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Thread: MACIF Enters The Starting Blocks Sunday

  1. #21
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    Gabbing With Gabart

    On Thursday, François Gabart entered the Indian Ocean in a record time of 12 days, 22 hours, and 20 minutes. This Friday he is taking advantage of calmer weather to rest up and give his boat a once over. The MACIF skipper seemed very confident this Friday morning, telling us about the sensations on board, his intimate knowledge of his boat and about his strategy for the Indian Ocean.







    How were the first 13 days of this record attempt and how did the fast sail down the Atlantic go?


    François Gabart: "It went very well. This first part of the record attempt is very positive. It is one of the best ocean racing experiences that I have ever had, with incredible sensations in terms of speed, and in fact, everything that I love. I had a little luck in the South Atlantic. It was amazing that everything followed on so well, opening up ahead of me off the coast of Brazil! Sometimes it can take years to enjoy such conditions. However, it is mentally and physically demanding, requiring great concentration, but that's also what I'm looking for."



    How did familiarizing yourself with the boat after the start go?


    FG: "I had to do it in a hurry. When you set sail, you're still not very sure of yourself. You question the angles, the sale configurations, you know that there is swell, currents, rocks... A lot happens inside your head in these first few hours of sailing and then things immediately speed up. I accelerated to 40 knots. So, you don't have a choice, you find your bearings quickly and adapt to the limitations of your boat. The more you sail the more you gain confidence. I was lucky to leave in daylight. I had the whole day to familiarize myself with her. I was much more confident when I reached Cape Finisterre and from that point on everything played out well."



    Are you still surprised by the MACIF trimaran's performances?


    FG: "Yes and no. On the one hand, I know that she is capable of very high speeds, but on the other, the ease with which I reached these speeds is a little disconcerting. When the weather conditions are good, she is easy to sail at 40 knots and she sails really well between 37 and 42 knots, without there being any danger."





    Are you happy about the technical choices in Macif's cockpit, with this completely protected cabin?


    FG: "One thing I definitely do not regret is the deck plan and the cockpit. You really need to be protected in the weather I'm sailing in. At the start of the 24-hour record, I was wearing crocs and shorts at 40 knots! I feel very safe in the cockpit. This is really important if you want to be able to go fast. You say to yourself that even if the worst should happen, you are in an enclosed space and that's reassuring."



    You have been at sea for 13 days now, a record for you on the MACIF trimaran. How are you coping with the solitude?




    FG: "I'm coping well. I'm beginning to have my little routines, taking care the boat as I did with the Imoca in the Vendée Globe. I am now in relationship in which it's just her and me. This fosters a great connection and a certain intimacy that you don't have with the crew and that you don't have the time to have during shorter races. I am not talking to her yet, but it won't be long before I am. Otherwise, I'm not affected by the time, as the days go by very quickly. That said, so far I have been in regions where I'm not completely alone. In the coming weeks, there will be absolutely nobody, with maybe a few people here and there around the islands of Crozet and Kerguelen, otherwise nothing. But that doesn't bother me all that much."



    What is your mindset as you approach the South Seas?


    FG: "It's a little like when you are a kid and you are at the top of a slide. You lurch forward and you're off, and there's no going back. There is a time that comes when the shortest way home lies ahead of you. I really feel like I'm being sucked in. It's slightly daunting, but at the same time it's incredibly exciting, because you know it's going to go fast. What's more in 80% of my dreams, I'm doing something involving surfing! Here, it feels like South Africa is at a higher altitude than Cape Horn and that I will slide all the way down to Cape Horn. This said, I know that there will be a few bumps along the way."


    TRACKER

    What sailing conditions are you experiencing now you are in the Indian Ocean?


    FG: "I am currently crossing a ridge of high pressure, an area of flat calm that connects with the low-pressure system that drove me this far, and the Indian Ocean will take me to another low area coming in from Madagascar. This is a strong low-pressure system. Ideally, I should pass ahead of it, but I probably won't succeed, so I may have to stay behind. And to stay behind, it is best to let it pass and try to follow it, rather than enter it and be overtaken by the low pressure. This means that once I've got on the right side of the high-pressure ridge, I will slow down for a few hours to let the worst of the low pass and then get moving again. I think it is the first time that I have had to wait while racing. That part of what it's about and there are times when you just can't get past. I am going to take advantage of this to give the boat a once over, do some small jobs and finish repairing the batten. I'm also going to rest up as much as possible so that I can get straight back in there after this low-pressure area, because it's likely to be hard work."


    Last year, Thomas Coville sailed across the Indian Ocean very fast. How do you see your crossing?


    FG: "It's difficult to say, because this low-pressure area is making a big mess of things. Since it is going to be in front of us for quite a while, this is what's going to set the pace. Ideally, it would have to progress sufficiently fast in the right direction, for us to maintain good speeds behind. The models are not spot on, but you can be sure of one thing and that's that there won't be a record on this section of the course. At best we will achieve a reasonable average.


    After nearly 2 weeks at sea, how do you feel physically and mentally?


