SAILING IN SIGHT OF EACH OTHER IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PACIFIC
At daybreak on the deck of Spindrift 2, the crew spotted, in the distance, the silhouette of the trimaran Idec Sport. After travelling half the way around the world since leaving Ushant on November 22, racing nearly 30,000km across the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, the two trimarans on a quest for the Jules Verne Trophy, found themselves side by side, past New Zealand, in the Pacific Ocean. The unlikely scenario only adds more spice to the already extraordinary adventure of a crewed round-the-world record attempt. To a virtual competition against the record time set by Banque Populaire V, Spindrift 2’s crew have added close-quarter sailing since the antipodes. For the route to Cape Horn, the southern option was not selected. Dona Bertarelli and Yann Guichard’s team are currently riding along a depression, to the north.
Day 24 – 15h30 GMT
309.3 nm behind the current record holder Banque Populaire V
Distance covered from the start: 15,792 nm
Average speed over 24 hours: 27.4 knots
Distance over 24 hours: 658 nm
Foto Yann Riou Spindrift Racing Team
WEATHER FORECAST - JEAN-YVES BERNOT
Today, we are doing some needlework: passing to the immediate north of a slow-moving area of low pressure. As usual we want to have our cake and eat it too: to get close enough to use the rotation of the wind, but not to get caught in the central windless part.
It is the shape of the depression that determines the trajectory. If we want to "play there", you could say that we are using the wind field in the way that interplanetary probes use the gravitational slingshot effect to explore the solar system. That includes the difference in precision between the deterministic celestial mechanics and the rather chaotic weather forecasting...
We based this short-term route on the thinking of the previous few days; the forecast suggested a very southerly route to circle the all-pervasive Pacific anticyclone: an exciting choice between the ice and an endless calm. “The first person to hear a sled dog bark, wake the others.”
CLS doc: A southern route and in dark blue, water between 0° C and 2° C.
So, we are trying out dozens of routes to try to force a way through, there’s some trial and error...
We have rebelled against such an injustice. But we have to stay composed. Everyone has been involved: we were willing to go down south, but not too far. For their part, the models have calmed down and are offering some alternative routes that are more direct and not too costly. So, we binned dozens of simulated routes south that were a little too much like a video game for our taste and we set off again on some more realistic roads.
And the result: this is the South Pacific today.
We are not touching a thing, we like it like that: there is some steady westerly wind on the route and all is well. Obviously, it’s not going stay like this. Such is life for everyone. In two days, we will have to try to get out of the clutches of the anticyclone that is growing while our depression, (marked L2 below) will become very weak. We will return to the south...
MESSAGE FROM THE BOAT
There was an unlikely encounter in the middle of the South Pacific last night between Spindrift 2 and Idec Sport. The two trimarans had not crossed paths since being at their bases in La Trinité-sur-Mer, in Brittany. Without any kind ofconsultation they left Brest and crossed the start line of the Jules Verne Trophy just two hours apart. 15,000 miles later, here they are, side by side, in the middle of nowhere, in their quest for the Trophy. The feeling on Spindrift 2 is a mixture of surprise at meeting them again here, and excitement of seeing a reallive competitor in a competition where the opponent is usually virtual. Although, without doubt, it was more comfortable seeing Francis Joyon and his crew over 800 miles in Spindrift 2’s wake. But, at the same time, this unprecedented situation in the history of the Jules Verne Trophy is bringing additional spice to the challenge. The Spindrift 2 crew are competitors and they like this kind of race for the record. When we asked Yann Guichard about the likelihood of continuing to sail in contact with Idec Sport, nothing was ruled out. “The boats are close in performance, and there are not many possible weather options for Cape Horn,” he said. “It’s not impossible that our paths cross again in the coming days.”
SPINDRIFT FOR SCHOOLS - OUT OF THE CLASSROOM
Sailing through the Antipodes
REVIEW THE VIDEO: AMAZING MEETING WITH IDEC
Match Race in the Pacific
Start of day 24 at 6h30 GMT
Position : 48.57.58’ S and 166.58.33 W
229,37 behind the record holder Banque Populaire V
Distance covered from the start: 15 558 nM
Distance traveled over 24 hours: 597,1 nM
Speed over 24 hours : 25,2 knts
Sails : Mainsail and gennaker