• A Near Perfect Trajectory To Cape Horn

    Let it go !
    After 48 hours of planting seeds in a terrible sea, Franšois Gabart resumed the course of his love affair with high speeds since yesterday in less stormy waters. This morning, the trimaran MACIF jumped to more than 30 knots, with long sessions at more than 35 knots. And the lead on the record of the world tour alone has swelled.

    Point race in brief:
    After 48 hours at 18-20 knots in troughs of 5 to 7 meters, the trimaran MACIF has picked up speed.
    Coming up, a ridge to go up to Cape Horn from the north at high speed
    Routing announces a doubling of Cape Horn Sunday night

    800 miles and some lengths. It had been a while since the stock exchange had not clearly risen. Down to the equivalent of twenty hours of navigation in recent days, the margin has recovered in volume as the sea flattened under the boots of the Seven Locations of trimaran MACIF. Franšois Gabart is not yet sailing on a billiard table, but he should enjoy a good day on Friday, December 1st. A beautiful dorsal ridge forms between two depressions, one coming from the Antarctic ice, the other descending from the south. The conjunction promises to be favorable, which would allow the solo sailor to make a direct route by avoiding the ice zones while leading a good train to Cape Horn, that trimaran MACIF could round Sunday night.

    These last days have been particularly tiring for the skipper. And, even if one must always be wary of the symbols, the point Nemo must have turned in the jar last night. The Nemo point is the furthest point of any civilization. To the north, Ducie Island is 2684 kilometers away. The Chatham Islands (3997 km) to the west, Maher Island (2695 km) to the south and Chile to the east (3375 km) were the nearest inhabited land, the time of the evening. Even the astronauts of the international space station are closer (400 km). To define the positioning of the cursor on the dial of anxiety yesterday, roller coaster and suspicion of intrusion of ice in the trajectory of the trimaran have pushed the vigilance of Francis to its extreme. Even though we had to wedge three small jybes tonight, to avoid the cold water zone - and sweats of the same temperature - these last 24 hours still allowed the sailor to blow. The clock of life announced 5h30 of sleep during this last day. But surely, the body will require a lot of attention. Careful nutrition, applied rehydration and stretching will help offset the pangs of these more trying days than others. But for that too, the skipper of the trimaran MACIF has prepared.

    "You have three goals ..."

    "Are you coming to sail? Aymeric Rabadeux had a simple joy at the invitation of Francois Gabart at the end of this summer. No sooner had the osteopath of the sailors set foot on the trampoline than the instructions fell: "You have three objectives today: to take pleasure, to see if there are no objects or angles in the cockpit that could be dangerous or not ergonomic, and suggest what postures and stretches I could do in this space so reduced. "So, says Aymeric, I take the pressure. He is far too smart to accept a simple 'ooh, it's too cool, your boat'. So I filmed, and proposed tracks.

    Risk prevention and anticipation. Two of the foster mothers of Franšois' career to which he refuses nothing. This test day, where Aymeric was a comrade and osteo embarked, the sea was flat and the wind generous. Interesting to tease the high speeds, not enough to fully determine the violence of the shocks that may have to face a solitary thrown full ball across the planet. Aymeric Rabadeux still felt "jolts, the impacts of accelerations and decelerations, the transverse movements that must digest the body. When it moves like that, the whole body locks to cash, feet to the top of the skull. This causes severe muscle aches, it looks like big ski shocks.

    Everything is bound by a film of water ... "

    The regime that Franšois Gabart underwent in the XXL version during his circonvolution around Antarctica will inevitably leave traces. Difficult to keep your head in the axis, impossible not to be flogged in bruises on the surface of the water. Inside the body, the organs also undergo movements. "Inside the body, it moves, explains the osteo who lives part-time in Britain and the Alps. Everything is connected by something that could be described as a film of water. Emotional or physical tensions cause movements on the organs. Over time, these bad positions can lead to pathologies. But we have few ways to objectify that, I dream to participate in research on this topic.

    The osteopath, who has been working for 17 years in sailing and who knows the Figarists on the fingertips, still felt a slight - but therefore significant - modification of the bodies in the multihull and IMOCA60 pilots. "I have the impression that, at home, the bone and muscular structures are harder, as if the body were forming a carapace". Difficult for Aymeric not to be dithyrambic with the skipper of the trimaran MACIF, which he saw grow, class after class. Healthy life of high level athlete, sharp intelligence, sense of anticipation and ability to surround yourself with the right people, that's the order of the agreed.

    Small glances in addition to the osteo? "Already, he leaves nothing to chance: he even worked meditation to rest in a minimum of time and live in full consciousness. But what impressed me most was that he totally integrated the strengths of his size that is not that of a grinder of the America's Cup ... And, rather than turn the winches in force like many, he chose the intensity that suits him, agreeing to mill longer to work aerobically. It turns over, yes, but there is no aches. If, in addition, Franšois is clever ...

