Banque Populaire passes Cape Horn

Orange 2's record for the Pacific crossing still stands

Friday December 23rd 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 hr 24hr    
23/12/2011 10:00 57°41.97'S 064°12.26'W 24.5 77° 31.6 30.8 26.6 639.1 7 035 535.9
23/12/2011 07:00 57°56.37'S 067°08.15'W 23.5 84° 31.8 31 26.1 627 7 105 535
23/12/2011 04:00 58°05.30'S 070°04.96'W 23.9 89° 33.8 32 25.7 615.8 7 175 541.7
23/12/2011 01:00 58°08.74'S 073°10.72'W 26.8 94° 32.7 30.8 23.4 560.7 7 252 542.7
22/12/2011 22:00 58°02.41'S 076°11.04'W 26.9 92° 28.7 24.9 22 527.3 7 336 531.3
22/12/2011 19:00 57°58.15'S 078°28.48'W 27.8 96° 29.4 23.7 21.9 526.8 7 405 539.1
22/12/2011 16:00 58°22.76'S 080°35.65'W 20.6 30° 30.2 29.5 21.2 508.4 7 476 547.2
22/12/2011 13:00 59°37.02'S 082°16.74'W 25.4 39° 30.6 28.6 20.2 485.9 7 546 557.5
22/12/2011 10:00 60°42.18'S 084°15.62'W 28 48° 30.1 27.3 19.6 470.2 7 623 561.6

At 06:50:30 UTC this morning, Banque Populaire finally passed Cape Horn, 30 days 22 hours 18 minutes and 48 second after having set out on her attempt to better Groupama 3’s time for the Jules Verne Trophy. Franck Cammas’ maxi-tri had reached Cape Horn in 30 days 22 hours 18 minutes and 48 seconds, so Peyron’s team still hold a 1 day 6 hour 16 minutes advantage over their green virtual opponent, despite their torrid experiences in the Pacific.

Inevitably the record for the Pacific still stands - Banque Populaire’s time of 10 days 15 hours 7 minutes and 15 seconds, some way off the pace of Orange II’s record of 8 days 18 hours and 8 minutes.

Over the last 24 hours Banque Populaire has finally shaken off the accursed ridge and seen the wind return. Yesterday afternoon, with the wind backing into the southwest, so the 40m maxi-tri gybed east. Since then, with the breeze now up to 30 knots, Banque Populaire has been back to 30-31 knot average speeds and she has been heading more or less due east along 58°S which saw her passing around 118 miles to the south of the Horn.

The crossing of the Pacific Ocean section of the Southern Ocean is one which the crew would rather forget. Negotiating the tricky and potentially fatal ice zone and then being subsequently held up by the ridge, we reckon these alone have added four days to her crossing of the Pacific. As a result her lead over Franck Cammas’ Jules Verne Trophy pace setter Groupama 3 is now down to 531 miles, although we expect this will be build again substantially over the next few days.

"The one month has gone quickly, but we have been expected to get the Horn for some days now,” said Peyron yesterday. “In the end the barrier formed by the ridge was much larger than we expected, but we accepted our troubles patiently and did all we could to limit the bleeding. We knew in advance that the conditions were not favourable. It was essential for us to round the Horn with a lead, but we knew we could not do 35 knots all the time! Everyone knows that on this type of record, there are parts that are less easily than others. We took this opportunity to rest ... The good weather for the next few days is confirmed, but we will not ‘turn’ immediately. We will go east for a day and a half before heading due north on a fairly straight course. Our path up the South Atlantic is looking good. We’ve had our bad luck. We'll have some success now."
 

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