• Announcements

    • Zapata

      Abbreviated rules   07/28/2017

      Underdawg did an excellent job of explaining the rules.  Here's the simplified version: Don't insinuate Pedo.  Warning and or timeout for a first offense.  PermaFlick for any subsequent offenses Don't out members.  See above for penalties.  Caveat:  if you have ever used your own real name or personal information here on the forums since, like, ever - it doesn't count and you are fair game. If you see spam posts, report it to the mods.  We do not hang out in every thread 24/7 If you see any of the above, report it to the mods by hitting the Report button in the offending post.   We do not take action for foul language, off-subject content, or abusive behavior unless it escalates to persistent stalking.  There may be times that we might warn someone or flick someone for something particularly egregious.  There is no standard, we will know it when we see it.  If you continually report things that do not fall into rules #1 or 2 above, you may very well get a timeout yourself for annoying the Mods with repeated whining.  Use your best judgement. Warnings, timeouts, suspensions and flicks are arbitrary and capricious.  Deal with it.  Welcome to anarchy.   If you are a newbie, there are unwritten rules to adhere to.  They will be explained to you soon enough.  
GauchoGreg

Macif / Gabart / Jules Verne 2017-18

Recommended Posts

Sure be nice to have a full time guardian angel drone watching for growlers.  And with the budget they're running, you could imagine a fully automatic system doing that.  I wonder if there are image processing tricks to pick up the ice / grab the temp threshold with infrared?  If so, this "hybrid drone" from my alma mater could provide 6x flight time.  Betcha we see something like this soon for the Ultims.

http://advantage.oregonstate.edu/feature-story/longer-flight-time-new-hybrid-drone-could-help-save-lives

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have always wondered why they don't use controlled kites rather than drones.  Pretty much no power usage, much easier to control, etc.  Even seems like, these days, you could have a kite on a long set of lines with autopilot deployed pretty much full time for both camera footage back of the boat, as well as looking forward for ice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just eyeballing the tracker's weather, it seems pretty well set for him a least until new zealand, isn't it ?

But it's gonna be a wild ride in strong wind and in the trail of the low, so big waves to deal with !

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, popo said:

Just eyeballing the tracker's weather, it seems pretty well set for him a least until new zealand, isn't it ?

But it's gonna be a wild ride in strong wind and in the trail of the low, so big waves to deal with !

DEEP Southern Ocean at its most classic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe explains the move north?  Looking for flat water vs pressure and shorter distance sailed.  Got some 8-10 m seas chasing in a few days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the kite idea, but with the apparent wind always so far forward, it's tough.  Maybe a kite with some assist?  A drone on a string?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Kenny Dumas said:

I like the kite idea, but with the apparent wind always so far forward, it's tough.  Maybe a kite with some assist?  A drone on a string?

I don't know, the high-performance kites these days, I would think they could easily outpace the boat since they don't have any water drag, just the drag of the strings.  Since kiteboards are faster than anything short of what Paul Larson sails, I can't imagine that they would be anything other than actually pulling the boat forward.  Low wind, of course, may not be able to fly, but they would not need them in lower wind conditions.  I just don't get why we aren't seeing kites used rather than drones for camera footage other than you would not have good footage from the windward side of the boat, but that would not be as important for looking out for ice.  Anyone have a reason?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, GauchoGreg said:

I don't know, the high-performance kites these days, I would think they could easily outpace the boat since they don't have any water drag, just the drag of the strings.  Since kiteboards are faster than anything short of what Paul Larson sails, I can't imagine that they would be anything other than actually pulling the boat forward.  Low wind, of course, may not be able to fly, but they would not need them in lower wind conditions.  I just don't get why we aren't seeing kites used rather than drones for camera footage other than you would not have good footage from the windward side of the boat, but that would not be as important for looking out for ice.  Anyone have a reason?

Pay attention guys!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you want the kite in front of the boat you have to adjust the "sheets" constantlyso it would have to be automated.

And as it would be in front it would pull the boat, so it would be considered as a sail ... which are not alowed to be automated ...

(But mostly cause.it would be a hell of a mess to set in place ... and they allready have enough to deal with !!!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, popo said:

If you want the kite in front of the boat you have to adjust the "sheets" constantlyso it would have to be automated.

And as it would be in front it would pull the boat, so it would be considered as a sail ... which are not alowed to be automated ...

(But mostly cause.it would be a hell of a mess to set in place ... and they allready have enough to deal with !!!)

