Half way to the Cape Verdes
Following the start of her Jules Verne Trophy attempt on Tuesday morning, so Loick Peyron, Brian Thompson and the crew of the Banque Populaire maxi trimaran made excellent progress and yesterday morning, as she was approaching the Canary Islands (less than 48 hours from Ushant to the Canaries is not too shabby...) was already 267 miles ahead of the pace setter, Franck Cammas' Groupama 3. During this time Banque Populaire's best 24 hour run was 681 miles - albeit some way off her own 24 hour world record of 908 miles).
Since then Banque Pop's relative pace against her virtual rival has slowed down and last night her lead had been reduced to 63 miles. The 'elastic' has since begun to extend once again and now, past the Canaries and half way to the Cape Verdes, her lead is back up to 127 miles.
The blue 40m trimaran's progress south hasn't been that straightforward. Typically the aim is to leave when the Azores high is well established with the trade winds to its southwest - so the Doldrums in one gybe. However on this occasion the high started off over the Azores but has since been squished north as a depression has developed to the southwest of the Azores. As a result Banque Pop has had to gybe south to remain close to the Portugese and African coasts and yesterday struggled as she tried to pass down the west side of the Canaries. Nonetheless she is still ahead and now into the Trades she has the opportunity to pile on the miles south to the Doldrums.