Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Modification of the second Ice Gate

Vendee Globe 08-09- Special Information Press Release Day 24
After observation of the most recent pictures sent by CLS, the supplier of satellite information revealing the position of icebergs in the Indian and Pacific Ocean, the Race Directors, in agreement with Louis Mesnier of CLS, Sylvain Mondon of Météo France and Alain Gautier, the race safety consultant, have decided, as laid down in the Race Instructions, to modify the position of Kerguelen Ice Gate. This decision has been taken to maximise the safety of competitors, was broadcast to them this evening at 19h30 UTC.

Ice Gate Kerguelen was thus moved as follows:
It will be positioned at 46°S between the longitudes of 25°E and 34°E, which means the gate has been shifted around 130 miles further north (or a distance of around 230 km) and 600 miles (or 1000 km) further west.

The establishment of gates reflects the desire of the organisers to limit the risks of encountering growlers, floating blocks of ice that have broken off isolated icebergs. Initially they are based on the statistical data available to the organisers, but they can be moved if any new data is received from CLS, who are charged with observing the ice in the southern seas in real time for the race.
This is the situation that has arisen today resulting from two phenomenon;
- Firstly, the most recent observations have detected two icebergs -and therefore the risk of drifting ice - slightly to the south of the Great Circle route, the shortest way from one gate to another.
- Secondly, the weather data shows that the quickest route between these two gates would involve gybing, as soon as the first gate was passed to pick up more favourable winds to the south. - http://www.vendeeglobe.org/ -