• MACIF Crosses The Equator

    Friday, November 10, 2017
    It took a little less than six days for Franšois Gabart to cross the equator since his departure in Ouessant on Saturday. And even if the trimaran MACIF concedes a few hours compared to the reference time established by Thomas Coville, the meteorological configuration of the southern hemisphere appears very favorable for the continuation of this solo world tour ...

    Going around the world by sea remains an exceptional human challenge and trying to break a record, a long quest marked by a succession of ups and downs, a reverse mental sinusoid: when the state of the sea subsides, It is not easy to keep calm when the miles pass in reverse ... But even before his departure from Ouessant, Franšois Gabart knew that the challenge to reach the equator in less than six days was high flying and improve the time of his predecessor (5d 17h 11 '52' '), a Grail.


    A pot pourri

    Because to see his accumulated advance thanks to a determination without flaw in the first days of the sea where MACIF was crisping the 45 knots in peak and the thirty knots of average to the Canaries, is not a sinecure ... To own nearly 120 miles with the The entrance of the Doldrums and 140 miles of disbursement just across the equator barely two days later is never a joy! The Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) that Franšois Gabart had to cross in more than one day was clearly not favorable, especially since to get out of it, the loner had to make a parabola towards the west that '34 ░ West longitude brushed a less favorable position to then overflow the Brazilian coast.

    In comparison, Thomas Coville had swallowed this Doldrums almost without slowing down and coming out on the thirtieth, nearly 200 miles further east ... "We had told ourselves that if we had a weather that could allow us to go down to the equator in six days, you had to leave. There is still a bit of disappointment not to break the record ... "said Franšois Gabart Thursday. However, the difference in latitude is only about sixty miles and the trimaran lengthens the stride again to more than twenty knots average.

    Hanging the Argentinean depression

    From now on, the challenge is in front of the bows: Franšois Gabart will have to nibble the miles to pass more than sixty miles from the banks of Recife so as not to be in the buffer zone due to the percussion of the Eastern trade winds on the Brazilian relief . A configuration that requires him to maintain a course a little more Southeast in a now stabilized breeze in the East. But within 24 hours, the trimaran will be able to start releasing the plays in a wind that will progressively move north-east in front of Salvador de Bahia, then frankly strengthen by taking a North component near Cape Frio: a depression is being formed off Argentina!

    It is this weather phenomenon that can completely reverse the trend in a matter of hours as it should then slide towards the Roaring Forties by pushing back the Saint Helena high. By sailing on the back of this depression in two days, Franšois Gabart can very quickly enter the South Seas and cross the longitude of the Cape of Good Hope in less than two weeks, which would be a great start to tackle the Indian Ocean, then the Pacific. And this time with a lead of more than half a day on the reference time!

    Time to cross the equator
    Franšois Gabart / MACIF trimaran: 5 days 20h 45 min, or 3h34 behind the reference time
    This article was originally published in forum thread: MACIF Enters The Starting Blocks Sunday started by Photoboy View original post