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Thread: Idec Sport & Spindrift 2 Jules Verne Record Attempt

  1. #11
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    Spindrift 2

    Three days, three nights

    After leaving on Sunday, November 22 at 0402hrs (UTC) in front of the Créac'h lighthouse (Ushant), the trimaran, Spindrift 2, has already accumulated a lead of over 270 miles in just three days on the pace set by the Jules Verne Trophy record holder. And this lead continues to increase with every passing hour in consistent trade winds off the Cape Verde archipelago.

    They have covered more than 30 degrees of latitude and have close to 20°C and rising; in three days Spindrift 2’s crew has gone from the autumnal chill of Brittany to pre-equatorial heat. That has been achieved because of the particularly favourable weather window that Yann Guichard, skipper of the trimaran, set out in for his first attempt of the Jules Verne Trophy. After two and a half hours of sluggish northerly breeze, the Azores High, situated on a very high latitude (towards Ireland) generated a strong north-westerly wind that allowed them to lengthen their stride to an average of over 30 knots. It was an aggressive start as the team steamed around Cape Finisterre in little more than 12 hours.

    On a gull-wing

    From the cold and wet, strong winds and messy waves, the sailing conditions dramatically improved off the coast of Lisbon when Spindrift 2 left the northerly Portuguese trade winds in its wake. As the high pressure of the anticyclone also descended south, Spindrift 2 was able to continue on the easterly, and slightly more volatile, Canary Island trade winds. The number of manoeuvres multiplied for the crew as they had to changes sails, but the miles flew past until the crucial moment of the gybe. It was the defining feature of this very favourable weather pattern: while the holder of the Jules Verne Trophy had to four gybes to reach the Canary Islands in 2012, Spindrift 2 was able to hold a direct route until the Azores archipelago and then make just one gybe.

    With the gradual rotation of the northerly wind eastward, Yann Guichard and his crew managed to make a “gull-wing”, an open V-shaped curved route, which meant they were already positioned to approach the equator. That meant less manoeuvres, less time lost, and a direct route, which equals greater time savings. But this truism is not so obvious on a journey around the world, where a succession of weather systems govern the trajectory. The timing of the gybe was so crucial because it opened the way into the Doldrums, the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), the most complex area to manage when you are racing around the world.

    Entering the Doldrums

    North-easterly winds from the Northern hemisphere, and south-easterly winds from the Southern hemisphere converge off the coast of Sierra Leone to form a barrier towards South America. The winds are weak and there are lots of squalls due to the higher rate of evaporation just above the equator. The Doldrums, which generally extend between the 3° parallel N and the 7° parallel N, are more active at some times than others. You can get light breezes alternating with violent gusts in squalls, extensive areas of calm and a slow transition between the two trade wind systems, from the northern and southern hemispheres. Therefore, the “point of entry” is essential to find the least damaging passage possible, usually it is between the longitudes of 28° W and 30° W.

    Arriving from the Azores without having had to manoeuvre to enter the ITCZ is a substantial advantage: Spindrift 2 should be approaching it on Wednesday night and the slowdown will be felt from sunset. The Doldrums is about 200 miles wide, so, it could be crossed in less than half a day, which would then allow Yann Guichard and his crew to cross the line separating the hemispheres in roughly five days.

    Saving some hours on crossing the equator is essential as shown in the graph of the record times set since the creation of the Jules Verne Trophy in 1993: Commodore Explorer managed 8d 19h 26mins to cross the equator; Orange II, 7d 02h 56mins in 2005; Banque Populaire V set 5d 14h 55mins in 2012, the record to beat. The fourth night at sea for Spindrift 2 promises to be a serious one, as they enter this complex Doldrums “tunnel”, which will require many sail changes and for them to be out quickly in order to catch the south-east trade winds from the 4°N. This is especially so, as the South Atlantic is currently undergoing a meteorological shake up: the St Helena anticyclone is in the process of positioning itself under South Africa, and in order to fly quickly towards the Cape of Good Hope, they must not miss out on the storm system coming from Brazil and heading down to the Roaring Forties.



    The graph of the history of the crossing the equator on Jules Verne Trophy round-the-world voyages (in hours):

    1-Commodore Explorer (1993)
    2-Enza (1994)
    3-Lyonnaise des Eaux (1994)
    4-Sport Elec (1997)
    5-Orange (2002)
    6-Geronimo (2003)
    7-Cheyenne (2004)
    8-Geronimo (2004)
    9-Orange II (2005)
    10-Groupama 3 (2010)
    11-Banque Populaire V (2012)

    This graph shows that a rapid passage to the equator has become essential to improving the round-the-world record. For the early attempts, the record time between Ushant and the equator was between eight and a half days and seven days. On its first attempt on the Jules Verne Trophy in 2008, Groupama 3, went under seven days (6d 6h 24mins), then on its second attempt in 2009 it went below six days (5d 15h 23mins). But the record time now is 5d 14h 55mins set in 2012 by Banque Populaire V.