What rules would be broken (honest question)?  For a race like the solo or crewed RTW race, is it purely that a "sail" cannot have any computerized/mechanical control?  Seems there would be a way to develop an autopilot system for the kite (or maybe just a passive mechanical system.... I know with a simple stunt kite, which is hardly stable, you can have the kite fly stably with minimal piloting) that would be no different than that for controlling the heading of the boat, particularly if it was developed for boat safety (and vainly, to provide really cool camera footage), maybe with a maximum "sail/kite" area.  I would think if it could provide nice super-high vantage point to look for ice, the guys would find the time to deploy and keep up.  I know they have the boarding style kites pretty small, which would hardly provide much in the way of propulsion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, GauchoGreg said:

What rules would be broken (honest question)?  For a race like the solo or crewed RTW race, is it purely that a "sail" cannot have any computerized/mechanical control?  Seems there would be a way to develop an autopilot system for the kite (or maybe just a passive mechanical system.... I know with a simple stunt kite, which is hardly stable, you can have the kite fly stably with minimal piloting) that would be no different than that for controlling the heading of the boat, particularly if it was developed for boat safety (and vainly, to provide really cool camera footage), maybe with a maximum "sail/kite" area.  I would think if it could provide nice super-high vantage point to look for ice, the guys would find the time to deploy and keep up.  I know they have the boarding style kites pretty small, which would hardly provide much in the way of propulsion.

Actually, if the steering lines of the kite (outside lines) are wider at the boat than the width of the kite, they will fly very steady.  This would be easy on a big tri using the two ama bows as steering line lead points.  On a kite board, the bar width is much smaller than the kite width which creates the instability and need to constantly adjust the bar for stable flight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Raked Aft\\ said:

Actually, if the steering lines of the kite (outside lines) are wider at the boat than the width of the kite, they will fly very steady.  This would be easy on a big tri using the two ama bows as steering line lead points.  On a kite board, the bar width is much smaller than the kite width which creates the instability and need to constantly adjust the bar for stable flight.

That's what I was thinking, but had not thought that they could really go as far apart as you suggest.  Can't see where it would need any control going wide enough, right?  The set up might be a little tricky, but seems the sailor has plenty of time to set something like this up as long as it is not always taking up his time to manage.

 

Seems everyone could get on board with something like a smallish kite that would give trivial propulsion, or none if trimmed vertically/laterally rather than forward, given the potential for giving the boat more safety.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure that aerial vid is the best ice avoidance in the first place,  I like a kite for propulsion though.

 for ice I would think forward focused sonar would be the best,  bergs are bigger in the water than out.

 and a sonar could have an alarm setting so that you wouldn't have to constantly monitor it.

  tricky part would be keeping the sonar in the water on these foiling beasts...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Raked Aft\\ said:

I'm not sure that aerial vid is the best ice avoidance in the first place,  I like a kite for propulsion though.

 for ice I would think forward focused sonar would be the best,  bergs are bigger in the water than out.

 and a sonar could have an alarm setting so that you wouldn't have to constantly monitor it.

  tricky part would be keeping the sonar in the water on these foiling beasts...

Certainly not perfect..... particularly if there is no look-down recognition software that can pick out ice at least a few hundred meters out.  But seems there must be something in the works these days that could pick out the slight difference in temperature even at night?  Regardless be awesome for camera footage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Safran had an infra red camera in the top of the masr for a VG. With alarms to be able to detect ufos and growlers.

But IIRC it was the year they lost the keel the first day :lol: so hasn't really be tested

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can't imagine a lot smarter people than I/we have thought through all of this.  Interesting that Safran used it, but have not heard of others doing so (including Gabart, right now).  But I have been wondering a great deal of why people have been using drones for remote camera views back at the boat, with the obvious issues with battery charge and potential crashes, rather than using a controlled kite.  Sounds like it may be against the rules, ....?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, yl75 said:

New daily news on the site :

https://www.macifcourseaularge.com/actus/retour-de-lhorizon/

(no time for a summary/translation right now)

So here it is!

Tuesday, November 2017

Yesterday, MACIF spent most of the day pointing towards the South Pole to end up in slow speed in the roaring 50s. Still with 764 miles ahead of the record, FG is once again heading eastward since Tuesday morning. Soon, he will jump into the low pressure system that will carry him all the way to Cape Leeuwin.

