Banque Populaire eating up the miles again

After a short hitch northwest, the maxi tri is back up to 30 knots average speed

Wednesday January 4th 2012, 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 4 hr 24hr      
04/01/2012 06:00 38°38.02'N 046°37.41'W 31.8 39° 33.7 31.2 24.6 591.3 1 873 982.3
04/01/2012 03:00 37°19.94'N 047°51.02'W 30.7 46° 31.3 30.8 22.7 545.3 1 964 934.2
04/01/2012 00:00 36°16.76'N 049°19.58'W 30.5 45° 31 29.9 20.7 497.6 2 058 881.3
03/01/2012 21:00 35°10.04'N 050°37.69'W 29.2 44° 29.7 27.5 18.6 447 2 148 844.4
03/01/2012 18:00 34°05.80'N 051°45.14'W 27.7 42° 28.3 17.1 17 408.6 2 231 804.1
03/01/2012 15:00 33°08.34'N 052°05.92'W -5.4 307° 21 16.5 16.6 397.6 2 280 800.5
03/01/2012 12:00 32°21.58'N 051°48.58'W 22.4 34° 23.6 22.5 16.9 405.5 2 297 856.9
03/01/2012 09:00 31°19.01'N 052°23.99'W 19.1 20° 22.2 21.9 16.2 388.5 2 360 850.6
03/01/2012 06:00 30°14.45'N 052°54.07'W 18.6 20° 21.4 16.7 16.6 399 2 422 827.3

Banque Populaire continues her flight northeast with her speed slowly building with the onset of the front to her west.

Yesterday afternoon the Loick Peyron-skippered 40m long trimaran put in a short, re-positioning gybe to the northeast to get into the stronger winds from the front and so this morning, her speed is back into the early 30s. Back heading sort of in the right direction (her course at present is more towards Iceland than Ushant) so her advantage over Jules Verne Trophy record holder Groupama 3 has been growing rapidly - from 827 to 982 miles over the last 24 hours. Given the conditions we can expect this to continue steadily increasing until she arrives - at current she is forecast to cross the line at midnight on Saturday.

As the chart above shows, the plan is to circumnavigate the substantial zone of high pressure to her east. Essentially the situation above should remain fairly similar for the rest of the week, only that the depression off the eastern seaboard of the USA moves northeast, its centre passing south of Greenland on Thursday and en route this has the effect of compressing the western side of the high. This will be good news for Banque Populaire for as the high shrinks and consolidates between Portugal and the Azores come Thursday-Friday, they should be able to sail a less circuitous route to get to the Lizard-Ushant finish line.

Yesterday Loick Peyron commented: "It's going very well...not bad at all even! We are all very pleased to see this small boat approaching the virtual dotted line that leads to Ushant. Everyone is happy. It did not happen right away, but we know that in sailing, the shortest path from one point to another is rarely a straight line. We are nearing the end of rounding the anticyclone and the wind is arriving as planned. We know that the sea will be calm for the next three days and that all this will give us almost perfect conditions to finish this round the world voyage."

Peyron continues: "We are trying not to go too far north and we are limiting ourselves to 30 knots - all that to maintain integrity of our ship, and to arrive at Ushant in the best condition. The edge of this anticyclone has the advantage that it is not cloudy. Behind us it is black."

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