    - See more at: http://www.spindrift-racing.com/jule....tv6M4zE8.dpuf






    Spindrift 2 in gole, Idec Sport in Red, Banque Populaire reference in blue



    IDEC SPORT WILL CROSS THE EQUATOR TONIGHT

    26 November 2015
    They will be crossing the line separating the two hemisphere late in the night. Francis Joyon and his crew of five have slowed down in the Doldrums, but are already making their way out. The time to get to the Equator will therefore be more or less five days. Or in other words fifteen hours or so better than the current record time for this stretch.

    “We’re still ahead? About 200 miles? That’s good. The lads will be pleased.” On the phone this lunchtime, Francis Joyon’s first thoughts were for his crew, who have been hard at work since last night, when IDEC SPORT entered the Doldrums. The Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone has lived up to its reputation: alternating between calms and very strong squalls with winds varying horribly in direction and strength. This part of the voyage is always feared by sailors. The big, red trimaran wasn’t spared. An extremely violent squall for example forced them to furl the big gennaker quickly and make their way through this dark area without any headsail in a lightning storm and in torrential rain. “The crew were running around in every direction on the deck. It was surrealistic,” Francis Joyon told us.


    Marcel Van Triest: “They are close to leaving the Doldrums”

    Marcel_Van_TriestBISAfter extending their lead to 300 miles yesterday at 2000hrs, IDEC SPORT’s advance over the reference time has quite naturally been reduced to 200 miles this afternoon with speeds between 10 and 20 knots, as opposed to the thirty knot average recorded in the previous 48 hours. It’s all part of the game as you really gain miles in this zone. Let’s not forget that the virtual opponent (Banque Populaire V in 2011) is for the moment further north. So her speed will also fall as she gets down towards the Equator. In fact, the lead has started to extend again since 1600hrs this afternoon (Thursday).

    We can also see an important reference point. This lunchtime, Francis Joyon’s men passed the point marking the fifth day at sea for the record pace with a lead of fifteen hours. In other words, they had been sailing just over 4 and a half days. A lead of half a day. That is what they have so far built up and will wish to work on. One thing is certain: this evening (Thursday), the Equator is a mere 200 miles ahead of their bows.

    South Atlantic at around 0202hrs tonight?

    So it looks more than ever likely they will smash the 5 days and 15 hours that it previously took to get to the Equator from Ushant. IDEC SPORT is probably already making her way out of the Doldrums. Contacted at 1540hrs, Marcel Van Triest, the onshore router for IDEC SPORT explains, “There remain what I have referred to as two lumps areas without any wind, but the trade winds are not far off now and they’ll be picking up the wind and accelerating again. I’m not looking at the crossing of the Equator itself, as it is what lies ahead that interests me. But I can give you an ETA of around 2 or 3 tomorrow morning. Remembering they left at 0202hrs, the question is whether they will make it to the Equator in under five days, but it could be exactly five days!”

    We’ll be watching. What next? “For 600-800 miles, we are going to have to make the most of our angle following on from this passage through the Doldrums, which we’ve done furteh east than usual. Then, there will be a tricky transition zone before we find out whether we manage to hop onto a low pressure area coming out of Uruguay. That is what will decide whether we get a good time to the Cape of Good Hope or just a decent time.” More about that later. For the moment, it’s all about getting out of the Doldrums to make it to the other side of the world. More or less half a day ahead of the record.

    http://www.idecsport-sailing.com/ide...night/?lang=en
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    4 days, 21 hours, 29 minutes!




    Spindrift 2 crossed the equator at 0131hrs UTC on Friday 27 November, just under five days after setting off! Yann Guichard and his crew are on world-record pace. Current Jules Verne Trophy holder Banque Populaire V crossed the equator in 5 days, 14 hours, 55 seconds in 2011. The trimaran must now negotiate the trade winds of the Southern Hemisphere as she makes her way to Cape of Good Hope.

    Spindrift 2 (and the trimaran, IDEC Sport, departing two hours earlier) took advantage of exceptional weather conditions to cover the 3,171 nautical miles (as the crow flies) between Ushant island (Brittany) and the equator in just 4 days, 21 hours, 29 minutes and 2 seconds, averaging a remarkable 26.99 knots. This first milestone on the crew’s circumnavigation is important not only important in terms of timing, but also mentally for the crew, since, even with the benefit of hindsight, they know they chose the right weather window for their departure.




