• Shifting Into Overdrive

    At the gates of the trade winds

    Departing from Ouessant on the night of Saturday 9 to Sunday 10 January, at 2:33 '46' ', Franck Cammas, Charles Caudrelier and their four teammates continue their rapid descent from the North Atlantic towards the equator. With nearly 2,000 miles covered in two and a half days, at an average speed of 31.4 knots, the men of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild are perfectly on the pace and even offered themselves, at the 6 p.m. check-in, a lead of 139 miles on Francis Joyon's record. This third day at sea was marked by a weather transition along the ridge of the Azores anticyclone and the six sailors had to deal with very variable winds and far too light for their liking to gain south. But rest assured, from next night the change of scenery will be radical.

    A transition zone along the ridge

    In the week preceding the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild's departure for the Jules Verne Trophy, the choice of the window and the precise timing to set off from Ouessant fueled many discussions within the team's weather unit. The one that was favored represented the best compromise to obtain a correct descent of the North Atlantic but above all a good connection in the South Atlantic to catch the depressions which spin towards the southern seas. The weather situation experienced by the crew of the flying maxi-trimaran for 24 hours, namely weakening winds which require a lot of maneuvering to constantly adapt the heading and the speed to the variations in force and direction of the flow, is directly linked at this time slot at the end of the departure window.

    “We tried to leave Ouessant as late as possible in the window for two reasons. The first, to avoid the strongest of the depression at the level of the Iberian peninsula and the second, to take advantage of a good sequence in the South Atlantic to be at the rendezvous with a depression leaving Latin America and taking the direction of the South Seas. It is the point of passage which essentially motivated our timing of departure. " However, but the story was clear from the start, this configuration could present some drawbacks, the main one being the movement of the ridge of high pressure over Gitana 17.

    “The conditions have been very unstable since our passage through Madeira and the day passed in a rather weakening wind - between 12 and 20 knots - with big changes of direction and passages of squalls. We can feel the ridge spreading out in our wake and in our West, " confided Charles Caudrelier, before recalling: " Our choice is not the most optimal for the time at the equator because we started at the end of the window. . But the equator is not our priority, it is the Jules Verne Trophy our objective. "

    By doing a series of gybes and sparing no effort, the six sailors on board nevertheless managed to fully exploit the potential of their machine and maintain good speed. A reason for satisfaction as the day sets on this record third day, especially as the gateway to the trade winds of the Northern Hemisphere is not very far. A much more powerful northeasterly flow will soon blow through the sails of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild. As of next night, the pace will seriously accelerate aboard the latest Gitana for Cape Verde. Santo Antăo, the northernmost island of the archipelago, should be doubled tomorrow, Wednesday January 13, at midday.



    Slowdown around the Canaries

    After 48 hours at sea and nearly 1,700 miles sailed since the start, the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild is setting its bows off the Canary Islands this morning. At nearly 32 knots on average from Ouessant, the six sailors on board strive to exploit all facets of their weather window and spare no effort to lead the 32-meter giant to the equator as quickly as possible, as in witness the gybes yesterday during the roundabout of Madeira. Although the wind weakens as it approaches the Spanish archipelago, the anemometer has fallen below 20 knots since last night, Franck Cammas, Charles Caudrelier and their four teammates still have a slight lead on the record, 117 miles on the clock. from 8h.

    Escape to the South

    As imagined on the models, the high pressure ridge continues its course eastward and gradually extends in the wake of the latest Gitana. In permanent contact with their onshore router, Marcel van Triest, the men of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschildhave been exploiting the slightest variation in the wind since yesterday at the end of the day in order to reach the south as quickly as possible while trying to maintain a fairly westerly trajectory for the rest of their descent towards the southern hemisphere. Indeed, the temptation would be great to privilege only gliding and pure speed but on this part of the course, the positioning is of capital importance since it already conditions the crossing point of the Doldrums and above all, to in the short term, the angle at which the Gitana Team crew will be able to attack the northeast trade winds.

    For this record-breaking third day, the program will focus on negotiating the windfall of the Canaries, which just like Madeira yesterday is a subject as it extends southwards, and the management of the trajectory for the next "check- point ”, that of the Cape Verde Islands off Mauritania.

