Going the wrong way

Difficult transition into the Southern Ocean ahead Sodebo

Tuesday February 8th 2011, Author: James Boyd, Location: none selected

Image above courtesy of Expedition Navigation Systems and PredictWind.

Date Lat Long Spd Crs Spd Spd Dist DTF v IDEC
      Instant     24 hours      
08/02/2011 11:00:00 UTC 20°34.72'S 033°49.27'W 22.1 199° 23.5 23.2 555.8 20 018 -310.6
08/02/2011 09:00:00 UTC 19°52.71'S 033°33.16'W 17.3 209° 23.1 23.4 562.1 20 035 -295.3
08/02/2011 07:00:00 UTC 19°15.31'S 033°06.28'W 26.3 217° 22.4 23.5 564 20 042 -273.8
08/02/2011 05:00:00 UTC 18°34.30'S 032°31.58'W 24.8 218° 22.3 23.1 553.8 20 047 -255.2
08/02/2011 03:15:00 UTC 18°00.99'S 032°12.56'W 18 214° 22.8 23.1 553.8 20 057 -241.7
08/02/2011 01:00:00 UTC 17°21.17'S 031°51.01'W 23 205° 23.5 23.1 553.9 20 071 -229.5
07/02/2011 23:00:00 UTC 16°34.91'S 031°28.33'W 20 205° 22.1 22.6 543.4 20 090 -221.7
07/02/2011 21:00:00 UTC 15°54.26'S 031°04.99'W 19.2 213° 22.1 22.5 539.6 20 105 -206.6
07/02/2011 19:00:00 UTC 15°17.78'S 030°40.16'W 22.4 208° 23 22.4 537.6 20 118 -190.3
07/02/2011 17:00:00 UTC 14°41.53'S 030°17.52'W 16.1 214° 24.9 22.2 532.1 20 136 -186.3
07/02/2011 15:00:00 UTC 14°01.55'S 029°52.96'W 22.8 209° 25.6 22.2 532.9 20 161 -182.7
07/02/2011 13:00:00 UTC 13°17.96'S 029°29.39'W 26.1 207° 25.6 21.8 523.6 20 193 -187.8
07/02/2011 11:00:00 UTC 12°30.76'S 029°03.87'W 26.5 206° 24 21.2 509.5 20 231 -199.4

Despite being on the rebound at yesterday's morning's update, Thomas Coville and Sodebo's pace against Francis Joyon and IDEC has once again been on the decline since yesterday afternoon and this trend sadly looks set to continue - the problem highlighted in the chart above.

While the weather conditions and in particular the positioning of the St Helena allowed the solo non-stop round the world record holder to 'cut the corner' and start heading east once she passed Rio, Coville is not so lucky and looks set to be taking a more circuitous route around the South Atlantic.

Overnight with Sodebo sailing under one reef and trinquette, conditions have been difficult with the maxi-trimaran punching into a southwesterly swell in 15 knot southeasterly winds and occasional squalls. Despite losing miles down the course, Sodebo has been eating them up on the water and at the latest sched has covered 536 miles in the last 24 hours (average 22.4 knots). Just in the wrong direction... 

According to Thiery Douillard, one of the Sodebo routing team back in France, Coville is aiming for the east side of a depression that is forming in the mouth of the River Plate, but the problem is that how this depression will evolve still remains uncertain. En route to this Douillard says the winds will lighten and Coville will unroll his genniker.

Key to what unfolds is not so much the depression, which despite what Douillard says the European and US forecast models both have remaining in situ for the rest of the week, but the fate of the high pressure bubble, currently extending around the south and east sides of the depression. The GRIBs are showing that come Thursday this is organising itself to the south of the depression but still with a lobe of high pressure up to the east. So it seems likely that the northeasterlies will hurl Sodebo straight into this meteorological brick wall. It will be interesting to see how Coville plans to tackle this as the routing has Sodebo crossing 40degS into the Roaring Forties around 1000-1500 miles east of where Joyon arrived at this latitude. Not good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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