    Full steam ahead!
    Spindrift 2 is 17 hours, 25 minutes and 16 seconds up on 2011 record, or 13% faster than the previous time, and over 277 miles ahead, thanks in particular to the fairly straight route taken by the trimaran. Dona Bertarelli and Yann Guichard have sailed only 3,326 miles, having made only one major manoeuvre, a jibe off the Azores, whereas the current record holder sailed 3,582 miles to reach the equator, a difference of 256 miles to reach the same latitude! Spindrift 2 will now sail along the Brazilian coast in 15-knot south-easterlies until they reach the latitude of Rio de Janeiro, where they will need to hook onto the first southern hemisphere depression to catch a fast ride to the Roaring Forties.

    Yann Guichard spoke by telephone on Thursday evening:
    “We were still in the doldrums at the end of the afternoon. There were small windless squalls all round and speeds varying from 4 to 25 knots. We’ve been in the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ : violent squalls alternate with dead calm) since 2 am on Thursday, when the first squalls kicked in, but we’ve always had a bit of wind, with really strong gusts every now and again. This is all pretty usual for the doldrums, where the wind is unstable, but unfortunately they moved south with us!”

    “It meant we had to do quite a few manoeuvres and make sail changes, sometimes almost immediately after having just finished one. One reef, two reefs, gennaker, genoa, jib. We’ve had almost the entire wardrobe out! But we’ve never been at a full halt. We can just make out a little sunshine to windward with clouds starting to form, which suggests that the end of the tunnel is nigh. I hope we manage to latch onto the more stable south-east trades by nightfall, in which case we might make it across the Equator in the middle of the night. If we make it by 5:02 (CET), that would mean less than five days, but our friend (Francis Joyon and his crew) is not far behind and is sailing fast!”

    “The crew has been working hard since the tough start across the Bay of Biscay, and now in the doldrums. But everyone is in the swing of things now. We’ve been able to give the boat a good check-up and everything’s fine on board. We’re ready for the next stage! The guys are just a little disappointed not to have had big rainy squalls today; they’ve not been able to take a shower! But anyway, we’ve had a nice start and now we’re going to concentrate on the southern hemisphere and follow on as fast as we can to the Cape of Good Hope.”

    - Exclusive drone HD images of the boat in the Atlantic are available on the Spindrift TV server. The latest HD footage of the Equator crossing and an interview with the skipper Yann Guichard in English will be also made available on the Spindrift TV server soon.
    The footage is rights free and available for news usage.
    - The latest news and photos from on board is available in the press area.
    - Click here to download the Spindrift 2 press pack

    OUESSANT-EQUATEUR :

    Banque Populaire V times, Loïck Peyron:
    Ushant departure, Tuesday 22 November 2011 at 08:31:42 UTC
    Equator crossing, Saturday 27 November 2011 at 23:26:00 UTC
    Ushant-equator in 5d, 14h, 54m, 18s

    Spindrift 2 time, Yann Guichard:
    Ushant departure, Sunday 22 November 2015 at 04:01:58 UTC
    Equator crossing, Friday 27 November 27 at 01:31hrs UTC
    Ushant-equator in 4d, 21h, 29m, 2s
    Lead over Banque Populaire V: 17h 25m 16s

    Spindrift 2 pace schedule for Jules Verne Trophy record attempt:
    Day, date (dd.mm.yy), 24h distance covered, 24h av. speed, gap on record pace at 4 am UTC
    Day 0, 22.11.15, departure at 4:01:58
    Day 1, 23.11.15, 727.9 n. miles, 29.4 kn, +26.96 miles
    Day 2, 24.11.15, 639.5 n. miles, 26.6 kn, +15.17 miles
    Day 3, 25.11.15, 736.5 n. miles, 30.7 kn, +273.59 miles
    Day 4, 26.11.15, 726.0 n. miles, 30.2 kn, +346.13 miles
    Jour 5, 27.11.15,



    THE JULES VERNE TROPHY:

    Time to the Equator: 4 days, 21 hours and 29 minutes
    Start and finish: a line between Créac’h lighthouse (Ushant island) and Lizard Point (England)
    Course: non-stop around-the-world tour travelling without outside assistance via the three capes (Good Hope, Leeuwin and Horn)
    Minimum distance: 21,600 nautical miles (40,000 kilometres)
    Ratification: World Sailing Speed Record Council, www.sailspeedrecords.com
    Time to beat: 45 days, 13 hours, 42 minutes and 53 seconds
    Average speed: 19.75 knots
    Date of current record: January 2012
    Holder: Banque Populaire V, Loïck Peyron and a 13-man crew
    Stand-by start date for Spindrift 2: October 19th, 2015

