Touch wood - Cape Horn tomorrow

Attempting to pass the ridge Banque Populaire descends to 62°S on her Jules Verne Trophy attempt

Thursday December 22nd 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 DTF DT G3
          Inst 4hr 24 hrs      
22/12/2011 06:00 61°38.37'S 087°35.14'W 25.9 67° 26.1 18.7 18.4 442.7 7 733 535.6
22/12/2011 03:00 61°48.98'S 089°48.79'W 6.4 147° 22.9 18.4 18.7 448 7 796 536.6
22/12/2011 00:00 60°53.60'S 091°09.21'W 16.9 75° 17 20.4 18.5 442.9 7 820 588.9
21/12/2011 21:00 61°12.95'S 093°12.14'W 21.5 79° 21.6 19.2 16.8 404.4 7 882 608.6
21/12/2011 18:00 61°15.55'S 095°16.49'W 18 93° 18.3 18.2 15.8 379.4 7 942 632.8
21/12/2011 15:00 61°06.24'S 097°11.60'W 16.2 95° 16.4 18.4 13.8 332.2 7 996 654.8
21/12/2011 12:00 60°54.31'S 099°03.52'W 18 104° 18.9 18.1 12.1 290.5 8 049 672.9
21/12/2011 09:00 60°31.68'S 100°50.56'W 15.3 112° 16.5 18.6 10.8 258.8 8 101 685.2
21/12/2011 06:00 59°59.57'S 102°22.20'W 18.6 118° 20.4 22.4 9.8 235.9 8 148 693.7

The Banque Populaire maxi-tri continues to have a torrid time as she attempts to get to Cape Horn. At the latest sched the tip of the South American continent remains 714 miles from her. Incredibly in her attempt to get around the south side of the ridge to her north, the 40m trimaran has dropped all the way down to almost 62°S. The last boats on a Jules Verne Trophy attempt to drop this far south was ENZA New Zealand on her successful attempt in 1994. But after the major detour to round the icegate and now the hold up in te ridge, so her lead over Jules Verne Trophy record holder Groupama 3 has dwindled still further - now down to just 535 miles or less than a day.

At around midnight UTC Banque Populaire put in another hitch south, gybing back on to a northeasterly heading at around 0400 this morning. Hopefully now she will be clear to lay Cape Horn in decent breeze, although the remnants of the ridge look set to continue following her. Touch wood, Banque Populaire will be rounding Cape Horn tomorrow afternoon UTC in a ESEerly breeze that is forecast to build to 30+ knots and veer slightly. 

"It is a little slow and it is very Southern," said skipper Loick Peyron of their route yesterday. "We will be at a little more than 61°S in a short time and just a few months go we were at 61°N when we sailed around Great Britain. The water is 4°C, but there is good visibility, little wind and as a result not too much danger."

"Frankly it will be better for the 24 hours coming into the Horn. It might even be a bit lively. I have a little dilemma right now, do we pass near the Horn, at the request of half of the crew who have never seen it - it would be very nice grant this wish - but on the other hand, if there is 35/40 knots of wind I won't be that keen. We'll see in the next few hours but it may be that we miss the Horn for reasons of safety. Just off the Horn, the sea bottom rises quickly and the waves can be brutal."

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