Transat AG2R: Artemis heads south
Positions at 0930 UTC:
|4 hour av||24 hours|
|1||NACARAT||Erwan Tabarly - Eric Peron||21 53.54' N||28 24.02' W||6.6||209||6.2||148.6||1958||0|
|2||CERCLE VERT||Gildas Morvan - Charlie Dalin||21 47.32' N||28 12.13' W||6.3||210||5.9||142.2||1968.9||11|
|3||BRETAGNE CRÉDIT MUTUEL PERFORMANCE||Anthony Marchand - Romain Attanasio||21 15.10' N||27 24.92' W||7.1||251||5.7||135.8||2009.5||51.5|
|4||GEDIMAT||Thierry Chabagny - Christopher Pratt||21 23.18' N||27 27.17' W||7.1||258||6.6||159.2||2010.7||52.8|
|5||MACIF||Paul Meilhat - Fabien Delahaye||21 15.52' N||27 21.90' W||6.8||249||6||143.2||2015.7||57.7|
|6||LA SOLIDARITÉ MUTUALISTE||Damien Guillou - Ronan Treussard||21 45.52' N||27 04.35' W||5.8||213||5.9||140.7||2030.3||72.3|
|7||LES RECYCLEURS BRETONS||Michel Bothuon - Simon Troel||21 42.55' N||26 58.25' W||7.3||261||6.6||159||2037.5||79.6|
|8||BANQUE POPULAIRE||Jeanne Gregoire - Gérald Veniard||20 51.39' N||26 58.37' W||6.8||253||6.7||161||2038.1||80.1|
|9||SEPALUMIC||Fréderic Duthil - Francois Lebourdais||20 51.69' N||26 56.87' W||6.8||253||5.8||140.1||2039.5||81.5|
|10||CORNOUAILLE PORT DE PECHE||Jean-Charles Monnet - Alexandre Toulorge||21 28.72' N||26 53.75' W||6.9||252||6||144.5||2041.8||83.8|
|11||EDM / PAYS BASQUE ENTREPRISES||Amaiur Alfaro - Christophe Lebas||21 30.03' N||26 47.10' W||6.5||239||5.5||131.3||2048||90|
|12||GAES||Anna Corbella - Gérard Marin||21 17.45' N||26 43.78' W||6.6||248||5.4||134.5||2051.2||93.2|
|13||ARTEMIS||Sam Goodchild - Nick Cherry||20 36.43' N||26 17.93' W||5.7||228||4.5||109.1||2076.3||118.4|
|14||ONE NETWORK ENERGIES||Yannig Livory - Guillaume Farsy||21 48.55' N||26 04.26' W||6.9||247||5.6||135.4||2087.7||129.7|
|15||ARMOR-LUX / PERE LOUSTIC / CLOWN A L'HOPITAL||Germain Kerleveo - Jean-Sébastien Henry||21 21.24' N||24 09.64' W||6.8||224||5.2||123.9||2194.7||236.7|
|16||HOTEL EMERAUDE PLAGE SAINT-BARTHELEMY||Louis-Maurice Tannyeres - Joanna Tannyeres||23 37.88' N||23 09.16' W||5.6||237||4||95.5||2250||292|
Having got far enough south now to avoid the clutches of the high (currently centred due west of the Canary Islands) so the bulk of the Transat AG2R fleet have gybed back on to starboard their course now more WSW than southwest. The exceptions are the two race leaders Nacarat and Cercle Verte, who remain furthest north and are now diving south to stay in the breeze while Sam Goodchild and Nick Cherry on Artemis have now opted to take over Banque Populaire's position holding the most southerly position in the fleet. By virtue of them being further from the great circle, this has caused them to plummet down the leaderboard. The British boat is now 300 miles northwest of the Cape Verdes.
Going out on a limb in the Figaro fleet is not normally a good thing, however to the south Artemis should find stronger breeze and further down the track, as the northeasterly wind begins to veer as the boats reach the southwesternmost extremity of the high, so this shift shouldn't be so severe for the British boat. The downside is that for the last few hours Artemis seems to have sailed into a light patch and is one of the slowest boats across the fleet.
However according to Charlie Dalin on Cercle Verte, the GRIBes aren't entirely accurate at present. "Everyone's trying to find the optimal route, but it is not simple, especially as the situation is somewhat different from that show in the [GRIB] files. We must be responsive and make the right choices at the right time." Dalin adds that they are continuing to struggle with a very unstable wind (which we suspect is lighter than that indicated in the chart above) regularly shifting through 30° and they are expecting a right hand shift to come in the next 24 hours.
From Nacarat Eric Peron added: "The forecast is allowing us to head west now, and this is the case for everyone, because then it will get complicated. Tthe entire fleet will have to head a little west before returning to the south. The sailing conditions are quite nice. As we are quite close to the high, the air is much drier, there are fewer clouds but the wind is still a bit unstable in direction. We've got 10-15 knots of wind, a very calm sea, with a small residual swell and a big blue sky. We have about 1900 miles to go, and I think we've got enough food and water reserves. We have to consume between 15 and 20 litres. We talked about taking a shower just now because it's starting to sting the eyes. It smells like two cats on board! "
Yesterday Nick Cherry reported from Artemis:
Looking at the routing software this morning we not only have a good 12 days left of this race but, according to the computer we'll need our big kite up 100% of the time. This has spurred us on to get cracking with the repair of the back up. Not only so we have a spare but also so we can get it out of the bow and stop it hanging over us eating up any potential down time and crucial sleep time. Hopefully ome time before sunset today we'll find a light patch to pull her up and check our handy work. I'm quite confident given the time and effort we've put in we would be within our rights to bill the Artemis Offshore Acadmey for a professional sail repair. There is always the distinct possibilty it will exploe as soon as it fills, the prospect doesn't bear thinking about.
Temperatures on board are still pretty confortable during the day and warm clothing is becoming optional at night which is very pleasant. Less enjoyable last night were the constant dark clouds the seemed to follow us around the ocean cutting our breeze down from a satifying 18-20 knots to a much trickier, slower 12-15. To make things worse our worries that other boats might be sailing in good breeze all night were confirmed by a couple of less than glowing position reports. Still we are have been using this frustration to channel into making the boat go any tiny amount faster we can. For every slight change in wind direction or speed or sea state there are 10s of minute adjustments we can make to our setup.
I'm sure given the closness of this race a lot of final placements will come down to how well we can keep this up for the next 12 days.
Freeze dried tartiflet for lunch today before siesta time, with just the right amount of water, extra garlic salt and olive oil this is an absolute winner.
If you want to help Sam and Nick with their campaign, then vote for them here...