    SPINDRIFT 2 CREW:

    Yann Guichard, skipper
    Dona Bertarelli, helmsman-trimmer
    Sébastien Audigane, helmsman-trimmer
    Antoine Carraz, helmsman-trimmer
    Thierry Duprey du Vorsent, helmsman-trimmer
    Christophe Espagnon, helmsman-bowman
    Jacques Guichard, helmsman-trimmer
    Erwan Israël, navigator
    Loïc Le Mignon, helmsman-trimmer
    Sébastien Marsset, bowman
    François Morvan, helmsman-trimmer
    Xavier Revil, helmsman-trimmer
    Yann Riou, onboard reporter
    Thomas Rouxel, helmsman-bowman
    Jean-Yves Bernot, onshore router

    Photos © Eloi Stichelbaut - Spindrift racing and Yann Riou - Spindrift racinng
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    TROPHEE JULES VERNE
    November 27th 2015

    The six sailors on IDEC SPORT have been sailing in the Southern Hemisphere since 0300hrs this morning. They crossed the Equator after 5 days and 1 hour, almost 14 hours ahead of the time they had to beat. Sailing some way off the coast of Brazil, they are now once again clocking up the miles and accelerating… while they prepare for the next transition. Next up, the Cape of Good Hope.




    It was predicted and they managed to do it. They crossed the Equator just five days after leaving Ushant. The crew of six on IDEC SPORT skippered by Francis Joyon celebrated this passage into the Southern Hemisphere almost 14hours ahead of the time they were aiming to beat. No excesses but making the most of what they had on board, “we had a drink together and raised our glasses,” explained Francis Joyon, quite pleased with his express first stretch of the Jules Verne Trophy, which involved diving down the North Atlantic. “It’s fantastic. We’ve had a great race so far. The crew and the boat have both done very well. Due to a lack of time, we didn’t have much time to train in rough conditions and we discovered a lot. I’m really pleased.”
    All of the sailors on board had already crossed the line separating the two hemispheres at least once before. But at a very different speed. Gwénolé Gahinet: “It’s a great pleasure, of course. This is the second time I have crossed the Equator. The first was back in 2011, in a series boat in the Mini Transat. That was a fine moment too, as I was the first one out of the Doldrums and I was over the moon. This feels like that all over again but much faster… five times as fast!”




    More stable conditions

    So, that’s one thing out of the way. With a lead of almost 14 hours and with the gap widening over the record pace (266 miles at 1400hrs), everything is going well. Particularly as the conditions are much more stable (trade winds blowing between 13 and 20 knots this lunchtime) and more pleasant conditions than in the Doldrums. Gwénolé Gahinet, again: “The conditions are quite pleasant, brilliant sunshine, fairly calm seas and a SE’ly wind that isn’t that strong, but it’s nice out here.” To be honest, the crew wouldn’t mind a little more wind… “Or maybe we should ask our technical director to bring us the big mast(IDEC SPORT has two and deliberately set off with the smaller one, which is lighter – editor’s note) “ joked Francis Joyon. “But I had a look in the rule book and you’re not allowed to change the mast during the race (laughs). Having said that, we were quite happy with our small mast in the northern part, It was the rig we needed and we got through it well. We know too that it will be a great help in the Southern Ocean, so before that we have to adapt to the situation.”

    In joking mood and sounding upbeat, as you would expect from someone, who has escaped from the clutches of the Doldrums… all lights are green. What they have to do now I find the best route to get to the Cape of Good Hope at the tip of South Africa. In order to achieve that goal, they are trying to time it right to hop onto a series of low-pressure areas moving away from South America. Today, they don’t have much else to think about other than speeding south as quickly as possible. However, Marcel (Van Triest, the router) has warned us that there is an area of uncertainty between 10 and 20 degrees South. “On the charts, it is looking good, but in reality out on the water, it risks being more complicated. We may get into calms with lots of manoeuvres to carry out to make our way south.”

    Time for a breather before the transition

    As for life on board, there are no worries either and the crew is doing well. “Of course, there was a little bit of tiredness as we made our way through the Doldrums, where the watch schedule fell to bits. I spent the night awake and the lads missed out on some of their rest periods too. But last night, we were able to recuperate. We charged up our batteries and we’re all in good shape and feeling good. We made a nice little video as we crossed the Equator (broadcast on Breakfast TV in France), where we raised out glasses to Neptune. I haven’t seen the finished version, but I raised my glass.”