    Message of the night from Yann Riou

    “Yesterday, we passed quite close to Porto Santo but at the time of bypassing Madeira the visibility was less good because the island was totally lost in the clouds with a lot of stormy development. I still managed to do my first drone flight which I will try to process and send to you in the morning. The wind has eased over the past few hours as we approach the Canaries. It's a paradoxical feeling because after a quick and fairly invigorating start to the record, this temporary calm is not unpleasant, especially for the rest quarters. But overall we prefer when things go faster and the boat whistles, that's what we're here for! "

    Position of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild on January 12 at 7.45am: - Advance on the record: 117.6 mn - Speed: 22.7 knots - Course: 190

    The numbers to remember:
    Line crossing: January 10, 2021 at 2h 33 '46' '
    Deadline for arrival to break the record: February 20 at 2h 3' and 15 ''


    In the Atlantic rhythm

    At the 19h check-in on Monday, the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild had covered 1,313 miles over the ground since leaving Ushant on Sunday at 2:33 am. This distance, achieved at an average speed of 32.7 knots, shows that the crew of the 32-meter giant has perfectly entered the high pace imposed by a record such as the Jules Verne Trophy. After a tonic phase passing Cape Finisterre, where the sailors had to deal with a good flow of over 30 knots and a chaotic sea, the conditions calmed down on Monday afternoon as they overflowed the Portuguese archipelago of Madeira . Charles Caudrelier, Franck Cammas and their four teammates are 65 miles ahead of the record.

    The Finisterre shaker

    The conditions that prevailed along the Iberian Peninsula were one of the important factors in the choice of the starting slot for this second record attempt on the Jules Verne Trophy, as Marcel van Triest underlined: “With Franck and Charles, we chose to go back from a North Atlantic window for two main reasons. The first was to avoid the strongest of the cartridge along the Spanish and Portuguese coasts. Already yesterday it was rather energetic and engaged for the crew, so if we imagine it with 10 knots more it was not very reasonable to start a round the world. " But more than the wind, it was the disorganized sea and the generated waves that handicapped the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild the most in her progress. In one of them, surely tougher than the others, one of the cap's front windshields cracked slightly. Nothing serious, but this misadventure quickly repaired by the boat captain and crew member David Boileau lets imagine the violence of the elements as they passed the northwestern tip of Spain. Despite this, the crew gave themselves a nice first boat speed yesterday afternoon of 49.2 knots, the boat's record, to start their planetary loop as it should!

    At the edge of the ridge
    Saturday in Ushant, Sunday in Spain, Monday in Madeira… each day his destination on the Jules Verne Trophy route. But for the men of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, this is not the time for tourism. The six sailors have a timing to respect and a meeting not to be missed in the South Atlantic! On board the latest Gitana, the shifts take turns every two hours to make the most of the potential of their formidable flying maxi-trimaran. Since the start, the weather has required many gybes. And it's not over ! Indeed, in view of the latest routings transmitted by Marcel Van Triest, others are to be expected in the coming hours. Remember that a jibe requires the entire crew on deck to optimize the time spent and the slowdown allowed.

    Currently the wind of the Portuguese archipelago is very important. On the wind files, we can see the scars more than 230 miles to the south and the zone of weak winds almost reaches the neighboring Canary Islands. Suffice to say that in this configuration, the passage to the wind of Madeira was not an option but an obligation. However, the path taken by the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild is not the simplest because of the high pressure ridge moving eastwards and which from tomorrow will have blocked the route to the South and the trade winds in the hemisphere. North.
    “It's a fairly classic diagram starting from the back of a window. The depression which was located on the Iberian Peninsula is evacuated by moving towards the east and the ridge follows it. Therefore it is heading towards us. In terms of positioning, but also by anticipating for the rest of the descent towards the equator, you try to be as westerly as possible to get the seesaw when the wind will turn right (from North to North-East) ” , detailed the Gitana Team weather router.

    Illustration of Von Karman's Vortices

    As always at sea, it is a compromise to be found. The desire would be to win in the South so as not to come and burn your wings too close to the ridge of high pressure, but you still have to win in the West so as not to fall into the winds of the Canaries or through the Cape Verde Islands.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Gitana Crew Packs Their Round The World Bags started by Photoboy View original post