Sunday, November 15, 2009

thirty knots of boat...

An important meeting
"At the moment, Groupama 3 is making close to thirty knots of boat speed under one reef and solent in beam winds of 17-18 knots, 135° off the true wind, beneath a grey sky with a few patches of blue and cumulus. However, the swell is coming at them head on, which is making things bouncy at times... We're going to have to try to follow the routing, which has us making very high speeds. We're targeting a point quite far to the South in relation to the Cape of Good Hope, as there's a zone of high pressure under South Africa. That will cause us a few problems as regards icebergs, but it's highly favourable in terms of wind. The next 24 hours are important for remaining in a N'ly wind (the ideal point of sail for us), without getting devoured by what is a pretty violent depression! It will be a completely straight trajectory with a few manoeuvres centred around reducing the sail area as the wind is likely to increase. From Tuesday onwards we'll be in the Roaring Forties..."

After patience comes impatience! Indeed, it's going to be important that the depression system doesn't accelerate too fast leaving Groupama 3 behind the front: a W'ly shift in the wind wouldn't be favourable as Franck Cammas and his men would then be forced into a series of gybes and hence a longer and slower zigzag course. In a beam wind, the giant trimaran can slip along effortlessly, without putting the crew under too much pressure. There will be enough manoeuvres to make in the Indian Ocean! As such, if everything falls into place as forecast, Groupama 3 will once again extend her lead over the reference time and be able to tackle the Deep South with a very positive margin of time. - Find all the latest news from the Groupama trimarans