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Brest Atlantiques 2019

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2 hours ago, Keith said:

But 35+ knot multihulls are not necessarily a new thing...

Agree, they've been doing it consistently for more than a decade, it doesn't have to be a foiler to achieve such averages. MACIF's record run two years ago had multiple 800+miles days and so did IDEC which is essentially a 12 year old boat. The 908 mile 24 hour record by BP (currently Spindrift) was almost 10 years ago and is still standing...MACIF has experienced rudder problems in the last two years, after it was converted into a foiler, coincidence maybe, but it went around the world in archimedean mode, at amazing speeds, without breaking any appendage.

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Two pics of Sodebo being repaired in Cape Town were posted in the Cape Town Sailing thread in General Anarchy.  Those pics where posted by @Grabbler. More pics to come, possibly today or tomorrow as @Point Break is on vacay in Cape Town.

 

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14 hours ago, oysterhead said:

The large swimming animals of the world have never experienced 40 knot razor knives before.

If we had foils on our passage down the Central American coast we would have clobbered a whole

lot  more turtles than we did, and I know we hit at least five at a grand speed of 8 knots. Sleeping

turtles, whales and resting sharks have no ability to react in time... and if they do dive they get

to the depth of the foil just in time for it to arrive.

More than 60% of the biomass of large swimming things in our oceans is gone. Blessing for

the foilers, curse for the rest of us. We might re-think the impact of these craft given the

evidence that is mounting daily.

I've always thought it would be easy to integrate some form of underwater whistle in the foils that could alert critters far off.

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Latest interview of François Gabart on MACIF. Part in bold in second section highlighted by me....

Namibia shores. « It is very impressive. This is a part of the world we do not know well. The map is not very accurate, and we are sailing near the shore at less than one mile from rocks, it is always very impressive. It is absolutely magnificent; with sand dunes running into the mountains. There aren't many people on the beach, it is a desert, but there is a lot of life in the water, with a lot of whales. »

The pit stop at Cape Town. « The pit stop has been shorter than the one in Rio, we did not enter the harbour, we were in front of the harbour, so it has been a shorter stay and it had us less disconnected from the race than in Rio. We are still in the game. It was really incredible to see the other boats pass by. Actual passed by while we were stopped and Sodebo arrived when we left. It was kind of strange to see the other ones sailing while we were stopped doing repair on the boat, but it was absolutely necessary to do it. Both for the performance of the boat and for safety reasons. Without going too much into details, we all want to keep our little secrets, during the second leg of the race, from Rio to Cape Town, the boat was not at 100% of its performance. So for this reason alone, we are going to recover quickly whatever time we lost during the stopover in Cape Town. There wasn't really a choice. And regarding safety, it was even more important to stop. We had to do it. The guys from the team did an amazing job. They just came back from Rio that they had to leave for Cape Town. They have not had much more sleep than us, maybe less! Despite that, they did a great job, very precise, without making mistakes, not rushing it.»

The race with Actual Leader and further up, Maxi Edmond de Rothschild. « It is great, we are not too far behind. We could see Actual Leader a while ago. We still see a small speck on the horizon. We passed them this morning. We found the new wind first, along the African shore. It's great! In front of us, the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild has a little bit more wind than us at this time. We are not  exactly in the same weather system; they are gaining a bit. But still, they are not that far. We have boat that can sail really very fast, so a few hundred miles gap is only a few hours behind, and we are pedal to the metal. We are not giving up! We will try to go as fast as possible, focused on our boat and its performance. We still have more or less 2 weeks of racing, many things can happen. You have to take the days and hours one at a time. And it is not all in our hands. But I have no doubts that the other guys will sail very well. We just have to sail a little bit better than them, that's the goal. »

Strategy in the coming days. « Sailing around the high pressure system is not simple, Trades Winds are not well established North of the anticyclone, there will be a lot of gibes to manage, small trajectory adjustments. After that, there may be 2 major options, before the Doldrums. In my mind, it is pretty clear, but we have until Sunday to make a decision. We are focused right now on following the Namibian coast, trying to run away from the high pressure system grasp, still close behind us. Sunday morning, we will have to look a little bit further but for now, it is pretty clear what we have to do. »

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1 hour ago, GauchoGreg said:

I've always thought it would be easy to integrate some form of underwater whistle in the foils that could alert critters far off.

Have you listened to the videos? The foils are literally screaming all the time, pretty sure most wildlife gets lots of audible warning to get out the way, some slow moving things might not be able to but sound isn't the problem...