Two days ago, the low pressure system that FG was trying to catch collapsed and left room for an annoying high pressure zone and a non-negociable (unmanageable??) low pressure. So the plan had to be modified, and look for a new corridor of strong winds, way further south. So the full day of Monday has been dedicated to putting this plan B in place, which is both relevant and audacious.

Even the solution was chose by default, it is still indeed relevant. The goal is to catch a new depression which will run soon from West to East, stretching from Antartica to the 50th parallel, before it will eventually run northward, around Cape Leewin. In 24 hr, FG shifted from the 45th parallel to the 55th to eventually settle down around the 53rd parallel, avoiding the high pressure zone in his North, which was threatening to slow him down.
 
Once on the right latitude, FG headed East again, this morning. He is now following the great circle route. It is a blessing regarding performance, each mile sailed is a mile in the right direction.
 
The audacity is obviously to sail so far South, well South of the Kerguelen Islands, where icebergs and growlers are wandering. For the next 2 or 3 days, FG will have to stay alert and change heading quite often. There will be a lot of vigilance both from Jean-Yves Bernot on land and at sea. "We have no other option than to go through those very specials places, well South of Kerguelen and Crozet." Francois said yesterday. "It is what it is"
 
Francois also has to fight cold. "Welcome in the fridge, we are now going towards the freezer!" During his giant slalom between 52S and 56S, the skipper of trimaran MACIF described his strategy to fight the enemy: coldness. (which he considers less painful than heat).
 
Manage cold weather at sea, it is pretty much the same thing than when I am managing cold in cross country skiing. You have to take into account that you are going to produce some efforts. I have to think about removing some layers before I start grinding. "Even if it is only 5° C outside (41°F), I sometimes end up in T-shirt because the worst case scenario is to sweat in your underwear. In this case, you can add up layers afterwards, it is too late, you stay cold."
Yesterday, Francois made an experiment; he got out to deal with the genaker, without his balaclava. It took him a whole 15 seconds to go back in the cockpit and get his gear. "There was some kind of freezing rain, not exactly melted snow... When you go to the bow, in this type of weather conditions, you figure out quickly that your are going to get numb and tingling fingers, just like when skiing.

Well protected in his "shack", Francois gains about 2°C, compared to outside temperature, and is well protected from the wind. So conditions are a wee bit more comfortable, especially if he is wearing is special cold weather jacket. "I pulled out my special RTW cold weather jacket, from Guy Cotten. The clot is not much breathable, but it is warm. It is very good to sleep or if I am just seated in my chair. Cold is not very comfortable, but it is easy to manage; just add more layers..."

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, southerncross said:

 

0:30 :  Francois : "Here is the mood outside! We got some wind this morning; we spent the night jibing back and forth downwind under genaker. The wind has been building up for the past few hours and I am going to put the genak down pretty soon, and I think we are setting ourselves for a long run at high speed."

0:50 Jean-Yves Bernot : "He is sailing back Northbound, and the high wind zone, biting at his heels, the yellow and red zones are going to help him sail at high speed, but he must not slow down, because you see around here, it will be about 50 knots wind and 6 meters swell..."

 

1:05 :  Francois : "We must go fast, but still be cautious - "Fast but not Furious" as usual..."

1:25 : the cook : "there are only small pleasures at sea, and simple pleasures. Francois wanted 250 g of meat, then he guzzles pasta, and legumes, and 500g of cereals every 2 days... I was warned; but it is pretty gargantuan..."

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Laurent, non negotiable is a good translation.

So after 6 days of sailing North and South in the hunt for better window, he is going again. Must be mentally tough. But still in the lead all the time, that would have helped.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
57 minutes ago, GauchoGreg said:

Gabart, very shortly, will be back up to over 800mi/day (currently at 35knts and at 794mi in past 24h) with a bitchin' track in front of him.  Go Gabart!

He better keep up the speed with that monster coming on fact and creeping up his backside!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, Wess said:

He better keep up the speed with that monster coming on fact and creeping up his backside!

 

That monster will eventually give him a better angle - and the speed to follow it... one can hope. And hes so far north now that ice maybe not a problem? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, LeoV said:

See that email on the Vid, a few hurdles but then Cape Horn route "clair"

Nice catch ! Note that it is about the ice, not the wind/weather in general.

mcice1.jpeg

mcice2.jpeg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This just looks perfect.... now sending it on the leading edge of this front..... as someone said here, Gabart is the monster... loving it

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Funny he checks the snow in the Alps, I bet he reckons to back before xmas and go skiing with family.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Parlant= parle= speaking

but parlant glace, is he looking for talking ice ? I think he means: can we talk about ice?

not sure so I tried a google image; nice...

meilleures-glaces-gouter.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just like last year... This is SO FUCKING COOL!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, yl75 said:

Nice catch ! Note that it is about the ice, not the wind/weather in general.

mcice1.jpeg

mcice2.jpeg

For those who do not read (broken) French; translation below of the screenshots above taken from the latest video on the Macifcourseuaularge website. It is funny, because it confirms what Jean-Yves Bernot says at the end of the video: sometimes, FG feels lonely and he really, really, really want to have someone to talk to! And he loves skiing...

