|01/02/2011 11:00:00 UTC||30°11.87'S||038°21.42'W||10.9||159°||12.8||306.2||19 963||-405.6|
|01/02/2011 09:00:00 UTC||29°44.10'S||038°37.13'W||23.3||172°||12.9||309.4||19 991||-417.4|
|01/02/2011 07:00:00 UTC||29°02.12'S||038°35.08'W||19.4||194°||12.5||300.3||20 015||-414.5|
|01/02/2011 05:00:00 UTC||28°24.02'S||038°29.64'W||19.1||175°||12.7||305.9||20 036||-401.4|
|01/02/2011 03:00:00 UTC||27°50.06'S||038°31.58'W||15.7||157°||13.3||319.5||20 058||-388.8|
|01/02/2011 01:00:00 UTC||27°21.69'S||038°41.06'W||16||163°||14.1||337.7||20 083||-377.1|
|31/01/2011 23:00:00 UTC||27°00.73'S||038°28.36'W||16.6||238°||15||360.7||20 087||-340|
|31/01/2011 21:00:00 UTC||26°34.65'S||038°13.20'W||15.1||161°||15.2||364.3||20 094||-313.1|
|31/01/2011 19:00:00 UTC||26°15.38'S||038°10.55'W||13.6||238°||15.2||364.3||20 105||-290|
|31/01/2011 17:00:00 UTC||26°03.18'S||037°50.38'W||11.2||147°||15.4||369||20 099||-245.9|
|31/01/2011 15:00:00 UTC||25°48.70'S||037°55.60'W||4.1||219°||16||383.1||20 113||-205.7|
|31/01/2011 13:00:00 UTC||25°34.60'S||037°48.45'W||13.8||202°||16.7||400.6||20 117||-186.7|
|31/01/2011 11:00:00 UTC||25°06.69'S||037°53.95'W||17.1||161°||17.2||413.1||20 140||-198.4|
Another rotten 24 hours for Banque Populaire, as, in 40m trimaran terms, she crawls down the coast of Brazil dogged by light winds. She has just passed 30°S, just south of the latitude of Itajaí, where the next Volvo Ocean Race will stop and her route is now some 300 miles to the west of Groupama 3's at this stage of the green tri's record breaking lap last spring.
At its worst, Banque Populaire's four hourly average speed had dropped to just 6.4 knots at 1800 yesterday. Over the course of this morning, her speed has gradually built and at 0900 her four hourly average was back above 20 knots. But at 0800 this morning she had dropped back to 422 miles off Groupama 3's pace.
The weather situation has developed over the last 24 hours. The high remains to her southeast and it is reaching the favourable northeasterlies in the top left quadrant of this that is causing Banque Populaire to pick up speed this morning. There is more pressure here than was being forecast yesterday with a depression currently popping out of the mouth of the River Plate (between Argentina and Uruguay), to her southwest, encouraging the northerly flow.
Both the high and the low are on the move - the depression centre is moving in a southeasterlies direction, shoving the high off to the east - good news as this will finally allow Banque Populaire to get some easting in. Whereas the forecast over the weekend was indicating that she would be entering the Roaring Forties some 300 miles west of Groupama 3's track it now looks like it might be at almost the same spot.
Unfortunately while Banque Populaire has two fast days ahead of her, according to the latest forecast the good news runs out in two days time. Firstly she is likely to outrun the depression come Thursday, which will leave her nosing into an area of high pressure (no wind again). While the bulk of the high moves south, a lobe will remain for Banque Populaire to cross and come Saturday she will be facing easterly headwinds spanning the course from 40 to 46°S.
What is going on with the weather in the South Atlantic at the moment?