Into the Furious Fifties

Banque Populaire back up to 35 knots average speed on her Jules Verne Trophy attempt

Tuesday December 6th 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 Spd Dist DTG DT G3
          Inst 4 hr 24 hours      
06/12/2011 10:00 51°05.02'S 053°29.69'E 33.9 96° 34.3 33.3 33.2 797.1 15 429  1 823.60 
06/12/2011 07:00 50°54.38'S 050°50.93'E 35.6 93° 35.7 32.5 32.8 786.3 15 532  1 803.00 
06/12/2011 04:00 50°45.40'S 048°12.50'E 31.4 106° 32.4 31.8 32.2 771.7 15 634  1 790.40 
06/12/2011 01:00 50°21.72'S 045°42.33'E 31.8 103° 32.1 32 30.1 722.3 15 732  1 781.50 
05/12/2011 22:00 50°03.35'S 043°12.64'E 34.1 100° 34.1 32.7 28.9 692.6 15 830  1 772.50 
05/12/2011 19:00 49°35.54'S 040°44.14'E 33.8 113° 34.7 33 27.9 668.8 15 931  1 753.70 
05/12/2011 16:00 49°02.11'S 038°18.67'E 33.3 108° 33.5 32.7 26.3 630.2 16 032  1 733.40 

After their hitches south over Sunday-Monday, so Banque Populaire is now repositioned and her course, just south of due east, has taken her in the Furious Fifties, on to another high speed run in pre-frontal conditions. With her average speed back into the mid-30s, so her 24 hour distance covered figure is back up to around the 800 mile mark - at present at 797 and with more to come. The upshot of this is that the ground the 40m long trimaran lost to Jules Verne Trophy record holder, Groupama 3, as a result of her two gybes south over Sunday-Monday has now been regained, with her lead continuing to grow at a rate of around 10-20 miles every three hours. Incredible.

Having left the Prince Edward Islands to port yesterday, so overnight she has passed around 260 miles to the south of the Crozet Islands and the next land she will pass will be the bigger Kerguelen Islands in tomorrow morning. This is likely to be the closest Banque Populaire gets to land until she reaches Cape Horn.

Yesterday crewman Yvan Ravussin (below) reported: "This morning, the atmosphere of the Southern Ocean is good with refrigerator temperatures, gray skies, mist, the Albatros, and a swell leading to an incredible surf session! 100% happiness! The atmosphere is top a
All is well on board. 30 knots of wind, water at 5°C, speed 34 knots. 2 reefs in the main, heading towards the Kerguelen."

The fast conditions are likely to last for the next 24 hours when Banque Populaire drops off the back of the front and the wind backs from the northwest into the southwest. The current forecast has her passing Cape Leeuwin (SW Australia) on Friday morning by which time she will be awaiting the onset of the next depression. Since the forecast is indicating that this may be a violent one, it is likely that when the wind goes southwest she may take the opportunity to head back into the 40s to avoid the strongest winds from this system.


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