Banque Populaire slows

Maxi-trimaran encounters a 'Roaring Forties' ridge

Friday February 4th 2011, Author: James Boyd, Location: none selected

Image above courtesy of Expedition Navigation Systems and PredictWind. See Brian Thompson's updates from on board here

Date Lat Long Spd Crs Spd Spd Dist DTF v G3
      Instant   4hr av 24 hours      
04/02/2011 09:00 45°48.38'S 003°36.47'W 7.2 81° 15.4 22.1 531.6 18 094 268
04/02/2011 07:00 45°50.78'S 004°13.25'W 14.7 84° 19.4 23.3 559.2 18 119 303.1
04/02/2011 05:00 45°53.91'S 005°04.46'W 19.8 87° 23 24.6 591.1 18 152 330.7
04/02/2011 03:00 45°56.70'S 006°04.07'W 24.6 92° 24.2 25.5 613.1 18 192 350.3
04/02/2011 01:00 45°55.13'S 007°16.76'W 23.1 93° 22.3 26.1 627.3 18 241 364.2
03/02/2011 22:45 45°52.78'S 008°31.72'W 24.1 94° 20.1 26.6 637.4 18 292 380.5
03/02/2011 21:00 45°51.71'S 009°24.73'W 19.4 90° 19.4 27.5 660.9 18 327 397.1
03/02/2011 19:00 45°50.77'S 010°20.23'W 19.7 89° 21.9 28.5 685.1 18 365 421.3
03/02/2011 17:00 45°52.04'S 011°16.30'W 21.9 94° 24.9 30 720.8 18 401 443
03/02/2011 15:00 45°44.99'S 012°25.43'W 27.3 99° 27.3 30.9 742 18 450 456.3
03/02/2011 13:00 45°36.35'S 013°37.31'W 26.8 99° 28 31.2 749.9 18 500 460.4
03/02/2011 11:05 45°27.46'S 014°54.74'W 29.6 104° 27.6 31 743 18 554 453.2
03/02/2011 09:00 45°20.98'S 016°15.78'W 18.5 107° 30.2 31.7 760.1 18 610 451.7

We are still waiting to hear Banque Populaire's plans following her collision yesterday with an unidentified floating object that wiped out the bottom of her daggerboard and destroyed the board's crash box. Will it compromise their record attempt with the bulk of the Southern Ocean ahead of them? 

Despite Pascal Bidegorry saying yesterday that they were going to ease off, the 40m trimaran has still be making average speeds of 20-25 knots over the last 24 hours, however the latest scheds show that she is slowing and with this so her lead over 'virtual Groupama 3' has halved to 268 miles. Banque Populaire's slowing is probably due to her finally encountering the ridge that lies between her and the depression to her northeast that at the moment is moving slowly south.

At present Banque Populaire is at around 45°40S, which is a long way south. It is below Groupama's track and it is also in what the Barcelona World Race organisers perceive to be the danger zone for ice. We find it hard to believe that she won't head north for if she continues at this latitude as soon as she is through the ridge, she'll be into the headwinds to the south of the depression. Yesterday the forecast was indicating that this depression would be heading deep into the Southern Ocean. But today both GFS and European GRIBs agree that it will remain centred at 42°S for the duration of the weekend, so assuming that they choose to continue it is likely they will try tacking into it on starboard and then will try and exit the depression...somehow (the shape of the depression doesn't lend itself to tacking out once the wind backs into the northeast), or they will head sharply north to head around the top of the depression. We wait to see. 

 

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