Pieces of floating junk won't move out of the way. What's puzzling me is how many rudder strikes there have been with no reported daggerboard/foil strikes, that "strikes" me as very odd

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Yes they are saying they are retiring because of foil damage, not because of the missing rudder.

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The 'Grand Tour', aka the former Top Gear guys, did an amazing episode in their first season in Namibia. Really fantastic shoreline. Getting to sail along it must be awesome. 

 

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https://www.brestatlantiques.com/actualites/mot-du-bord-actual-leader-je-suis-aux-anges

Update from Actual Leader - Ronan Gladu,

I don't know about you, but this return trip up the Atlantic is thrilling, no?" Last night, Macif quickly caught up with us ... which promoted Yves & Alex into action.... to start a "heavy" passive regatta: despite the performance deficit to Macif, all fresh out of the pit stop in Cape Town, they give their all!

And they kept Francois and Gwenole at bay all night. In the morning, a jibe a bit late ... and gone, the blue trimaran passes in front! Not happy, they were my teammates after all, I do not know how many gybes we did in the night ...

Yves: "we lost the first battle of the Macif, but not the war" and goes to bed ... to better attack in a new day! I feel more comfortable in the position of hunter than hunted: a side to side regatta after more than 10,000 miles of racing

All along the Namibian Desert is breathtaking pristine landscape but it is also tactical: the water is freezing cold (a cold current flows up from the Antarctic along the coast) and the desert is cold at night, hyper hot during the day. This creates impressive thermal winds. The end of the night is cloudy, foggy, with very little wind at the coast. The end of the day is "crystalline", without the slightest cloud, with an established southwest wind.

Me, I'm thrilled every time we jibe toward the coast: indeed, it's been years that I dream to travel to this inaccessible coast, which is home to the best surf spots on the planet ... The configuration is unique in the world: on one side the Namibian desert, which pushes its sand dunes with force into the ocean. On the other side, the big southwest swells, which go back to Antarctica. At each north-facing point, the swell winds up on these inexhaustible banks of sand. This creates a shore break, a wave that goes on for ... many kilometers! I recommend that you to type surf Skeleton bay: Koa Smith in YouTube (below): the show is amazing, especially when the camera is on the surfer!

So I was also a little frustrated not to stop! I hope to come back here one day with my friends from "Lost in the swell". Besides, I was not the only one to think about the waves: Yves and François talked a bit about the "Telegram" today, it was be careful the charts are wrong near the coast , then François said good surf spot for Ronan / Lost in the swell followed by GPS coordinates ...

We also passed Luderitz and its closed water, the location of the current sailing speed record. There is a lot of life in these waters, several species of dolphins, huge schools of tuna and a huge amount of sea lions! Fortunately we do not sail very fast, the critters have an annoying tendency to nap on the surface! From far away we think we see birds. As they get closer it's their little tails on the surface when they're sleeping. They are everywhere: I found myself at the front of the trimaran-like a little old man in a park with the pigeons: Come on, move, get out of there, finish the nap !!!

So much for this crazy day. See you tomorrow with the results of the Skeleton Coast match-race, at the time of writing, we are back 5 miles behind Macif ...!

Great surfing video he recommended below. Long walk back after that run.

 

 

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On 11/22/2019 at 2:30 AM, oysterhead said:

The large swimming animals of the world have never experienced 40 knot razor knives before.

If we had foils on our passage down the Central American coast we would have clobbered a whole

lot  more turtles than we did, and I know we hit at least five at a grand speed of 8 knots. Sleeping

turtles, whales and resting sharks have no ability to react in time... and if they do dive they get

to the depth of the foil just in time for it to arrive.

More than 60% of the biomass of large swimming things in our oceans is gone. Blessing for

the foilers, curse for the rest of us. We might re-think the impact of these craft given the

evidence that is mounting daily.

The speed of sound in the water is 1500 m/s. If some marine animal hears the humming foil after sound has traveled only one second beforehand, it still has 60 seconds to react before the foil arrives if moving at 48.6 knots of boat speed. If they continue sleeping the entire concept of a reaction time is irrelevant. It's pretty clear the most significant warning signal is sound, nothing else, and foils are not silent when moving fast. Slow moving keels and daggerboards might be far more dangerous to marine life, as they can be more silent thus eliminating any warning.

If there are marine animals with no hearing, the situation will be very different for them. But in that case it becomes a game of numbers, there are far more dangerous ships and powerboats with deadly propellers than foiling sailingboats.

If you consider the foil more dangerous to marine life than a rotating propeller of a powerboat or of a ship please explain why.

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15 hours ago, jb5 said:

The 'Grand Tour', aka the former Top Gear guys, did an amazing episode in their first season in Namibia. Really fantastic shoreline. Getting to sail along it must be awesome.