    Franšois Gabart: "I can't wait to get to Cape Horn!"

    After four weeks at sea, Franšois Gabart has managed to reposition himself ahead of a low-pressure system. He has picked up speed again and is attacking the last part of the South Pacific. The skipper of the MACIF trimaran succeeded in carrying out some small repair jobs on his boat and is planning to round Cape Horn between Sunday evening and Monday morning. During a radio session this Monday morning, he admitted that he was dying to get back to the Atlantic again.

    Can you describe the conditions in the South Pacific?

    Franšois Gabart: "The wind speed is currently at 35 to 38 knots: the wind has only just picked up and the sea isn't too bad. I'm making quick progress between 30 and 45 knots. It isn't easy to maintain a regular speed. I'm trying my best, but I'm not going to complain as things are headed in the right direction and at a good pace. Since the beginning of the South Seas, I'm either ahead or behind a low-pressure area. We don't yet have a boat sufficiently fast to overtake these phenomena particularly when the wind speed is 50 knots. These last three days, I was behind. It was tough, because there wasn't much I could do except slow down if I didn't want to take a beating. Now, I'm ahead. I need to sail sufficiently fast to enjoy calmer winds and sea, to prevent any damage. You need to get the delicate balance right."

    What are the key points to watch in these conditions?

    FG: "When the wind is strong, you initially try to prevent the boat from overturning, so I'm careful about that. The sheets aren't far, ready to be to eased off and the automatic release system is also in operation. Otherwise, the wave impacts are really tricky. The overall goal, and the hardest one, is to maintain as stable a speed as possible, because when things are happening very fast, there comes a time when you stop in a wave and the boat goes under and it's very violent. So, the aim is to sail fast on average, without any peak speeds. Otherwise, I regularly check the boat to see that none of the parts have moved or if a sail hasn't unfurled. The two forward mainsails, the J1 and the gennaker are really well secured to the central hull, where they are laid, but when you reach 45 knots in the water and the sail weighs 150 kilos, the strain is colossal. If a strap breaks, things can quick turn to a nightmare. So, I try to go around the boat as often as I possibly can."

    Have you finished all the repairs you had planned?

    FG: "Yes, I'm very happy. There's nothing left to repair. In principle, my two biggest worries have been dealt with. I managed to finish the furling system job yesterday and I am fairly happy with the result. I also had a few small hydraulic problems. There were air bubbles in the system. I bled the system several times and it looks like that worked. The boat is really doing well, which is pretty ideal as we approach the last leg of the Pacific."

    How do you feel physically, after being tossed about in a difficult sea early this week?

    FG: "I got some good rest last night, so I'm not too tired. However, I am being careful about my muscles, because I feel the strain, particularly around the neck. I try to do some good stretching, because I've been sailing a few weeks now and I've been jolted about in the last few days. It's difficult to relax your muscles, even in the bunk, because you're being knocked around in all directions, so I'm careful about that, because I've still a few crank turns before the end..."

    How is the end of the Pacific looking with the rounding of Cape Horn ahead?

    FG: "Not bad really. I try not to get too excited too soon and to stay focused, but, in principle, if everything goes well in front of the low, then it'll be full ahead to Cape Horn. The next few hours will be crucial. If I manage to stay ahead of the low-pressure area, the sea shouldn't be too bad. I hope that it will stay like that until the Horn. There is still ice to starboard and we are not going to take any risks, but the weather situation means that we can keep our distance further north. I'm hoping to round Cape Horn at the earliest on Sunday at the end of the day, around 18:00 (UTC+1), and at the latest, on Monday morning."

    You probably can't wait to be there...

    FG: "Oh yes, definitely! Naturally, I really love the South Seas. It's magnificent to be sailing here, but it's always the same. When you get to the end, you're happy to leave. I'm really dying to get back to the Atlantic, to warmer climes and just to get closer to the finishing line, because the clock is ticking! Afterwards, I know that it's far from over, that it's going to be hard work and that the Atlantic will be full of pitfalls, but nevertheless, Cape Horn is a very symbolic place, and I really can't wait to be there."

    Do you have any idea of what's waiting for you in the South Atlantic?

    FG: "I had a look this morning and is Jean-Yves (Bernot, Ed.) sent me a quick summary. I'm taking it for what it's worth because it's still quite far off, but it's looking favourable: quite tough at the start, which is quite good because and this will make it easier to get to the northeast. Then, as usual, you have the transition areas facing Argentina and Brazil. I hope that the weather sequence will work out well. For the moment, the lights are looking green, so it's cool, but let's get to Cape Horn first with a boat at 100 percent of its capacity."
    This article was originally published in forum thread: MACIF Enters The Starting Blocks Sunday started by Photoboy View original post