    FG: "I'm in great form. I slept well during the night. I don't think I am in the red sleepwise. And as for how I feel, well naturally I'm all set to fly. I reached the Cape of Good Hope in less than 12 days and it was a wonderful experience on this magnificent boat. If I was feeling down, something would be seriously wrong!"
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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  2. #22
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    On The Indian Ocean Treadmnill



    TRACKER


    Mollo ... my non troppo

    Since Saturday and at least until Monday, François Gabart is wedged in the back of the depression that opens the road to the east. Finally, stalled ... The trimaran MACIF jumps rather in a well formed sea, which forces him to clamp the engine ... To advance to 25 knots. Still.

    Two reefs in the mainsail, a small J2 for the forward sail, it is in the configuration of reduced sails that François advances, taking advantage of the aspiration of the depression behind which he snuck into the night from Friday to Saturday. A kind of treadmill that brings the MACIF trimaran to the east and should begin to run out in the next 36 hours. It's convenient, a treadmill. We settle there, hand on the rail and we wait for the destination quietly. Or not. In this case, the depression generates a fairly strong sea and a short swell that shake the boat. It is for this reason, and also because it is better not to look in the eye of a depression if we are there, that François and his routing team have decided to keep and keep moving forward. my non troppo. Mollo because it would be counterproductive to push the boat too far; my non troppo because, despite the call for calm, MACIF still advance at a good speed and increases nicely, but certainly, his lead on the record. This Sunday afternoon, the trimaran again had 900 miles of profit.
    Stalled in his cabin, Francis took advantage of this hiccupy to rest. In total, it is not less than 4h32 of sleep that the skipper of trimaran MACIF has agreed. 272 minutes of sleep, giving the second man on board the task of piloting the machine. Of course we are talking about the autopilot, which will hold the helm on almost the entire course. If François manages to agree more and more resting beaches, it is because, since the beginning of the road, he has learned to trust his best new friend completely.
    "A pilot, that's what he's told to do"

    https://youtu.be/0zFwdIoamlw

    At MerConcept, the structure of François Gabart, Emilien Lavigne is the youngest. This is also the case, no doubt, at Jean-Yves Bernot where, as an expert and watchman on land of the MACIF trimaran, he took over from Julien Villion. Thesard, his subject is the development of an autopilot specially designed for racing trimarans. Passed by the INSA, the National Institute of Applied Sciences, Emilien followed his course in Lyon. Like François. He took mechanics as an orientation. His graduation internship, he does it in the offshore race. Like François, who moved to Raphaël Dinelli shortly before his departure on the 2004 Vendée Globe. Emilien grew up inland. Like François. One comes from Auvergne, the other from Charente. He loves sailing. Like François. And he does. Not quite like François ... "I am a true passionate of this sport, which is not easy when one lacks plans of waters during his childhood, notes Emilien. I did laser in the middle and high school years, and Longtzee and Grand Surprise at INSA. I wanted to live my internship in the offshore race. I contacted MerConcept, François' structure, hoping to be heard given the fact that we share the same university curriculum. At the end of my studies, it was time to do my thesis. Well, say, why not on something that would touch the big racing trimarans?






    Waiting to present his thesis, in about 1 year and 10 months - it's accurate, an engineer -, Emilien worked on the autopilot installed aboard MACIF. A model that exists in the public, adapted to offshore racing, but that it was necessary to optimize for the trimaran. And for François: "The development of a pilot answers three central questions: safety, stability and performance. He also has a single master builder: the skipper. The nerve of war is that the pilot is made for the sailor's hand. So, the pilot is the boss? "A pilot, that's what he's told to do, in all kinds of circumstances. Its reliability comes from the fact that it is programmed to systematically do what it is told to deal with a given situation. It may be considered sometimes as a co-skipper, it is the order of what was put in his stomach during its development.
    Driver, always ready!




    It's practical, a "second man" on board, never tired, always leaving and without the slightest flaw, right? "We know that a driver will be very good under certain conditions of navigation, but it will be less successful in other cases. The skipper's confidence comes from knowing the strengths and weaknesses of the pilot. For example, nothing replaces the man when the unexpected happens. The meeting with an OFNI is a subject of long standing studies in ocean racing. How to avoid the obstacle to preserve the boat? "This is a very interesting case that again raised the last Vendée Globe, with a complex equation, gently vulgarizes Emilien. There are sensors to detect objects floating in the water, but you have to connect them to the console and the autopilot. But if it's for the boat to make goat jumps every thirty seconds because a radar has detected something ... "



    Imagine that the pilot goes on strike, or that he is in a bad mood or that he has the pretension to counter the orders? "We can not intervene on the pilot from the ground. We have, thanks to the onboard sensors and which feed the pilot, a return on what is happening on the boat. But we will never know as much as the skipper at sea. We can only make a first diagnosis, talk with François and accompany him, but it's up to him to intervene. " Like the rest of the MACIF trimaran team, Emilien only sleeps
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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  3. #23
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    MACIF Dives Deep To The South!



    TRACKER


    Shadows and lights
    Strategy change this weekend with the expected meteorological upheaval in the Indian Ocean in the middle of the week: the bad depression of Mozambique has finally disintegrated and the expected portable corridor north of the Kerguelen will turn into a tacky anticyclone. Finished the big slide towards the antipodes, place with a zigzagodromie between icebergs and veins of wind along the Howling 50's ...

