Tricky night

Banque Populaire back up to speed after 12-13 knot evening

Wednesday January 26th 2011, Author: James Boyd, Location: none selected

Image above courtesy of Expedition Navigation Systems and PredictWind.

Date Lat Long Spd Crs Spd2 Dist DTF v G3
      Inst   24 hrs      
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. 

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