|26/01/2011 10:00:00 UTC||14°20.77'N||029°17.11'W||15.4||175°||17.5||419.9||22 180||217.5|
|26/01/2011 07:00:00 UTC||15°21.97'N||029°21.82'W||21||175°||18.1||434.7||22 242||230.9|
|26/01/2011 05:00:00 UTC||16°04.52'N||029°25.43'W||23.5||176°||19.1||457.2||22 284||233.9|
|26/01/2011 03:00:00 UTC||16°53.54'N||029°24.41'W||26.2||184°||19.6||471.3||22 333||238.7|
|26/01/2011 01:00:00 UTC||17°39.28'N||029°23.11'W||18.4||184°||20.6||494.4||22 379||245.5|
|25/01/2011 23:00:00 UTC||18°14.55'N||029°30.49'W||18.5||170°||21.1||507.1||22 414||261.2|
|25/01/2011 21:00:00 UTC||18°53.77'N||029°42.98'W||19||164°||21.7||521.2||22 454||271|
|25/01/2011 19:00:00 UTC||19°23.17'N||029°52.72'W||10.4||250°||22.6||542.3||22 484||277.8|
|25/01/2011 17:00:00 UTC||19°43.81'N||029°54.11'W||16.9||147°||24.2||580.9||22 504||280|
|25/01/2011 15:00:00 UTC||20°08.21'N||029°58.31'W||20.2||243°||25.5||613||22 529||271.8|
|25/01/2011 13:00:00 UTC||20°27.82'N||029°25.34'W||24.2||231°||27.1||651.3||22 547||281.8|
|25/01/2011 11:00:00 UTC||21°02.87'N||028°47.47'W||22.9||226°||28.1||674.9||22 582||267|
The last 24 hours have been up and down for Pascal Bidegorry and his crew on board Banque Populaire. She gybed south, as predicted, at 1600 yesterday, but in the evening her average speed plummetted to a lowly 11-12 knots. Since then her pace has returned to 20+ knots.
Because of her slow night, her lead over Groupama 3's virtual position for the same time on her record breaking lap last year, is now down from 281 miles at yesterday lunchtime to 217 miles.
As we write Banque Populaire is level with the southern group of the Cape Verde islands, albeit some 300+ miles to their west. Her course is due south and all eyes will be on the Doldrums and how they are evolving. It could be that at 29degW, they have already chosen their crossing point and will simply hightail it south - which would have them crossing almost exactly where Groupama 3 did a year ago - or they might gybe and realign themselves further west. Doldrums day for Banque Populaire will be on Friday.
Then the next step will be the South Atlantic and the desire that they don't get nailed to anything like the same degree as the Barcelona World Race boats have. The issue as ever will be the positioning of the St Helena high. Come Saturday this will have returned northwest, up to the latitude of Rio but the situation is evolving rapidly. It seems likely that to stay in the breeze, Banque Populaire will be forced to take a circuitous Virbac-Paprec/Foncia type route to get south.