    Predicting is not predicting and the sea is there to remind it ... The scenarios may be cut to the finest thanks to thermodynamic simulators, by supercomputers capable of performing five Pétaflops (or five million billion) operations per second, by projected overlaps based on the study of previous rounds of the world, crewed or alone, the reality reminds us that nature is not governed by human laws. Anthropomorphism does not decline in this fuzzy ensemble born of the confrontation between three continents with such opposite characteristics, surrounding an ice-laden ocean in its South and monsoons in its North: a temperate oceanic continent, an Australian desert heat, a cold Antarctic ... all scattered with confetti of islands and archipelagos as disruptive as endocrine.
    The end of the tunnel

    The Indian, whom the meteorological routers call the "tunnel", that the first winner of the Vendée Globe called the "country of the shadow", that all sailors fear not for his bad moods but because of his epileptic spasms , its schizophrenic crises, its almost permanent instability, its impromptu violence and its unpredictable calms, is undoubtedly the most perverse club five oceans! Perhaps because it feels trapped by this Asia in its north and this southern Antarctic, probably because the thermal contrasts are particularly tight, certainly because its seasonal rhythm constantly blows hot and cold ...



    Thus, after having gnawed on not to hit a depression coming from Mozambique on Saturday, and almost crossed the center of the disturbance in the early morning on Sunday, it was clear that the expressway that seemed to take shape along the Roaring Forties was not successful. that at an impasse, or at least a zone of work with some headwinds and sea conditions not very likely ... So in permanent relationship with Jean-Yves Bernot his router on the ground, François Gabart he decided to take the tangent until sliding on the 52 ° South! A choice based on the fact that the path is shorter to wind the Antarctic, that this Monday evening, the wind of Southwest will turn to the North-West reinforcing to more than thirty nodes, that this new limit trajectory the number of maneuvers since this powerful flow should bring it to a minimum up to the longitude of Cape Leeuwin.

    Admittedly, the presence of drift ice remains a risk factor, at least until overflowing by the South Kerguelen satellite images should better identify areas of icebergs and therefore growlers (pieces of ice a dozen meters in diameter). But the MACIF trimaran will avoid the "continental" plateau of the southern archipelago, still disorderly or dangerous sea factor and, after passing near the Crozet Islands, François Gabart should curl the island Heard tomorrow Tuesday.






    And there was light…

    But the other advantage of this new trajectory along the Fiftieths is a less tortured sea: the Antarctic continent is in fact asymmetrical with respect to the South Pole, most of the land bathing the Indian Ocean, and the solitary will go along this mass of glaciers and pack ice just 300 miles north. Not the time, not the distance, not the fetch to form a chaotic sea when the breezes blow from the South sector and only the big swells of West and North-West can take of the chest: carrying waves and less disordered seas ...



    But it is also a sensible shortening of the southern nights! Let's not forget that the southern hemisphere is currently in the heart of spring and that summer arrives in pile one month (December 21): sliding along the Fiftieths for several days (or weeks), François Gabart shortens his nights. Barely eight hours of a twilight horizon because the Indian has this majesty to reflect ... Behind this hermetic pole, the sun's rays are reflected in the ice to bounce off like a veil of luminescence. Fireworks of shadows and lights, these few days in the heart of the tenebrous Australs will certainly be the most stressful of this round the world alone for François Gabart, but probably the most magical by these deluges of aurora, of sooty grains and radiant pikes.
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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  4. #24
    Makes sense to a degree.

    Shorter distance and less volatile sea state. Maybe.

  5. #25
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    Riding The Southern Depression




    The return of the horizon
    Yesterday, MACIF spent a big part the whole day nose to the South Pole to settle down in the Howling Fifties. With still 764 miles ahead of the record, François Gabart is making his way back east since Tuesday morning. Soon he will jump into the depression that will take him to Cape Leeuwin.



    Two days ago, the depression towards which François Gabart was running stifled, eventually giving way to a painful high and a not negotiable depression. It was thus necessary to modify the flight plan and to go to seek a new corridor of bearing winds located much further south. Monday's day was devoted to the implementation of plan B, which lacks neither relevance nor daring.

    Orthodrome my love

    Even if it was adopted by default, the idea is relevant. It is a question of fetching a nascent depression that will soon run from west to east stretching from Antarctica to the 50th parallel, before going up to the north towards Cape Leeuwin. In 24 hours, the skipper MACIF has slipped from 45 ° south to 55 ° S, to finally stabilize around 53 ° S, thus avoiding the anticyclonic crescent that threatened to disrupt the 18th day of his adventure and the depression that barred him the passage.

    Arrived in the chosen latitudes, François set sail again this morning. It runs alongside the great circle, the theoretical line which represents the shortest trajectory between two points of the globe, taking into account the roundness of the Earth. A boon in terms of performance since, by taking the right course on the most direct route, it will make the best possible profit from each mile made.