Largest sand dunes in the world, going on like forever. Never sailed close enough past it, but did see it from the air on the way back from Etosha national park. 

On the whole a pretty barren country, only a bit smaller than SA (S. Africa :)), and second least populated of the world. Also got the second biggest canyon after the Grand Canyon, the Fish River Canyon, set in stone so to say. Did fly right through some of it, level with the flat surroundings, just amazing. Got it on video but don't know where, so this YouTube will have to do:   

PS. Liked that surf video, going on forever too, it seemed!

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1 hour ago, Fiji Bitter said:

Largest sand dunes in the world, going on like forever. Never sailed close enough past it, but did see it from the air on the way back from Etosha national park. 

On the whole a pretty barren country, only a bit smaller than SA (S. Africa :)), and second least populated of the world. Also got the second biggest canyon after the Grand Canyon, the Fish River Canyon, set in stone so to say. Did fly right through some of it, level with the flat surroundings, just amazing. Got it on video but don't know where, so this YouTube will have to do:   

PS. Liked that surf video, going on forever too, it seemed!

I wanna go there so bad.  Bucket list. 

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Interesting video by Yves Le Blévec

 

 

He explains that they hugged the African shore since Cape Town, to avoid the St Helen high. Now they are leaving the African shore and they have basically 3 options. From where they are to where they need to go at the Equator to pass the Doldrums, it is more or less dead downwind, so they have to make the right choice with the right jibes...

2 of the options are more or less NW, with moderate winds, or even at some points light winds, but according to the navigation software, they are not the fastest. The fastest one make them go West, across an active cold front (the screen of the computer shows 25 knots headwinds, puffs at 30 knots, but more importantly, crossed seas of 3 meters...). Yves explains that the software has no feelings... it does not matter if the proposed route is tough on the boat, as long as it is the fastest. They have not fully decided yet which one to take, but he hints to the fact that one of the main goals is to bring back the boat in one piece and in good shape; they have already bashed it pretty hard, and they will most likely have to do it again in Northern Atlantic to get to Brest, so it is unlikely they will take the West route.

But right now, they are taking more or less the middle road anyway, so they will have to make the decision when they get to the "crossroad" (pointed at 1:40 in the video). I think they will take the "blue track", less taxing on the boat...

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9 hours ago, jb5 said:

https://www.brestatlantiques.com/actualites/mot-du-bord-actual-leader-je-suis-aux-anges

Update from Actual Leader - Ronan Gladu,

I don't know about you, but this return trip up the Atlantic is thrilling, no?" Last night, Macif quickly caught up with us ... which promoted Yves & Alex into action.... to start a "heavy" passive regatta: despite the performance deficit to Macif, all fresh out of the pit stop in Cape Town, they give their all!

And they kept Francois and Gwenole at bay all night. In the morning, a jibe a bit late ... and gone, the blue trimaran passes in front! Not happy, they were my teammates after all, I do not know how many gybes we did in the night ...

Yves: "we lost the first battle of the Macif, but not the war" and goes to bed ... to better attack in a new day! I feel more comfortable in the position of hunter than hunted: a side to side regatta after more than 10,000 miles of racing

All along the Namibian Desert is breathtaking pristine landscape but it is also tactical: the water is freezing cold (a cold current flows up from the Antarctic along the coast) and the desert is cold at night, hyper hot during the day. This creates impressive thermal winds. The end of the night is cloudy, foggy, with very little wind at the coast. The end of the day is "crystalline", without the slightest cloud, with an established southwest wind.

Me, I'm thrilled every time we jibe toward the coast: indeed, it's been years that I dream to travel to this inaccessible coast, which is home to the best surf spots on the planet ... The configuration is unique in the world: on one side the Namibian desert, which pushes its sand dunes with force into the ocean. On the other side, the big southwest swells, which go back to Antarctica. At each north-facing point, the swell winds up on these inexhaustible banks of sand. This creates a shore break, a wave that goes on for ... many kilometers! I recommend that you to type surf Skeleton bay: Koa Smith in YouTube (below): the show is amazing, especially when the camera is on the surfer!

So I was also a little frustrated not to stop! I hope to come back here one day with my friends from "Lost in the swell". Besides, I was not the only one to think about the waves: Yves and François talked a bit about the "Telegram" today, it was be careful the charts are wrong near the coast , then François said good surf spot for Ronan / Lost in the swell followed by GPS coordinates ...