From the first screen above:

Jean-Yves Bernot: give priority to speed, so you can stay in front of the weather system. The wind shift will bring you back on the right track later on... 2 reefs pretty soon?

François Gabart: think it is not going to be long, now, I am waiting for the wind to steady at 28/30 knots.

JYB: OK

FG: or bigger waves, then I would take the second reef

JYB: waves should not get any bigger today, because you are staying in front of the system and it was a ridge there, before that.

FG: yep, the ski slope is well groomed... but if you are not the first one on the slope at 8:00 AM, then you get small bumps on the slopes beginning of the afternoon.

JYB: stop it; my ski spatulas are itching.

FG: is there snow in France?

JYB: 2 m in Chatel and 3.5 m in Ploubalay 2000... (it's a joke!!! those cities are in Britany, not in the mountains! it NEVER snows in Britany! The "2000" is added to make it look like the name of a ski resort, with the altitude in meters!) There was a bit of snow in the Alps, but it is warming up again, so it is not going to last.

FG: OK. Talking about ice, we are "safe" again. but we might have to go deep South again around Tasmania/NZ. To anticipate a bit, do we know how it looks like? Do we have input, altimetry data? (he is using the word "sentinels" here which I am not sure I understand in this context...). Can we already give ourselves a lower limit for the roadbook? something that we will fine tune later on? ideally, all the way to Cape Horn... That would give me a feel for the landscape, the game field.

JYB: Tomorrow (Thursday); we have a recap with them ("them" must be the satellite services for the ice monitoring...). The overall look out was:

 - no problem above 60°S in West Pacific

 - East Pacific; some spotting around 58S-90E, a bit crowded in this area

 - Cape Horn approach: clear

That being said, we know the limits of the exercise; just like we saw it in the past few days.

FG: Yes, OK. Can you make a first roadbook, with forbidden zones that we will allow to modify once we have new data?"

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another translation from Tuesday that I found interesting, because it talks about gear failure (for the first time???).

You can find the original one here:

"

I was sailing at high speed, with a reefed main and the big genaker (nicknamed?) "Diffuz"... Wind is picking up (ambient temperature is fairly cool already... not much more than 2 or 3°C...) and is shifting to the North. It is good news: the low pressure system I am getting to, so close to Antartica, is approaching. I am finally going to be able to sail really fast, and climb back to more humane latitudes... It is about time to furl down that big genaker...

I am confident. I have been playing the maneuver in my head for several hours now. I am hoping for a swift change of sail. I removed my cap, and several layers of clothing. There is going to be some action!

I am starting to winch to furl the sail. It is hard... really hard... Bummer, am I that tired already??? A quick glance at the bow makes me understand that my arms are just fine: the furling system furled over itself! That takes the cake! It is supposed to furl the sail, not furl itself! I am still trying to furl, one way, and the other. Nothing... My genaker is up, and I don't really see how I can take it down. This is a big sail, a few hundred square meters (a few thousand square feet...). You need at least a handball court or a tennis court to spread it out. I do not have that space on the boat. Suddenly, I think that the low pressure system is approaching way too fast! My only escape is to sail dead downwind, in a dead end, towards the ice-pack of Antartica... which is approaching way too fast as well!

I have to find a solution. Either I try to take it down, without furling it, with all the difficulties associated to it, and the risk of losing the sail right here, if a tiny bit is caught by a cold wave. Or I find another way to furl it. The solution will be a mix of the two options...

After a few minutes, doubts are pushed aside by action and effort. I am more or less able to lower a big chunk of the sail on the trampoline. The tack is now less under tension on the furler. So I can lock it in place, and work on the furling system. It will take several trials, but I will remove those bloody overlaps. The third try is the successful one, and I finally bring the furler back in operation. The rest of the maneuver, traditional, feels so easy now, with the rest of adrenaline in my blood, and the relief of not having to lose a sail here, in the kingdom of albatrosses.