    The daring is good to go down so low, in the south of the Kerguelen Islands, in this great basin where go icebergs and growlers. It will take, to manage these two-three days up to Cape Leeuwin, a lot of helms and a lot of vigilance on the ground, at Jean-Yves Bernot, and at sea. "We have no choice but to 'Go to these particular places, south of the Kerguelen and Crozet,' commented Francois Gabart yesterday. It's like that… "
    "From north to south, from east to west, even in Vesoul ..."



    TRACKER


    "It's like that, yes ... He will also have to face this invisible and sneaky actor called cold. "Welcome to the fridge, we're going to the freezer! ". During his giant slalom between 52 ° S and 56 ° S, the trimaran skipper MACIF described his super battle plan to face the enemy, which he considers less painful than the hot weather."

    "Managing the cold at sea is a bit like skiing. It must be taken into consideration that I have some efforts to make. For example, I have to think about taking off diapers when I'm at the mill. Even when it is 5 degrees, I sometimes find myself in a T-shirt because the worst thing is to stay covered and sweat under the clothes. In this case, it is nice to add thicknesses, we remain caught by the cold. Yesterday, François tried an experiment: go out and manage his gennaker without putting on his hood. He was not exposed to the wind for fifteen seconds that he turned around to return to cover. "There was a sort of icy rain that was not really snow ... When you go ahead, in conditions like that, you feel like you can suffer from the nail, like skiing ..."




    Sheltered in his cabin, François gains at least two degrees on the outside atmosphere, while being cut off from the wind. Conditions a strand more comfortable, especially when he is engorged in his big jacket of cold. "I pulled out my special World Tour Jacket, from the Guy Cotten collection. The fabric does not breathe much, but it is hot. It is very good for sleeping or when I do not move from my chair. The cold is not very pleasant, but it is easy to manage: just add layers."
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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    After a little over 17 days at sea, François Gabart is still in the lead by about 1 and a half days in relation to the Thomas Coville's time, the current holder of the single-handed round the world record. The MACIF skipper hopes to pick up speed again this Tuesday evening, after being forced to sail south to reposition himself in front of a low-pressure area, which slowed him down slightly and meant that he has had to watch out for ice floes. He should round Cape Leeuwin between Thursday and Friday.


    Number: 54


    Although, after entering the Indian Ocean last Thursday, he had initially planned to position himself behind a low-pressure area and let himself be sucked along by it as far as Australia, François Gabart had to review his strategy at the end of the weekend, as the low-pressure area had not developed in the way he had hoped: "It was not moving out of the way properly. It was spreading and blocking our passage. So, we chose to reposition ourselves in the south to recover the wind again which is beginning to lift," said the skipper on Tuesday during a radio session organized at Macif's headquarters in Niort, which many of the group's employees attended. Even though, the MACIF trimaran's trajectory has been fairly straight up until now, she had to sail south to position herself ahead of a new low-pressure system from the West, which will drive her towards Cape Leeuwin, to the south-west of Australia, in the coming days. She should round the Cape on Thursday evening or Friday morning, and still maintain a lead in relation to Sodebo. On Monday, she sailed down to a latitude of 54°50, less than 800 miles from Antarctica, where, just one year earlier, Thomas Coville sailed a course on the same longitude, 43° south! "For some time now, it has been quite unusual to take this route in round the worlds, because, as a rule, the ice gates force us to follow more northerly courses", said François Gabart.



    Danger, Icebergs


    Still located in a very southerly position (53°50) on Tuesday, the MACIF trimaran will sail south of the Kerguelen Islands, before heading a little further up in search of the wind he's expecting to meet and which was part of his initial strategy. "Icebergs have been detected quite close by, north east of Heard Island (a very small island located 50° south). As a precaution, I am sailing round by the north and the idea is to set a 70-80 course (East North East) in the 24 to 36 hours to come, which will bring us back towards the latitude of the Kerguelen Islands, 48-50° North," he explains. "We're going to try and go around to give ourselves a little margin. I hope that I'm not going to stay too long in this area, because it's a little tricky. It's nice to come here, but it's also nice to leave!"



    Upcoming Programme: Strong Wind


    The MACIF trimaran will get moving again, as of Tuesday afternoon, thanks to a new position further north in the Indian Ocean, and will be driven by the low-pressure system behind him. This will mean faster speeds. "If everything goes well, I will have two or three fairly difficult days ahead that will be potentially very fast," says François Gabart. I will have to try and be smart and go fast in the right places to avoid the worst of the swell and the wind, if this low-pressure system should get stronger. The faster I go, the further ahead of the strong winds I will be." For these weather conditions, the skipper has taken out his rugby-style costume, together with helmet and protection: "At the moment, I'm constantly wearing knee pads and thigh protection pads, and whenever things get moving, I put on my rugby-style helmet and wear protection on the sides of my chest and on my elbows. The danger when things are moving fast, is when you hit something or when you are thrown around the boat. In this case, prevention is better than cure."



    Object: Furler

    Just before the radio session organized this Tuesday lunchtime (in France), François Gabart had to solve a problem with the gennaker furling system. This is a part located at the bow, used to secure the bottom of this large foresail. "On furling the gennaker (to reduce the sail area due to a strengthening wind), the furling system reversed spinning several times round on itself. The result was I could no longer furl the sail, which became awkward, because with the wind due to lift, it would be really dangerous to keep the gennaker up, even more unrolled. So, I succeeded in hauling it in on the trampoline without rolling it. It was a little tricky, and I spent two physically demanding hours dealing with it. I'm glad it is done, because it wasn't very clever."



