Lining up for the rollercoaster

Banque Populaire's VMG now over 30 knots as she prepares for the Southern Ocean proper tonight

Thursday December 1st 2011, Author: James Boyd, Location: none selected

Chart above courtesy of Expedition/Tasman Bay Navigation Systems and PredictWind

Date time Lat Long VMG Crs Spd Spd 24 hrs   DTF DT G3
          Inst 4hr Spd Dist    
01/12/2011 08:35:00 UTC 36°22.06'S 031°27.06'W 32 142° 33.9 29.4 28.7 689.4 19 155 463.8
01/12/2011 05:45:00 UTC 35°15.34'S 032°33.36'W 28.9 137° 29.7 30.2 28.4 682.6 19 236 427.9
01/12/2011 02:45:00 UTC 34°06.46'S 033°45.50'W 30.4 140° 31.5 31.3 28.3 678.4 19 325 411
30/11/2011 23:45:00 UTC 32°44.49'S 034°48.52'W 28.3 157° 32.8 29 27.9 670.8 19 415 394.2
30/11/2011 20:45:00 UTC 31°26.45'S 035°36.09'W 27.9 155° 31.4 29 28.2 676 19 495 377.8
30/11/2011 17:45:00 UTC 30°04.50'S 036°18.57'W 26.6 151° 28.8 28.5 28.6 686.7 19 574 355.1
30/11/2011 14:45:00 UTC 28°45.91'S 037°01.39'W 28.3 154° 31.3 26.5 29.2 700.5 19 652 324.2
30/11/2011 11:45:00 UTC 27°27.15'S 037°20.06'W 20.9 174° 29.4 28.6 29.5 708.7 19 715 297.1
30/11/2011 09:45:00 UTC 26°32.63'S 037°23.83'W 18.4 184° 28.9 28.3 29.9 718.1 19 753 286.9

Finally the long-awaited left hand turn has started to be made for Banque Populaire and while her current 24 hour distance covered is at present no longer above 700 miles, it certainly will be come tomorrow morning. Thanks to her new southeasterly heading, so her VMG has skyrocketed and at the latest sched she is making 32 knots towards the mark, compared to 18 yesterday morning. Her lead over Groupama 3 is also at its maximum yet - up to 463 miles or two thirds of a day's sailing in offshore maxi-multihull terms. She is continuing on port gybe as the wind slowly backs, currently in the north at 25-30 knots.

Early this evening Banque Populaire is set to enter the Roaring 40s at more or less the same place Groupama 3 did on her lap in 2010. If the forecast is correct she will continue to ride the pre-frontal 25-30 knot northeasterlies which should take her past the Cape of Good Hope on Sunday. At present the high, she will be rounding to the south of, is behaving as forecast allowing the 40m trimaran to head west at speed, although this will probably at a latitude further south than Groupama 3, probably around 42-43°S compared to Groupama 3's 40-41. 

The obvious fear for the crew over the next few days is the threat of ice as the area they will be sailing through is just to the north of an area notorious for its bergs.

 

 

 

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