"

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Laurent said:

(he is using the word "sentinels" here which I am not sure I understand in this context...).

The Sentinels are the current series of European earth observation satellites. Part of the Copernicus Programme which combines all of Europes Earth observation and produces various products out of it. Say flooding maps after the recent hurricanes but also much more.

All that data is free for all. If you know how to processr raw data. There are also several viewers that do that to make it a bit easier for normal people. Say EO Browser.

They are likely talking about data from the Sentinel-1 radar sats since they work in any weather. Sentinel-3 does land and ocean monitoring including ice maps, seems to be more coverage than growlers though.

 

 

Edith says: ESA Sentinel site with all kinds of info. Much better than wiki if someone is interested. There should be some ice analysis on the Copernicus marine portal. Looks like SEAICE_GLO_SEAICE_L4_NRT_OBSERVATIONS_011_001 and SEAICE_GLO_SEAICE_L4_NRT_OBSERVATIONS_011_006 are two interesting products.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going to help Laurent out (what a tremendous job he is doing for all the non-French speakers here!), and translate here the latest Macif news post from Wednesday, which is interesting in terms of how Gabart uses his shore based weather routing team (to a point) -- though fundamentally not surprising given that Gabart is clearly part (and perhaps the symbol!) of the young generation of tech and weather-savvy skippers who now seem to dominate most solo ocean races.  No one tells this monster where to go!

Original story here

---

The team proposes, the skipper decides...

End of the 18th day at sea for Francois Gabart in his solo round the world record attempt, with, as he had announced Tuesday, a return to high speeds on board Macif. The trimaran indeed has been racing along at above 30kts for the last 24hrs and has put some more North in its course.  Assisted by a weather routing team, the Macif skipper nevertheless remains the one who decides his trajectory.

750 miles in 24hrs, Wednesday morning at 9am, averaging 31kts (a "score" that should continue to increase during the day...) --  after a southerly dive that allowed it to breath in the glacial Antarctic air, the trimaran Macif has without a doubt now reconnected with the wind it went looking for in that hostile region, and has once again spread its wings to launch itself into a new dash: "fast but not furious", in the words of its pilot. On the road to Australia, the 30m trimaran, now positioned ahead of a powerful Low sweeping through the Indian ocean, is taking advantage of 20-30kt NW winds to race along the oceanic conveyer belt, with a lead of about 1 1/2 days over the time one year ago of solo record holder Thomas Coville.

As he had announced on Tuesday, after diving down to 54deg50 S -- practically the latitude of Cape Horn (56deg), the southern-most point on his voyage -- Francois has turned his route NE, to avoid an area of ice detected near Heard Island, a small island lost amid the desert of the South Seas, and to return also to a trajectory more consistent with that originally planned with his weather routing team -- the goal being to not flirt too close to the Furious Fifties, often littered with ill intentions [against those who sail there]. 

Between the skipper and his weather routing team -- comprised of Jean-Yves Bernot, official router of the trimaran Macif since its beginnings in August 2015, the navigator Julien Villion assisting him, and three alternating members of the Macif team (Antoine Gautier, Emilien Lavigne and Guillaume Combescure just back from a 17th place in the Mini-Transat production boat class) -- communications are permanent, but if it's up to the team to provide suggestions, it is Francois Gabart who decides.  The skipper is comfortable taking on this important responsibility: "At some point, I make the final decision on my own.  This is something I've been used to doing for a long time", explained Francois last week, soon after passing the Cape of Good Hope.  "I often mention this example: when I sailed on Optimists and had to decide between going to the right or the left of the race-course, it was up to me, and me alone, to decide. Between a 10 year old kid who wants to win his race, and a man a little over 30 who wants to circle the globe as fast as possible, it's nearly as important [to be able to make these decisions]. I'm therefore becoming used to it, and I try to shoulder the responsibility as lightly as I can".

Nevertheless, it remains true that on a trimaran the size of Macif -- very demanding in terms of physical efforts -- it is vital to receive decision-making help, provided by a vaunted weather routing team, a true crutch for the skipper to lean on.  "Compared to the other races I've done in the IMOCA class (where external routing is not allowed), I certainly now receive a lot of strategic support, since I have really, really good guys in this field helping me.  It may not look like it, but it really makes my work easier."  But unlike what he had imagined before leaving Ushant on Nov 4th, Francois does not let himself be easily guided, and his natural passion for weather quickly returns with a rush: "It's true that I thought I would let myself get guided with my eyes closed, but I'm not able to do this yet.  I spend a lot of time looking at the weather.  It's important, it helps me to prepare, to visualize what might happen. On a boat this quick, we need to anticipate things tremendously, we can never let ourselves get caught by surprise, and I consider the first step of anticipation is to understand the upcoming weather."... 