    They are the latest developments for the sailors aboard IDEC SPORT, sailing a long way off the coast of Brazil. Another hurdle lies ahead with the transition zone to get through. The next big moment will be crossing the line to the south of the Cape of Good Hope, marking their entry into the Indian Ocean and the huge open expanse of the Southern Ocean, which is part of the legend of round the world racing. We don’t need to panic, if IDEC SPORT is a bit behind the record pace at that point, because of the uncertainty in the South Atlantic. “We’re not forgetting our main goal,” Francis Joyon reassured us, “what counts is the time at the finish, not the intermediate ones.” So that is clear.


    In short
    Ushant-Equator in 5 days and 1 hour: IDEC SPORT crossed the Equator at 03:03:52 this morning (Friday 27th November). Francis Joyon’s crew took 5 jours, one hour and 52 seconds to get to the South Atlantic. That is almost 14 hours less – 13 hours 55 minutes and 18 seconds to be precise - than the previous record time set by Loïck Peyron and his crew on Banque Populaire V on 27th November 2011 (5 days, 14 h 55 mins and 10 secs).
    After 5 days and 12 hours of sailing, at 1400hrs on Friday 27th November, IDEC SPORT has accelerated again. They are sailing at 27.1knots at 04°14 south and 30°31 west, 300 miles east of the Horn of Brazil. Bearing: south (208°). Lead over the record time: 266.5 miles.
    The international crew on IDEC SPORT includes just six men: Francis Joyon (FRA), Bernard Stamm (SUI), Gwénolé Gahinet (FRA), Alex Pella (ESP), Clément Surtel (FRA) and Boris Herrmann (GER)
    Start: IDEC SPORT set off at 02:02:22 on Sunday 22nd November.
    The time to beat: Loïck Peyron and his crew (Banque Populaire) with a time of 45 days, 13 hours, 42 minutes and 53 seconds.
    Deadline: To smash the Jules Verne Trophy record, IDEC SPORT has to be back across the line before 1544hrs on Wednesday 6th January.


    http://trimaran-idec.geovoile.com/ju...noheader&leg=1

    Universal Tracker


    http://www.idecsport-sailing.com/?lang=en
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    Gybing Away From Brazil




    14:30 GMT

    Weather forecast :

    Evening weather forecast

    28th: approaching the cold front, which has been breaking the trade winds for several days. Slight NE wind...

    Overnight: Crossing the cold front, damage limitation.

    29: the South Atlantic trade winds return to normal below the cold front: E.NE winds of 15-20 knots. Fine weather.

    Head south towards depression developing off Argentina. It is heading eastwards, so we hope to hook on.

    30: in the Argentinian low: N.NW winds of 20-25 knots...




    10:30 GMT

    Onboard message:

    Tropical sailing
    Easy going in the mild tropical conditions for Spindrift 2 and its crew. A flat sea and around a dozen knots of wind are still allowing the maxi trimaran to make 22 knots. This period is expected to last at least until tonight, when the arrival of a storm front will create more instability. So, the crew are taking the opportunity to perform the routine checks. The programme for the day: Loic and Antoine will disassemble the helm, Sébastien Marsset will climb the mast and Thierry and François will check the structure of the floats.

    Performance-wise, these mild conditions are obviously not ideal. Part of the lead banked in the Northern hemisphere is expected to be lost. But the crew are biding their time and doing all they can to meet a depression off Argentina within the next 48 hours.





    07:30 GMT

    Day 7 - Speed board

    Race time : 6 days, 3 hours
    327 milles ahead of the record holder, Banque Populaire V
    Distance covered from the start: 4 067 miles
    Distance traveled over 24 hours: 569.5 miles
    Speed over 24 hours: 23.7 knots
    Sail : Mainsail, gennaker
    Area: Tradewinds of the Southern Hemisphere



    - See more at: http://www.spindrift-racing.com/jule....jngWmvBf.dpuf
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    IDEC SPORT passed the latitude of Salvador de Bahia this lunchtime (Saturday), a place that the sailors know very well. They have all sailed in these waters either during round the world trips or famous fleet races like the Jacques Vabre or the Mini Transat. Knowing these waters, they are trying to get the most out of IDEC SPORT, while preparing to face some possibile calm patches.

