• Cutting Corners And Advancing On Reference

    The diagonal of the South

    The meteorological configuration is particularly favorable since the equator for Franšois Gabart, left to establish an exceptional reference time to the passage of the longitude of the Cape of Good Hope: sliding on the back of an Argentinean depression, the MACIF trimaran goes to engage very quickly in the South Seas ...

    The sailors are accustomed to slicing through the maritime routes marked by compulsory passages, like a world tour with its three capes (Bonne-Esperance, Leeuwin, Horn) and the equator. Geographical landmarks and temporal references that make it possible to reposition oneself in the space-time of a world in perpetual movement. But in the marine reality, the seas do not stand out as parts of four-quarters: the progression is intimately linked to the succession of meteorological phenomena ...

    Earth is round, the sea too!

    If the rotundity of our planet is known to us from time immemorial, the fact of making the tour dates only from the trip FernŃo de Magellan reported by the Italian Antonio Pigafetta at the beginning of the 16th century and it was not until the twentieth that the journey becomes a challenge, then a record ... But in fact, this sailing world tour does not unfold like that of Jules Verne, traveling as far as possible from the equator to and from London : Phileas Fogg and Jean Passepartout had then eighty days to go around the world and the goal of Franšois Gabart is to put less than 49 days and three hours. And if the distance to travel remains the same, about 40 000 km or 21 600 nautical miles, the way to tackle the challenge is not at all the same!


    In fact, it is not only three oceans that must be crossed, it is a series of meteorological situations that must be hung: the rotation of the Earth on itself causes a movement of the atmosphere with depressions that move mainly from west to east (in the northern hemisphere as in the southern hemisphere) around more or less stabilized anticyclones in an area of ​​the ocean (Azores, Bermuda, St. Helena ...).

    But to make a complete rotation around the Earth by the sea, impossible to follow the equator: it is necessary to go around the fifth continent, the Antarctic! The trajectory from Ouessant is North-South to reach the Roaring Forties, West-East to cross the Indian Ocean then the Pacific, South-North to climb from Cape Horn to Brittany Point.


    Cut the cheese

    During his descent to Brazil, the trimaran MACIF was able to draw a large line (with some unhookings) off the coast of Salvador Bahia where Thomas Coville, record holder around the world alone (49d 03h 4 ') is on course to win at the Transat Jacques Vabre ... But it's the following that changes the deal: Franšois Gabart benefits from the passage of an Argentinean depression that allows him to "cut the cheese", to go almost directly towards the Cape of Good Hope when his predecessor had had to dive further south before putting the flashing light on the left!


    In fact from a meteorological point of view, the sailor passes from a vertical situation where the weather phenomena arrive by crooked (winds of North-West at the beginning, trade winds of North-East in the Canaries, Pot-au-Noir, trade winds south-east after the equator) to a horizontal configuration (west-east depressions) to Cape Horn. It is this phase of transition on a large scale that Franšois Gabart is living successfully since he will be able to gradually transform his verticality into horizontality ... going through a diagonal!


    This rare case can only be renewed on a world sailing trip when it returns to the northern hemisphere when the trimaran MACIF has crossed the equator again to pull its last edge towards Ouessant: sometimes the sailors benefit from this diagonal which saves precious time during the final rush while munching on the Azores anticyclone ...

    Because when shorter path and faster progression go hand in hand, the result is not long in coming: more than 250 miles of margin at the edge of this tenth day of the sea. And this cushion should turn into a mattress at the passage of the cape of Good Hope with almost two days ahead of Thomas Coville! To date, only two crews have descended below the twelve days to reach the longitude of South Africa from Ushant: Lo´ck Peyron (11d 21h 48 ') and Yann Guichard (11d 22h 04') ...

    Batten problem identified

    This afternoon, Franšois Gabart noticed a latte problem aboard the trimaran MACIF.
    To assess the extent of the breakage, he had to lower his GV around 16:30 to gain
    access to the Batten in question and attempt a repair, currently underway. More info to come
    This article was originally published in forum thread: MACIF Enters The Starting Blocks Sunday started by Photoboy View original post