As for the upcoming scenario?  The crossing of Cape Leeuwin, planned in principle for the night of Thursday to Friday, after about 20 days at sea....

 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even tougher, cause he's still losing some of his advance, dispite sailing 33knts in rough seas ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A bit more on ice data.

Found another public tool, Polar View shows both raw data and analysis by universities. Even comes with a low bandwith mode for those on sat connections. ;) Here is the Antarctic, also has an ice bergs view.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Galacticair, thanks for the help on the translation!

Chasm, thanks for the explanation on the "Sentinels" network of satellites. Very interesting stuff.

Talking about ice and detection, there is a new article on macifcourseaularge web site, with some details on how they proceed. Here is a somewhat summarized version.

 

Another 800 miles day! FG is sailing at more than 32 knots average speed. Cape Leeuwin is getting closer and he should cross it in the evening. Nothing is slowing him down, even icebergs are out of the way. This is the second best ever 24 hr run, single handed, after his record established last week at 851 miles.

He is right now riding the low pressure system which is generating 39 knots winds in its center. FG stays away from the center and stays in the 30 knots wind area. The main goal on Wednesday was to manage the risk. First by taking the second reef around 15:00 and then the third reef around 19:00. The boat is still sailing at around 30 knots. Ideal conditions to surf all the way to Cape Leeuwin, which FG should pass between 23:00 and 1:00 Thursday night, French time. He should enter the Pacific Ocean, after the south of Tasmania around Saturday afternoon.

There, he will have to dive deep south again to avoid a no-wind area. It will be the second time he is going in areas where there could be growlers.

Franck Mercier, the engineer in charge of iceberg detection at CLS (Collecte Localisation Satellites) says: "There is less ice than last year during the Vendée Globe or Thomas Coville RTW. At that time, a big "table iceberg" of about 10 km long, aground on Antarctica shore, had freed itself near the Antarctica Peninsula, facing Cape Horn. And it drifted all the way to the 44 parallel"

The currents usually bring those icebergs in South Atlantic; on their way, they break like a shattered glass falling on the floor. Smaller pieces then drift northbound or eastbound along the Southern Ocean.

For now, it does not seem that FG is going to be too affected by that. However, when he was sailing in the South Atlantic towards Cape of Good Hope, he had to change his trajectory to avoid an ice field.

"We localized a few dozens of them, drifting all the way up to 46°S, sums up Franck Mercier. FG was forced to change his trajectory by 2°"

From satellites images and images from SAR radar (Synthetic-Aperture Radar) that can see through clouds, CLS guides RTW sailors. CLS can see 100 meters long icebergs. "That is why when we work with Jean-Yves Bernot, in our daily communications, we just state that we see or we do not see icebergs. It does not mean there aren't any. One of our limitations is that we do not have access to the satellite all the time. It can be booked for something else to be photographed. Nevertheless, we have 10 years experience, and we also use other data such as water temperature, ocean currents,..."

They can warn the skipper. "This is what happened when FG sailed way South to 56°S, below Kerguelen Islands. An iceberg last about 6 to 9 months from start of the drift to complete melt. In this area, our technology is lacking accuracy; since there are only small pieces left, says Franck Mercier. I have to admit, I was relieved when he got out of this zone, where risk was not nill. But we still helped to reduce the risk."

It is always a fine balance between risk and speed. Prevention prevails almost all the time. FG does not take risks if the right conditions are not met: ice localization is satisfactory, good visibility, and a skipper in good shape, who can stay alert and vigilant. The exit of the Pacific Ocean will bring the same tough decisions. CLS and Jean-Yves Bernot are already looking that far ahead.

"We are working on different scenarios since September, says Franck Mercier. And we fine tune our analysis as days pass by. The end of the Pacific Ocean might be more difficult than for Thomas Coville last year, but it is not sure yet. Soon, we are going to start to use more accurate data, but also more expensive... We will be able to see radar pictures of 550 km side squares, with accuracy of 100 meters. Once we will have the expected route from JYB, we will order the radar images on the trajectory.

Until then, the route is pretty clear, and more intermediate records should be broken.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

New record from Ushant to Cape Leeuwin:  19 days 14 hours 10 minutes 26.5 knots average!