    “We’ve still got a bit of wind… In general, we’re still advancing at around 20 knots. Occasionally, it drops off, we slow down, but then we get moving again.” Francis Joyon was not particularly worried on the phone this afternoon, as IDEC SPORT passed Salvador de Bahia in Brazil. “We’ve all been down here many times for the Transat Jacques Vabre and the Mini Transat. With Bernard, Gwéno and Alex, I have at least three former Mini racers on board.” The situation is not that bad either. Francis Joyon, again: “We have clear skies and the boat is perfect. We took advantage of a moment of calm to look around her and check everything and we are very pleased.”





    Getting ready for a fight

    DSC_8936Joyon remains as calm as ever. A little uncertainty with the weather between 10 and 20 degrees south is not going to worry the skipper of the big red trimaran (They are currently at 13 degrees, so in the middle of it) currently attempting to win the Jules Verne Trophy with his five crewmen: Bernard Stamm, Alex Pella, Clément Surtel, Boris Herrmann and Gwénolé Gahinet. For the moment, they are still moving even if the lead over the record has fallen, as Banque Populaire V was very fast in this stretch, it is still around 200 miles.

    The area of uncertainty is around 400 miles wide. “On the charts, it doesn’t look that nasty and it doesn’t look like there are any real calms, but Marcel (Van Triest, the router for IDEC SPORT) warned us that we might encounter particularly light airs,” explained Francis. “So we’re planning ahead. We’ve put all the weight in the bow and we have stacked the sails and all the weight inside. The aim of the stacking is to lift the boat’s stern out of the water, in order to pick up speed in the light conditions. We’re really planning ahead for this fight, as we need to get out of this zone quickly. The quicker we get out, the faster we get to the next lot of wind, of course.”

    So when will they be coming out? “I hope we’ll start to get a clearer picture in around 30 hours (Sunday evening, editor’s note), and that we’ll be away from the major difficulties with the boat picking up speed again. It’s true that there is some uncertainty with the weather in this area.” We’ll have to wait and see…




    In short

    . After 6 and a half days at sea, at 1430hrs UTC on Saturday 27th November, IDEC SPORT is sailing at 19.3 knots at 13°19 south and 32°23 West, 300 miles off Salvador da Bahia (Brazil). Bearing: south (169°). Lead over the record time: + 210 miles.


    Spindrift 2 in gold and Idec Sport in red with reference to the 2011 Banque Populaire course
    http://volodiaja.net/Tracking/



    Wind forecast via windyty.com


    IDEC Sport
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    08:00 GMT

    MESSAGE FROM DONA :

    They told me it would be a difficult Doldrums and recounted incredible stories of boats stranded there for days without wind. Well, in the end it wasn’t that bad because we always had some wind.

    We were finally on the road leading to the 'South', to the famous Roaring Forties, which mark the beginning of our loop towards Antarctica. But it was too early to celebrate.

    Loïck (Le Mignon) had actually warned me that it’s a long road and fraught with pitfalls. He knows what he’s talking about. He alone has been here about 15 times.

    So, we’ve been sailing for over 20 hours in an oscillating breeze of 4-6 knots. The 23 tons of Spindrift 2 has been crawling along since yesterday like a stubborn giant. The storm front that’s over 1,000 nautical miles wide, is blocking our way.

    This morning at dawn, we thought we’d got out of it because a consistent wind of 8-10 knots woke us up and got the whole crew excited. But unfortunately it didn’t last. Jean-Yves (Bernot, the router) sent us an email. He is optimistic, the exit is not too far away.





    Slowly along Brazil

    Start of day 8 at 04 :00 GMT
    15 42.04 S et 31 34 14 W
    Area: South of Salvador de Bahia
    98 miles ahead of the record holder, Banque Populaire V
    Distance covered from the start: 4 350 miles
    Distance traveled over 24 hours: 304.5 miles
    Speed over 24 hours: 12.7 knots
    Sail : Mainsail, gennaker






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    The Smaller Of THe Giant Maxi Trimarans


    Tracker


    After a complicated night during which IDEC SPORT found her self becalmed, as we feared in light airs, the wind has finally arrived in the area. The lead over the record pace has disappeared, but the main thing is the big, red trimaran is sailing south at high speed again: 30 knots this afternoon (Sunday).

    It’s a well known fact that at sea everything changes very quickly. That has been the case today and everything is moving in the right direction for Francis Joyon’s men tackling the Jules Verne Trophy. After a “hellish” night, as Francis Joyon referred to it, ”with continual manoeuvres to try to find the wind, fighting hard to advance at three knots,” things have changed this afternoon. Beyond the ridge of clouds that they could see this morning at 1000hrs, the new wind blowing at 15-20 knots has been happily welcomed by the men on IDEC SPORT.




