Sodebo eating up the miles again

Final day in the Southern Ocean as things look up for Thomas Coville

Monday March 7th 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
      Inst   4hrs 24 hours      
07/03/2011 10:00 56°20.11'S 083°12.13'W 20.5 99° 22 20.3 486.6 7 629 -814.3
07/03/2011 08:00 56°13.11'S 084°27.60'W 21.8 100° 22.1 20.3 487.7 7 671 -835.5
07/03/2011 06:00 55°56.89'S 085°46.28'W 23.9 115° 21.2 20.1 482 7 717 -866.5
07/03/2011 04:00 55°45.89'S 087°00.46'W 22.9 99° 21 19.9 477.5 7 760 -895.9
07/03/2011 02:00 55°43.07'S 088°18.28'W 23 92° 20.8 19.8 475.8 7 803 -919.8
07/03/2011 00:00 55°41.87'S 089°30.97'W 21.5 93° 20.9 19.9 476.9 7 844 -938
06/03/2011 22:00 55°45.43'S 090°44.82'W 21 78° 18.6 19.9 477.4 7 884 -958.1
06/03/2011 20:00 55°58.18'S 091°59.32'W 23 70° 17.4 20 480.1 7 923 -983
06/03/2011 18:00 56°17.63'S 093°06.44'W 19 66° 19.1 20.4 490.1 7 956 -1 003.30
06/03/2011 16:00 56°13.19'S 093°58.21'W 21.1 129° 21.9 21 505 7 985 -1 014.50
06/03/2011 14:00 55°52.21'S 095°05.01'W 21.3 114° 22.1 21 505.1 8 026 -1 040.20
06/03/2011 12:00 55°35.43'S 096°16.81'W 24.7 110° 21.3 20.9 502.4 8 069 -1 063.20
06/03/2011 10:00 55°23.14'S 097°34.88'W 23.6 105° 19.9 20.6 494.1 8 115 -1 100.90
06/03/2011 08:00 55°10.48'S 098°47.44'W 18 109° 19.7 20.4 490.3 8 158 -1 137.80
06/03/2011 06:00 54°57.21'S 099°51.13'W 18.8 108° 20.3 20.4 489.7 8 197 -1 159.40
06/03/2011 04:00 54°45.08'S 100°52.90'W 19.4 109° 21.1 20.4 489.2 8 235 -1 182.00
06/03/2011 02:00 54°35.25'S 102°03.87'W 20.5 98° 21.3 20.3 487.7 8 277 -1 209.70
06/03/2011 00:00 54°27.62'S 103°15.31'W 21.9 95° 21.5 20.1 483.5 8 318 -1 224.60
05/03/2011 22:00 54°23.53'S 104°27.77'W 19.4 98° 21.9 20.1 481.9 8 360 -1 238.70
05/03/2011 20:00 54°13.09'S 105°39.51'W 21.4 106° 21.5 19.1 458.6 8 402 -1 244.70
05/03/2011 18:00 53°59.74'S 106°51.16'W 20.3 113° 20.8 18.8 450.3 8 446 -1 254.00
05/03/2011 16:00 53°43.94'S 108°00.71'W 20.8 105° 19.8 18.8 450.6 8 490 -1 262.60
05/03/2011 14:00 53°33.74'S 109°07.66'W 22 107° 19.4 18.8 452.2 8 531 -1 266.20
05/03/2011 12:00 53°22.59'S 110°12.63'W 19.7 112° 19 18.7 449.7 8 571 -1 269.70
05/03/2011 10:00 53°09.17'S 111°10.91'W 21.2 112° 19.5 18.4 442.5 8 608 -1 266.00

Things are looking up for Thomas Coville and Sodebo, not so much through any exceptional pace they have been making over the weekend, but more due to Francis Joyon and IDEC having a slow passage around Cape Horn and into the Atlantic. As the numbers above indicate this has seen Sodebo close in on the pace of Joyon's record holder from 1266 miles on Saturday morning to 814 today, well within the 1000 mile deficit at Cape Horn Coville hoped to achieve.

At the latest sched Sodebo has 537 miles to reach the Horn and is making good progress in typical northwesterlies ahead of a depression. At this speed Sodebo will be passing the Horn at around lunchtime tomorrow.

Coville will already be eyeing up the weather in the south Atlantic to see if it is worth leaving the Falkland Islands to port (as Joyon did) or to starboard. The forecast indicates that for once this winter the south Atlantic weather is looking typical-ish with an area of high pressure parked, centred on 40°S through until next weekend. Thus if Coville takes the more direct route leaving the Falklands to starboard then he'll be finding himself beating against boat breaking northerlies. An alternative is to go 'the pretty way', as Joyon did, and attempt to sail around the east side of the high in favourable winds. However this will add greatly to his mileage and the high's reach to the east may be too great to allow this. The alternative, which we suspect he may take, is to port tack into the west side of the high and then tack out, lifting him up on to course as he exits the high to the northwest.

Due to IDEC's circuitous route it seems probably that this period could well be decisive in terms of whether Coville has a chance of beating Joyon's exceptional record.

 

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