It is 1 day, 12 hours 59 minutes faster than Thomas Coville who held that record from his RTW record last year.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

A few interesting comments:

This is a first for the boat; this type of conditions, and FG is still trying to figure out the right angle, and the best sail configuration between staysails and mainsail.

Last comment from JY Bernot: "in these conditions, for this type of boat, nothing can catch them up, except MAYBE a nuclear powered aircraft carrier..."

 

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aircraft Carrier! The puts the accomplishment into perspective.

Laurent, thanks again. Quick question: is the "transcript" option of the YouTube vids new? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, stief said:

Aircraft Carrier! The puts the accomplishment into perspective.

Laurent, thanks again. Quick question: is the "transcript" option of the YouTube vids new? 

I just tried it in English... Quite funny in some cases.

The YouTube ear mismatches "Grand-voile" (mainsail) with "envol" (take-off) because it sounds almost the same...

Also, he is talking about the state of the sea "l'état de la mer".

But in French: Mer = Sea  and  Mère = Mother (Mer and Mère have the exact same pronunciation) so the auto generated English sub-titles talk about take-off and mothers...

Now if you prefer that, let me know, and I'll stop translating...  B)

  • Like 12

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Laurent said:

I just tried it in English... Quite funny in some cases.

The YouTube ear mismatches "Grand-voile" (mainsail) with "envol" (take-off) because it sounds almost the same...

Also, he is talking about the state of the sea "l'état de la mer".

But in French: Mer = Sea  and  Mère = Mother (Mer and Mère have the exact same pronunciation) so the auto generated English sub-titles talk about take-off and mothers...

Now if you prefer that, let me know, and I'll stop translating...  B)

Ha! I'll never ask for that: you're the best way to follow that damned french racing. :) Wish there were someone who would do the same and feed my addiction to Spanish racing.

Yes, even the English to English transcripts are often hilarious, but I can muddle my way through the foreign languages  enough so I don''t have (HAVE) to depend on your generosity. Hate to be a leech, and all that, you know.

Cheers, and thanks again. Just wondered if the transcripts has made it easier for you.. Think we floated the idea quite a few years ago when I was struggling with following some TJV vids.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can someone just set Laurent to +450? People who constantly post smack on the VOR threads get way uprated for being Nattering Nabobs of Nautical Nonsense. It's not fair. 

Thanks so much Laurent. I speak some French but it's hard to translate this stuff since it's modern working French not simplified school French. It's double frustrating since I understand pretty well what they're talking about but just miss enough to not get the point of view they're expressing. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there a French forum were Gabbart is followed ? Just curious...

Any one seen the sail areas of the different sails ? I only see total numbers, 430sq m upwind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Laurent said:

New record from Ushant to Cape Leeuwin:  19 days 14 hours 10 minutes 26.5 knots average!

It is 1 day, 12 hours 59 minutes faster than Thomas Coville who held that record from his RTW record last year.

Yes - but he was 1 day in front of the overall record (at cape Leeuwin) holder at Cape Good Hope - so with a good Indian Ocean he could have got another overall record.....  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From today's news :

 

http://www.macifcourseaularge.com/actus/frimas-antarctiques/

Quote

« Je viens de passer le cap Leeuwin, et ce n’est pas facile en ce moment : je suis dans le dur ! Le vent a certes un peu diminué mais la mer est toujours aussi chaotique. Elle n’est pas très grosse, entre trois et quatre mètres, mais elle est creuse et puissante. Alors je ne peux pas aller exactement où je veux : dans le sens des vagues, c’est quasiment impossible et en travers, le bateau se fait emporter par la mer. L’enjeu est de rester devant le front froid : j’espère que je vais pouvoir suivre le timing de cette dépression… Bien sûr que je suis content d’être arrivé au Sud de l’Australie dans les temps, mais je ne cacherai pas que je suis fatigué» 

quick translation :

" I just passed Leeuwin and it isn't easy currently : Im in the hard ! The wind decreased a bit, but the sea is still as chaotic, not very big, around 3 or 4 metres, but it is "creuse"(like very curvy) and powerful. So I cannot go exactly where I would like to go : in the swell direction it is almost impossible, and having the swell accross, the boat gets taken by the sea. The challenge is to stay ahead of the cold front : I hope I will be able to keep with the necessary timing of this low system ... Of course I'm happy to have reached South of Australia i a record time, but I won't hide that I am tired right now"

 

Note : "je suis dans le dur" translated by "I'm in the hard" above (literal) is a French sailing expression meaning "I'm around the limit of my physical abilities" (due to tiredness/weather). Is "I'm in the hard" used in English or what would be the equivalent if not ?