    Happy birthday Bernard

    Are we exaggerating, when we say happily? No. During the radio session, Bernard Stamm, who celebrated his 52nd birthday today (“Is that so, I thought I was 42, are you sure?”) explained that a nice present would be a 15-knot wind “and in the right direction. That would be really great.” He got his present. An hour later, we received this message from the boat: “Thanks very much for the fabulous present. Making 23 knots headway on our route. Wonderful! See you, Bernard.”… This afternoon, the icing on the cake for the most Breton Swiss sailor: the wind was not only blowing, but had increased. IDEC SPORT is now making thirty knots off the coast of South America. News that really cheers us up!

    It is true that the lead over the record time has completely vanished over the past fifteen hours of light winds and calms. The big, red trimaran is now slightly behind the record pace (a handful of miles). That is only normal, as at this point, Banque Populaire V was racing at record pace in the South Atlantic at 32 knots or more. “We knew before setting out from Brest that the South Atlantic would be complicated,” commented Marcel Van Triest, IDEC SPORT’s router. The next important moment will be seeing whether IDEC SPORT is behind or ahead of the pace at the longitude of the Cape of Good Hope, some 3000 miles away.

    The adventure has only just begun

    The adventure has only just begun and the six sailors on IDEC SPORT are far from finished. Everyone knows that it is not here in the trip down the South Atlantic that there are gains to be made. They can above all lose ground here, but it is in the Indian and Pacific, and in the climb back up the Atlantic (North and South) that they can hope to overtake the record-holder. For the moment, they should be pleased they are out of this trap and that the boat is moving well again. That is indeed what the men on IDEC SPORT are managing to do this afternoon on their dash south. In the information from 1345hrs, the speedo was indicating 29.4 knots. Happy birthday, Bernard!



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  8. #18
    Looks like they slipped behind Banque Populaire's reference

  9. #19
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Harnessing THe South Atantic

    Last night, IDEC SPORT began to tackle the powerful area of low pressure developing off Argentina, which is is sweeping across the South Atlantic towards South Africa. The big trimaran, expertly sailed by Joyon and his troops, is managing to keep up with the forces of nature in this disturbed air stream accelerating across the Atlantic.

    In spite of the forecasts and routing predictions, IDEC SPORT has kept ahead of the front, and is advancing on seas that haven’t yet been whipped up by the strong westerlies. Francis, Gwéno, Alex, Clément, Bernard and Boris are hanging on to the Good Hope Express. When they gybe, once the front has caught them, they will dive right down into the gloomy waters located between the Roaring Forties and Furious Fifties.





    “We had the bit between our teeth all night trying to keep ahead of the front.” Francis Joyon could not hide his astonishment this morning, nor his pleasure at seeing how well the IDEC SPORT maxi trimaran was performing. “The routing showed that we would be caught by the front, but we managed to stay ahead of it on fairly smooth seas with a decent wind.” Getting some sort of revenge after the cruelty shown by the South Atlantic over the past few days, the whole crew did its utmost during the night and at the start of this tenth day of racing in this battle against the elements. “Bernard (Stamm) is at the helm,” said Francis. “He has just eased the car. It’s the first time I’ve seen that happen. He hates doing that.” Clément Surtel, pleased to be experiencing what life is like on the inside aboard the boat that he has spent a long time preparing, added, “Bernard is the best helmsman on board. He has an incredible feeling at the helm.” Each of the sailors on IDEC SPORT waits impatiently for that moment of grace, when they take the helm of the giant for 90 minutes, with speed and excitement guaranteed. “41.3! 43.1 knots on the speedo!” Francis told us. “We’re moving quickly and it’s a bit hairy!” While the temperatures remain relatively clement, they are set to plunge as they dive south. “We’re in our wet weather gear and we’re getting a taste of life in the Southern Ocean. It will soon be getting cold. It’s strange going from the cold weather in Brittany to the tropical heat and now the cold of the deep south.” Having sailed 5700 nautical miles out on the water averaging 25.6 knots, IDEC SPORT is about to enter the wide open spaces of the Southern Ocean. The difference between their position and that of the record set 4 years ago by Loïck Peyron and his crew of 13 on the maxi trimaran, Banque Populaire V is still at around 300 miles in favour of the record-holder or around 13 hours of sailing. However, this is not worrying the crew on IDEC SPORT: “Loïck made it to the Cape of Good Hope with an exceptional time (Ushant to the Cape in 11 days 21 hours and 48 minutes) and we never thought we’d better that time. We’d told ourselves from the start that being a day behind at the Cape of Good Hope wasn’t too much of a problem.”

    The boat offering 110% of her potential



    Tracker

    IDEC SPORT, averaging more than 33 knots this morning, is showing she is certainly capable of closing that gap, thanks to the talent of her helmsmen, and the configuration of the rig and sails, which are perfectly suited to the conditions of the Southern Ocean, as Clément Surtel explained, “The boat is offering 110% of her potential. IDEC SPORT is set up perfectly with the small mast. There is less windage at the top.” So it is clear that now is the time for speed on IDEC SPORT, and they are doing their best to remain in this air stream moving towards South Africa for as long as possible. “We’ll be trying to remain ahead of the front for as long as we can,” explained Francis. “As soon as we are caught, we’ll gybe to dive down to the Forties to around 45 degrees south.” The whole crew is making the most of these excellent conditions, offering good speed, as Clément Surtel stressed, “The boat is really giving us pleasure and is very stable. Today, it’s a bit harder to get any rest because of the speed. It feels great at the helm. We shall be sailing quickly with the front for as long as possible. We’re getting ready to enter the Southern Ocean with the long swell and albatrosses. We’re making the most of it and enjoying ourselves.”






    When he prepared Groupama 3, which is now Idec Sport, Clément Surtel was a member of Franck Cammas’s crew during the winning Jules Verne Trophy attempt in 2009-2010. He naturally had a thought for his friend, Frankie, who was seriously injured in a training accident yesterday.

    While the men on IDEC SPORT were able to enjoy the weather on Sunday afternoon, as Francis Joyon told us yesterday morning looking back at sailing at high speed under big gennaker during the night, Monday was a rather sad affair with low speeds, and lots of gybes to get back on track. The key factor was avoiding getting lured into the area of calms associated with the High. This sort of progress is bound not to be very positive in terms of the record, and that is confirmed if we look at the results of the past 24 hours, as they have clocked up a mere 400 miles , while 4 years ago, the Defender, Banque Populaire V sailed almost 700. The deficit, although anticipated by the men on board has now reached practically 300 miles.

    The good news during the night is however important. The IDEC SPORT maxi trimaran has finally made it to the series of low pressure areas moving off the coast of Argentina. Joyon and his troops have been sailing for the past few hours in a strong westerly air stream, enabling them to advance at more than 33 knots towards South Africa. This means that the situation is undergoing a major upheaval. IDEC SPORT is expected to stay in this wind for some time in order to make headway south and slide under the St Helena High, which is dominating the weather to the south of the continent of Africa, forcing Joyon, Gahinet, Pella, Surtel, Hermann and Stamm to enter the dark zone between 40 and 50 degrees south. It looks like being a lively time on this tenth day of the Jules Verne Trophy with very high speeds from the boat and subtle routing choices from the men.
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  10. #20
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Spindrift 2: Release!

    The tension is mounting The tension is mounting on the Jules Verne Trophy where Spindrift 2 is still on record pace and is even starting to accelerate after ten days of racing. On the virtual side, it is tight, everyone is trying to catch the cold front to get round the St Helena High more easily. The famous anticyclone is once again a huge hurdle, but on the approach to 40º South, the first to the depression could quickly open up a nice gap.

    Made it! Spindrift 2 caught the front. It was late yesterday afternoon. (photo Erwan Israël, Loic Le Mignon). That’s good news for Spindrift 2’s crew, who had stowed their shorts and sunglasses and got the thermals and oilies back out again. The transition was quick. There was just enough time, for some of them, to take a last seawater shower on deck for...a good three weeks? The next one will probably be in the same area, after they have toured Antarctica.

    That said, conditions remain very tolerable, and favorable for speed. Flying downwind on a flat sea, at least that’s what feels like on a boat this size. So, Spindrift 2 is lengthening its stride, making between 30 and 35 knots relatively comfortably, as the maxi-trimaran rides the head of this rainy front. The challenge will be to stay there for the next three or four days. Meanwhile, the crew are readjusting to the high speeds, and also to the grey skies and wet conditions.





    Tracking





    Tuesday December 1st:

    25-30 knots north-west winds, 30-35 knots this evening. Overcast with transient mist. Spindrift 2 is riding the front, hoping to maintain average speeds of 30-35 knots until Thursday, heading east-southeast.

    Wednesday, December 2nd:
    Similar conditions. Wind veering slightly north should allow a change of route towards the south while maintaining the same pace.

    Thursday, December 3rd:
    Critical day. Cold front will stay in the South Atlantic, so a new ride will be needed to reach the Indian Ocean. Enter the Roaring Forties in the evening. Things get (even more) serious.



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