Franck Cammas halfway through his record
[Source: Groupama] Tasmania is already in Groupama 3's wake and the midway point in this round the world record attempt was therefore crossed this Saturday morning at around 0443 UT, that is after 23 days at sea! And though the Indian Ocean has now given way to the Pacific, it is also an opportunity for Franck Cammas and his men to rediscover some high speeds for at least the next three days!
There were two small moves to reposition themselves this morning as Groupama 3 drew a veil over the Indian Ocean after 22 days 20 hours 52 minutes and 57 seconds of sailing since leaving Ushant, that is a lead of 22 hours and 29 minutes over the reference time. Bruno Peyron and his men have nevertheless held onto the record for crossing the Indian, between Cape Agulhas and the South of Tasmania, albeit by just an hour! The next stage in the programme looks set to be rather favourable for the giant trimaran however, which is likely, as it did today, rack up several days of over 700 miles...
"We've just gybed and we had a small diesel leak! We've been making gybes to remain in the pressure of the wind from the zone of high pressure and we have much better conditions at the moment, even though the seas are slightly abeam of us. We can choose where we want to be... I hope we'll have some good waves in the Pacific: that's what is beautiful about all this and that's why we've come this far!" enthused Steve Ravussin at today's radio session.
Roll on Sunday!
Once again on an E'ly course, Groupama 3 is devouring the miles at an average of over thirty knots and is set to pass Stewart Island tonight (UT) before going on to pass the antemeridian on Sunday: it'll be same day twice since the crew will in this way pass into the western longitude and `catch-up' with the same day, which is something Phileas Fogg and his manservant Passepartout forgot about during the round the world in eighty days by Jules Verne... For the time being, the weather conditions for the next three days look very favourable without a single manoeuvre necessary aboard and above all, without the need to scan the horizon for drifting ice since the giant trimaran will remain at 50° South. No descent towards the SE is scheduled in this thirty knot SW'ly breeze, which may well fill in from tomorrow. The objective now is to reach Cape Horn in less than eight and a half days...
"We're going to skirt Stewart Island as we are to the North of a low where there's a fair amount of wind, but we don't yet know if we'll see it... We covered a lot more miles than Orange II in the Indian Ocean, so if we make the same distance as them, we should get a good time in the Pacific.. Things are shaping up nicely as we're going to be able to slip along and the boat really is in good condition: we have no problems with potential! As regards icebergs, we're not going to see any over the next few days, or the next 2,000 miles at least, as we're unlikely to drop very far South" detailed Steve Ravussin.