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, LeoV said:

Is there a French forum were Gabbart is followed ? Just curious...

I did a forum search about François Gabart and I found:

- http://www.mille-sabords.com/forum/lofiversion/index.php/t57417.htmlhttp://www.mille-sabords.com/forum/lofiversion/index.php/t57417.html

- http://www.cybervulcans.net/forum/topic/59847-voile-en-solitaire-francois-gabart-la-course-autour-du-globe/

There's not too much.  The French people are really weird...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Fralo, looked at them, mixed bag, rugby and naval.

I know in the past http://seasailsurf.com  did try to start an offfshore forum, but it never took of.

I ran a forum for years, with french section, because there was non, the minitel ruled then :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, LeoV said:

Is there a French forum were Gabbart is followed ? Just curious...

Any one seen the sail areas of the different sails ? I only see total numbers, 430sq m upwind.

Yes, there is a thread on "hisse et oh" (kind of the French cruiser forum) 

http://www.hisse-et-oh.com/forums/la-taverne/messages/2231104-record-autour-du-monde-tentative-de-francois-gabart

But indeed it's a bit strange that there is no French sailing forum more "sport" offshore racing oriented, there was one some years ago, forgot the name,  that died out. 

But somehow the forums in general have been hit by fb and Twitter and the like. 

There are class dedicated ones for the minis and class 40, Trans Quadra, things like that however

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, yl75 said:

From today's news :

 

http://www.macifcourseaularge.com/actus/frimas-antarctiques/

quick translation :

" I just passed Leeuwin and it isn't easy currently : Im in the hard ! The wind decreased a bit, but the sea is still as chaotic, not very big, around 3 or 4 metres, but it is "creuse"(like very curvy) and powerful. So I cannot go exactly where I would like to go : in the swell direction it is almost impossible, and having the swell accross, the boat gets taken by the sea. The challenge is to stay ahead of the cold front : I hope I will be able to keep with the necessary timing of this low system ... Of course I'm happy to have reached South of Australia i a record time, but I won't hide that I am tired right now"

 

Note : "je suis dans le dur" translated by "I'm in the hard" above (literal) is a French sailing expression meaning "I'm around the limit of my physical abilities" (due to tiredness/weather). Is "I'm in the hard" used in English or what would be the equivalent if not ?

As others have mentioned, "I'm at my limits" pretty well sums up the phrase. He's trying to avoid going into the red, at least for any extended time 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, yl75 said:

But somehow the forums in general have been hit by fb and Twitter and the like. 

There are class dedicated ones for the minis and class 40, Trans Quadra, things like that however

Exactly.
The "Hisse et Haut" forum
is not easy to follow, its presentation is complicated

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A new video on the macifcourseaularge web site shows a screen with the target speeds for 38 knots TWS.

large.5a18c4639763e_VPPMACIF38kntTWS.jpg.50d19a63343ca4860d42ef3db93f7eac.jpg

 

I thought that might interest a few people...

At 38 knots TWS, Upwind VMG is 9.5 knots (19 knots at 60 TWA) and Downwind VMG is 24.5 knots (32 knots at 140 TWA) and top speed is almost 36 knots at 125 TWA.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Laurent.  Looks like Gabart got a bit more sleep recently, going from around 2.5 hours to almost 3.5 hours in the prior 24h, but with those conditions, has to be exhausting.  Hopefully he can get back on a smoother train, soon.  Making good progress for a while at near perfect heading with all velocity translating to near-perfect VMG. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Pacific looks fantastic ! Next week more records will fall in his hands.

It's surprising how long Joyon's 57 days record did stand, and how finally Coville did cut 7 days from it and now Gabart is poised for an under 50 days tour.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, southerncross said:

 

What he is saying:

"

Here we go!

Finally some better conditions. It is about time! I got 2-3 days that were really tough on the skipper and the boat. It was like being in a shaker! It is going to be a bit easier for 24 to 48 hours, so we will take this opportunity to go South again and take care of the boat. The waves tired the skipper, but also the boat. I have the "pancake" on one of the furlers up front that is damaged, I have to re-tie some of the aerodynamic tarpaulin (behind the beams), and I have a small leak at the back. Small things. We will take advantage of the clement weather to take care of all that stuff.

Have a good week-end!

"

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites