 027°22.85'W 32.4 201° 29.7 712.3 22 693 221.9
25/01/2011 04:00:00 UTC 23°52.58'N 027°08.77'W 34.5 186° 28.4 680.5 22 752 203.6
25/01/2011 02:00:00 UTC 25°00.86'N 027°03.94'W 33.9 186° 26.9 644.5 22 820 180.2
25/01/2011 00:00:00 UTC 26°03.77'N 026°43.49'W 23.5 137° 25.6 613.9 22 884 165.1
24/01/2011 22:00:00 UTC 26°48.56'N 027°13.51'W 31.4 218° 26.3 631.3 22 928 171.1
24/01/2011 20:00:00 UTC 27°35.18'N 026°57.94'W 33 134° 26.6 638 22 975 181
24/01/2011 18:00:00 UTC 28°34.33'N 027°13.90'W 31 164° 27.5 659.6 23 033 177.7
24/01/2011 16:00:00 UTC 29°36.26'N 027°24.49'W 25.4 176° 28.1 675.3 23 095 169.5
24/01/2011 14:00:00 UTC 30°36.00'N 027°06.10'W 29.7 209° 28.2 676.6 23 155 161.9
24/01/2011 12:00:00 UTC 31°30.29'N 026°23.41'W 35.2 205° 28.1 674.4 23 211 158.2
24/01/2011 10:00:00 UTC 32°33.28'N 025°47.73'W 35.1 206° 27.9 670.2 23 276 151.7

Pascal Bidegorry and the crew of Banque Populaire V have been making good progress over the last 24 hours. They already have the Canaries ticked off and are two thirds of the way to the Cape Verdes - and we're only three days in!

Yesterday rounding the southwest corner of the depression, still resolutely straddling the Canaries to Gibraltar, didn't appear to slow them much, their lowest 4 hourly average being 23 knots at midnight last night! As a result their lead over Groupama 3 has gained from 155 to 245 miles over this period.

The wind is currently in the north, the 40m trimaran on starboard gybe but the breeze is expected to veer into the northeast later today, a shift which they are likely to take before deeming they have enough west in before they gybe south once again. Conditions are still looking good to get them to the Doldrums, only here the wind is looking soft below 3°N.

Yesterday Pascal Bidégorry was satisfied with the position of the boat and the strategy they adopted skirting the depression. "We gybed yesterday evening and again this morning to remain in this active flow. We are going well. This morning, we had between 35 and 36 knots of speed.

"Today it is easier even if we still have a large sea causing the boat to bury its bows. The air temperature of warmer and we've started to remove layers when we leave the cockpit to make operations. But it remains wet. With these boats you're a little under water at these speeds!"

According Bidegorry there is a tricky part coming up as they draw level with the Cape Verdes. “The transition at the Cape Verdes will be delicate. We will have rather weak winds."

Despite this Bidegorry remains positive regarding their ETA at the Equator: “I am more optimistic than 24 hjours ago, when files looked alarming! For the time being, in my opinion the time to the Equator will be around six days."

Jérémie Beyou, watch leader, described the living conditions for the 14 crew on board Banque Populaire V: “Since the departure, the stand-by watch has been active because on the first night there was a lot to do on deck. It is necessary to anticipate the reefing on a boat as powerful as this. On the helm it is necessary to remain very focussed. It has been tired on one's arms and the palms of one's hands. It has been necessary to relearn the small reflexes of the sailor. Juan Villa, our navigator, spends most of his time down below. He still hasn't put on his boots since we left!"

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