    Health: Good



    As the wind slackened during the run down south in the Indian Ocean, François Gabart enjoyed relatively calm conditions in which to rest, give the boat a good check-up and enjoy some good food before the strong gale expected on Tuesday evening. "In the last few hours, I have made myself some hot meals. This has done me good because it's a chilly 4 degrees inside the boat. It looks like it's going to be a little harder to heat things up with Macif getting faster again, as everything moves in all directions. Burns are one of the first causes of accidents on boats and that's valid for leisure craft. So, it is going to be fairly rudimentary for a few days, even though I'm going to try and eat as best as possible to stay in good form." And he will need to be in good form to keep up the pace until Australia...
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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  7. #27
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    Kurguelen In The Rear View Mirror

    The cell proposes, the skipper has ...




    End of the 18th day of sea for François Gabart on the record of the world tour alone with, as the interested party had announced Tuesday, the return of high speed aboard MACIF. The trimaran has been sailing at over 30 knots for 24 hours and has returned from the north. Aided by a routing cell to make his choice of trajectory, the skipper of MACIF remains nonetheless decision-maker on the issue.



    750 miles in 24 hours Wednesday morning at 9am, 31 knots average (a "score" that should still climb in the day ...), no doubt: the MACIF trimaran, after diving south full that allowed him to smell the cold air of Antarctica, retouched the wind he had fetched in these hostile lands and redeployed his wings for a new ride "fast but not furious", as his pilot likes to say. On the way to Australia, the 30-meter trimaran, now located at the front of a tonic depression sweeping the south of the Indian, benefits from northwesterly winds of 20-30 knots oceanic treadmill, with an advance of about a day and a half on the passage time a year earlier from the record holder of the world tour alone, Thomas Coville.
    As François Gabart had announced on Tuesday, after descending to 54 ° 50 South, almost at the latitude of the southernmost point of his journey, Cape Horn (56 °), he returned from the northeast in his road to avoid an ice zone located near Heard Island, a small island lost in the middle of the southern desert, but also find a trajectory more in line with what he had planned with his cell routing, the goal being not to too flirt with screaming fiftieths often paved with bad intentions.



    TRACKER




    Between the skipper and this routing cell, composed of Jean-Yves Bernot, "fixed" router of the MACIF trimaran since its debut in August 2015, the navigator Julien Villion, who assists him, and three members of the MACIF team who take turns (Antoine Gautier, Emilien Lavigne, Guillaume Combescure, who returns from the Mini-Transat which he took the 17th place in series), the exchange is permanent, and if the cell proposes, it is often François Gabart who has . A strong responsibility but assumed by the interested: "At a given moment, the final decision, I take it all alone. It's now a bunch of time I'm used to doing that, he explained last week, shortly after the Cape of Good Hope. I often give this example, but when I was doing the Optimist and it was to go to the right or left of the body of water, it was up to me, and me alone, to decide. Between a 10-year-old kid who wants to be first in his regatta and a boy of just over 30 who wants to get around the planet as quickly as possible, it's almost as important. I'm getting used to it and I try to take it as easily as possible. "

    Still, on a trimaran the size of the trimaran MACIF, very demanding in terms of commitment, a decision support is essential, in the form of this famous cell routing, real crutch of the skipper. "Compared to other races I did in Imoca (where outside routing was not allowed), I still have great support at the strategic level because I have very good guys in the field to help me. Casually, it really makes my job easier. " But contrary to what he had imagined before launching Ouessant on November 4, François Gabart is not so easily guided, and the natural weather enthusiast quickly returns to gallop: "It's true that I I thought to make me more remote control closed eyes without looking, I can not do it yet. I spend a lot of time watching the weather. It's important, it helps me to prepare, to visualize what can happen. On this boat that goes very fast, we need a lot to anticipate, we must never be surprised and I consider that the beginning of the anticipation is to know the weather scenario that happens "... The scenario to come ? The passage of Cape Leeuwin, planned a priori in the night from Thursday to Friday after about twenty days of sea ...
    *****************





    Flashback, D-1, Tuesday, November 21st, 10am utc, 54 ° S-66 ° E

    I speedily run under a large sail and a large gennaker "Diffuz" ... The wind is freshening (the air is already cool despite everything ... little more than 2-3 ° C ...) and is oriented towards the North . It's a good sign: the depression I'm coming for here, so close to Antarctica, is approaching. I will finally be able to regain speed and return to more human latitudes. It is high time to drop this large gennaker to reduce the canvas.

    I'm confident. It has been several hours since I repeat the maneuver in my head to achieve, I hope, a quick and efficient change of wing. I removed the cap and several layers: there will be sports!

    I start turning the cranks to roll the sail ... It's hard ... very hard ... Slim, am I so tired ?? A glance at the bow makes me understand that my arms are fine: the winding system has rolled up on itself! It's a shame, we ask him to roll up, not to wind up! I try, in spite of everything, in one direction, then in the other. Nothing ... My gennaker is at work and I do not really know how to put it down. It is that the sail is large, a few hundred square meters. It must have at least a hand or tennis court to be able to spread it all along. What I do not have naturally on my sailboat.
    Suddenly I find that the depression happens (too) quickly! My only escape to the tailwind is a cul de sac towards the Antarctic ice floe, which also seems to be getting close (too!) Quickly ...
    We must find a solution. Either try to lower the sail without winding it, with all the difficulties that it represents, and the risk of losing the sail here if a small piece of canvas licked the surface of the icy water. Either find another winding system. It will be a sweet mix of both ...

    After a few long minutes where doubts are chased by effort and action. I can somehow drop a large part of the sail on the trampoline. The tack, the part of the sail attached to the furler at the bow, is then less energized. I can block it and try to intervene on the winding system. It will take several attempts to remove his cursed towers but the 3rd is the good and I finally manage to put the system back up. The continuation of the maneuver, classic, seems to me a disconcerting ease with the rest of adrenaline in my blood and the relief of not having to give up a sail in the kingdom of albatrosses.
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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    MACIF Sets New Records, Next Up: The Pacific




    François Gabart, who left Ouessant on Saturday 4 November at 10:05 (UTC+1), continues to set the pace in this attempt at the single-handed round the world record. Sailing at an average of 30 knots since Tuesday night, ahead of a large low pressure system typical of the South Seas, the skipper of the MACIF trimaran crossed the longitude of Cape Leeuwin, second of the three capes of this round the world, after the Cape of Good Hope and before Cape Horn, on Friday at 00:15 (UTC+1).








    Similar to when he entered on the Indian ocean, François Gabart has set a new reference time single-handed between Ouessant and Leeuwin, located to the southwest of Australia, in 19 days, 14 hours and 10 minutes, at an average speed of 26.5 knots. He has therefore improved the time achieved a year ago by Thomas Coville on board Sodebo, the current holder of the single-handed round the world record, by 1 day 12 hours and 59 minutes. MACIF's next goal in sight: Tasmania, at the south-eastern tip of Australia, which marks the point where she leaves the Indian Ocean and enters the Pacific Ocean.



    TRACKER


    After 19 days, 14 hours and 10 minutes at sea, François Gabart crossed the longitude of Cape Leeuwin, southeast of Australia, on Friday at 0:15* (UTC+1), with a day and a half lead on the time clocked up by Thomas Coville, holder of the single-handed round the world record. Facing difficult sea conditions, the skipper of MACIF must continue to sail fast to remain ahead of a cold weather front and run down to a lower latitude before entering the Pacific Ocean.

    Place: Cape Leeuwin


    Less than 8 days after rounding the Cape of Good Hope, François Gabart rounded Cape Leeuwin, the second of the three capes of his single-handed round the world, on Friday at 0:15 (French time - UTC+1), after 19 days, 14 hours and 10 minutes. This is a new reference time for the MACIF trimaran, whose average speed since the start in Ouessant (Ushant) is 26.5 knots, since Sodebo, with Thomas Coville at the helm, took 1 day, 12 hours and 59 minutes longer, last year, to sail round the south-west of Australia. Faced with difficult sea conditions as he approaches the end of the Indian Ocean, François Gabart, who we spoke to on Friday morning, remained cautious when asked to comment on his time: "I can only be happy! If I'd been told I'd make this time before the start, I'd have signed up immediately, but, although at the Cape of Good Hope I had the time to see it coming and it was a real relief, this time, I'm focused on how to stay ahead of the weather front, to make it to the south and getting cracking on the small repair jobs that needing doing aboard. I don't have much time to dwell on the time right now. On Saturday, MACIF will sail south of Tasmania, which marks the entrance to the Pacific Ocean. For the skipper, this will be an opportunity to assess his Indian Ocean crossing: "Thomas had a tough time in the Indian Ocean, but sailed very fast. As a result, he made up the time on me, but despite my difficulties and my trajectories - I have covered a whole load more miles than the optimum route - I think that I have limited the damage. I've had a quite a hard time of it, and it was far from plain sailing, but I don't see how the South Seas on a 30-metre multihull could ever be thought of as an easy ride."




    Number 14


    Positioned on a fairly northerly route (46° Friday morning), François Gabart is enjoying a "perfect" temperature, with 14 degrees on the thermometer. On the other hand, the sea conditions are very difficult with the "boat moving constantly", tossed in very unpredictable waves: "The swell isn't huge, 3-4 metres, but the distance between the troughs is short and it's very rough. The boat is 30 metres long, all the same, which means that when a wave crashes over the bow, it tends to take her with it. If you manage to surf in the direction of the wave, you accelerate very abruptly and very fast, but you also stop very abruptly and fast at the bottom, and afterwards it's impossible to get her going again. In these conditions, it's hard to maintain a good trajectory. I spend a lot of time at the autopilot bearing away and luffing up. Last night, I wasn't getting it right; during the daytime, I manage to get a better feel of the roll and the angles for positioning the bow. I hope it's going to calm down, because with a lot of swell and the wind easing up, it's not easy to maintain a fast speed."



    Next up: Pacific Ocean


    When François Gabart will have crossed the longitude of Tasmania on Saturday, he will then enter the Pacific Ocean. His aim is to sail the boat further south to pick up the surfing conditions essential to making quick progress. The weather situation is not yet clear: "I am going to run down into the weather front, then, I will be watching a small low-pressure area closely, coming down between and New Zealand. It doesn't look very active. Following its development, a small area of calm could form, but it shouldn't last long. After that there's a relatively strong west wind, but unfortunately it really is from the west, which will force me to make tacks downwind. It won't be a straight tack without manoeuvring." The second part of the Pacific Ocean is also looking complicated with quite a few areas of ice floes on the route. "Although, up until now, I have had less ice than last year, it looks as though in the Pacific Ocean will be more in the end. For the moment, it doesn't matter if we come in from the north, but if the ideal trajectory brings us in from the south, this could create problems. I hope the weather situation will be favourable," says the MACIF trimaran skipper.



    Health: tired


    Tossed about on this last section of the Indian Ocean, the MACIF trimaran skipper is feeling a little less on form, which is understandable considering the weather conditions and high speeds these last few days. "There's no hiding it, I'm tired. I haven't had much sleep in the last two or three days. With the battering the boat is taking, it's hard to sleep," says François Gabart. "Simple things can become very complicated, like managing to stay lying down or sitting down without being flung all over the place. It's also quite difficult to eat. The living conditions are difficult. You fight for everything." His sleep time has gone down these last few days (between 2 hours 30 minutes and 4 hours per 24 hours), and yet the sailor will have to keep up his efforts, because he as "a few repair jobs" to carry out: "I saw a few small items that are broken this morning, which is a slight worry: the J2's furling system (round swivelling part at the bow, used to secure the J2 foresail from the bottom) is broken, there's a minor leak... nothing really very serious from a structural point of view, but I will need to spend some of my energy on these jobs in the days to come. Even if she's moving a lot, I try to get as many small repairs done inside before night falls. Weather permitting, I hope I will have a moment tomorrow to do a small composite topside. In principle, if I don't use the J2 furler, there's no emergency." But, as François Gabart said last week, if you don't do a small job in time, it can become a problem, hence his desire to get the jobs done as soon as possible.



    * The time shown by François Gabart on the photo differs by a few minutes from the time of his rounding Cape Leeuwin in this press release. The team on shore receives the geographic position of the boat every 5 minutes. On board, François Gabart has the information in real time.
    Last edited by Photoboy; 11-24-2017 at 11:06 AM.
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  9. #29
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    Macif Exits Indian Ocean And Enters The Pacific



    TRACKER



    Separation of the Pacific from The Indian Oceans
    On the West. From Southeast Cape, the Southern point of Tasmania, down the meridian of 146°55'E to the Antarctic continent.


    After paving, surfing?

    Soon the keel! By erasing Tasmania in the afternoon of Saturday, Francois Gabart can rejoice to have tamed the Indian Ocean for the second time in his life. And, entering the Pacific Ocean, the skipper of the trimaran MACIF will finally be able to blow, digest, tinker and re-accelerate. A sailor's dream, in short.



    Put your bike in your car. Join the northern ring road, take the A1. Take exit 18 towards Denain-Center, Douchy-les-Mines, follow the D140 to Wallers. Then put on your best hat, take your bike out of the car, get on it. And walk the pavements of the gap Arenberg, the most legendary passage of Paris-Roubaix, in the rain and 30 knots of wind for 60 to 72 hours. Then find the parking, get off the bike, and try to put your fingers with your right hand on your left wrist, to take your pulse. Not easy, your hand is shaking, is not it?





    It would take that, and a little more, to vaguely imagine how much Francis is in a hurry to reach the Pacific Ocean. "I do not hide that I'm tired, it's been two or three days that I have not slept much," he said yesterday Friday. With violent shocks, it's hard to sleep. Things that are all stupid can become very complicated, like lying down or sitting in a place without moving in all directions. It is also complicated to eat, the living conditions are difficult, you struggle for everything.
    Infernal reminders

    After almost three whole days to be shaken by the upheavals of the last third of the Indian Ocean, the skipper of trimaran MACIF confessed to pain. "I am in the hard. I drool a little, but I do not see how the South Seas on a 30-meter multihull can be a walk of health. When the wave comes to the bow, it tends to carry with it. If you go surfing in the direction of the wave, you accelerate very fast very quickly, but you also stop very quickly very quickly down, and after, to revive, it's hellish. In these conditions, it is hard to have a correct trajectory.


    To try to extricate itself from this sea not so hollow (2 to 4 meters) but bad because minced small, trimaran MACIF has lost precious miles. To avoid impaling himself in the swell, François Gabart spent time slaughtering and then luffing repeatedly. Not really optimal to maintain a coherent course and speed ... And, to break the monotony of this throbbing zigzag, frankly, what better than a few repairs? Starting from the sound principle that it is better to tackle quickly a problem on pain of seeing it become a problem, François spent time in the junk, circumscribing the mechanic workshop inside the boat, given the navigation conditions. One of the main ones was the change of the desalinator filter. An operation as simple to perform on this Indian stubborn as play Mikado in the cogwheel train of the Sea of ​​Ice.
    Pacific, but almost



    Soon, the skipper of the MACIF trimaran will be able to take out the composite plates and repair his J2 galette, which suffers from a small leak. Nothing serious, for now, since it does not use the winder J2 (the most versatile forward sail). Already, this Saturday morning, the trimaran evolves in a more lenient sea. His progress in the Pacific Ocean, which he will join in the afternoon of Saturday by erasing Tasmania, should be more serene. In any case, with regard to the state of the sea. Once New Zealand is in its transom, François will encounter both shallow and more long waves, since little land impedes the circulation of flows in the largest ocean on the planet - the Pacific covers one third of our beautiful planet.

    And the road? Since Friday night, the trimaran MACIF has nosed to the south to avoid a bubble without wind south of New Zealand. It will have to play ingenuity to slip into the gap that emerges between the area of ​​devents and the Antarctic continent. We must expect to see Francis slip very low, perhaps until 58 ° S, in an area where ice is happily very rare. The rest will not be any easier, but it's time for François to realize that the Indian was sure to be tough, but that he resisted well even though he gave up a lot of miles. This morning, the advance on Thomas Coville's record had resumed the thickness (656 miles). Not enough to afford a scalp, but François Gabart has deserved to return his feather cap to celebrate his return to the lowest latitudes!
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    Pacified In The Pacific





    The clemency of the Pacific ... for now

    Since it has been eradicated from the Indian territory, François Gabart has found sailing conditions much lenient. The MACIF trimaran has even traveled 720 miles in the last 24 hours, at a speed of 30 knots. In a more comfortable sea and winds of 20 to 25 knots, the lone skipper crossed this Sunday the symbolic mark of the half-race.



    What is the essence of peace during a solitary world tour? An entry into the Pacific Ocean with an orderly sea, two-meter troughs, and a high-tide wind of 18 to 25 knots may have the taste of bliss when one has been thrashed for nearly three days. It did not take less to François Gabart to find the taste of life - one exaggerates. It was enough to give him reassuring sailing conditions after this Indian that he surveyed in 1 day 1 hour and 22 minutes more than Sodebo last year and who offered him an "extreme night" between Friday and Saturday. It is rare to hear François confiding his sentence. These two words are enough to understand how the skipper of the trimaran MACIF had to be martyred 36 hours ago, under 2 reefs - J1 in 35 knots of wind and on tortured water like crumpled paper ...








    For 24 hours, the trimaran MACIF extends its stride of gazelle in very low latitudes (56-57 ° S), carried by a flow of north-east that will take from the east during the day. It should be so for a while, with some variations north-south to make time profitable, on a road closer to the great circle. Road that leads him successively to cross two new symbolic barriers. At the time of the traditional roast-potatoes in the hexagon, Francis crossed his side the symbolic mid-race (if one refers to the theoretical road that is 22,460 miles); and when he crosses the antimeridian on Monday afternoon, he will never have been so far this winter from his house in Port-la-Forêt.


    The datas is his hobby



    The last 24 hours have allowed François to regain his strength. No less than 4:30 of sleep, admit that it looks like a fat dull '! Besides, how is his sleep calculated? At MerConcept, Benoît Piquemal is responsible for electronic and computer development. Benoît admits that he prefers not to have to live a night at sea but, on the other hand, datas is his hobby. An internship and a first job for the Areva Challenge and the 2003 America's Cup, then ten years at Gitana Team and Benoît at the bedside trimaran MACIF for three years. Guided tour of some data systems Piquemal way.
    - Sleep - "On the computer, François has a software that serves as an alarm clock (developed by Benedict), on which he chooses the time during which he wants to sleep. Then when it sounds, or before he is up earlier, he notes the quality of his sleep: never, not sleep at all, moderately, well. The info that appears on the site is the time during which he says he slept well. It is not because only 2:30 of sleep are displayed that he has not rested any longer. "

    - Winch turns - "On each column, we put a small meter this year, it's home made. Initially it was not intended for the website but to help François who sees the accounting scroll on its big screens. This allows him to know where he is with the roll of his sails before. Since he has no visibility on his sails when he has his head in the column, he knows where he is in the maneuvers a little long. To border them, he does not need them. The use on the site came next.



    - Aids to navigation - "François has feedback on all basic information: wind, speed, wind angle, GPS ... He has of course all these generic tools. We added sensors on the boat to record the forces, the positioning of the appendages, the use of the cylinders, the rocker of the mast, its quest (inclination). This allows him to adjust what he does not see, like the position of the foils. All these data recorded throughout the year have allowed the performance cell, piloted by Guillaume Combescure, to refine the settings ".



    - Little more - "I made the clock, but also the whole chain that brings the data back to the website. There is also a system of aggregation of information that allows us to receive them on land regardless of the means of transmission (satellite, irridium, etc.). Information that the routing cell needs in particular to establish the flight plan. These are not always revolutionary fabrications, but mostly small things that make life and running easier.
    Barely entered the Pacific Ocean, François Gabart enjoys more favorable conditions to repair the slab of J2 (the most versatile forward sail), which is suffering from a leak.




    TRACKER
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