We also passed Luderitz and its closed water, the location of the current sailing speed record. There is a lot of life in these waters, several species of dolphins, huge schools of tuna and a huge amount of sea lions! Fortunately we do not sail very fast, the critters have an annoying tendency to nap on the surface! From far away we think we see birds. As they get closer it's their little tails on the surface when they're sleeping. They are everywhere: I found myself at the front of the trimaran-like a little old man in a park with the pigeons: Come on, move, get out of there, finish the nap !!!

So much for this crazy day. See you tomorrow with the results of the Skeleton Coast match-race, at the time of writing, we are back 5 miles behind Macif ...!

Great surfing video he recommended below. Long walk back after that run.

 

 

I didn’t realise that Ronan was one of the crazy French guys who did the YouTube series “ lost in the swell” about travelling to very remote surf spots by small trimaran to surf with crocs, hippos, sharks etc! And they are actually quite good surfers also. Well worth checking out for anyone with an interest in adventure sail and surf travel.

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I am surprised that MACIF cannot shake off Actual Leader... No offense to Yves Le Blever and Alex Pella, but I believe MACIF is supposed to be more advanced; right?

I wonder if there is something broken on the boat but François Gabart does not want to say it; just like he did for the last Route du Rhum...

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44 minutes ago, Foiling Optimist said:

MACIF appears stopped now

Where do you see that?

On the map of the official website, their WMG is close to 0 for the last 4 hours, but that is because they sail at 15+ knots perpendicular to the normal route... Maybe they are shooting for the West route explained eariler by Yves Le Blevec on Actual??? See post 416

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There is some speculation that Macif has some issue that's slowing them down, and possibly Gitana as well (on one tack)...

It also looked like Macif was sailing in lighter winds for the last ~24h, not sure why they didn't do a gybe to get in better pressure. Then again it looks like they are going to take the route through the front so maybe the need to stay closer to the high for this to work. It will be interesting to see how it plays out in the next few days!

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Brest-Atlantiques website says variable winds are messing them up as they try to gybe around a front.  As Laurent points out, VMG is to the finish. “Vitesse” is how fast they’re moving.  Macif is now showing 19knots of speed, and -5.9 VMG, since they’re sailing away from the finish. 

 

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LeBlevec working hard to make true the name of his steed..
Is Actual leader lighter ? And can that make a difference in acceleration in the doldrums ?
Or am I hoping to much.

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If the w forecast is right *, it might be an idea to enter doldrums no further east than 25°W, wich makes it a longer route for Actual?

Gitana might be a little bit too West right now but it may well pay off later.

 

* How good/bad is the forecast that appears on the tracker compared to what the guy have for routing?

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https://www.brestatlantiques.com/actualites/le-trimaran-macif-met-du-jeu-et-du-suspense

On the Macif strategy to head South West rather than follow Gitana.

After nearly three weeks at sea the three trimarans still racing in "Brest Atlantiques" continue their progression towards the equator, which they should cross Thursday. But while so far all of them have followed fairly similar routes the trimaran MACIF has chose on Sunday to head west, which François Gabart and Gwénolé Gahinet hope will pay off by the end of the week.

The planning is at its peak right now aboard the three trimarans of "Brest Atlantiques", which continue their ascent of the South Atlantic along with their respective routers, Marcel Van Triest for Gitana, Christian Dumard for Actual Leader and Jean-Yves Bernot for Macif. Macif have chosen to stand out and follow a different path to the west, 90 degrees from the direct route which, although it does not appear to in the current standings, could eventually pay off.

In a video sent by Jérémie Eloy, the on board reporter, the two Macif skippers explained their choice: Two options have emerged: one taken by our two competitors which is to head almost full north downwind in a rather weak wind, and a second which is to cross a ridge of the anticyclone to catch a front with stronger wind. The idea is to cross this front and to get west and hopefully enter the trade winds with a better angle.

François Gabart and Gwénolé Gahinet have chosen the second option: It offers a trajectory that seems faster but it is also more complicated with a lot of maneuvers, changes of sails with three transitions in weak winds to manage. But whoever tries nothing has nothing and, on paper, it seems to be the better option. Since the departure from Brest we have rarely had any big strategic options, it has always been a little restricted so this is the first time we can see a different approach and we can position ourselves differently compared to the system weather. It's interesting, it's a 'game play' and offers a little more suspense.

Gitana have closely followed the course taken by Macif. Franck Cammas: We saw Macif gybe and head to the south-west. Obviously he's taking a completely different option from the one the rest of us seem to have been following for a few days because there's a 1000-mile front with wind beyond it to the South West. One of the models actually says that this is the optimum route, to pass through this front and get around to the other side, it's not going to be a very simple approach, they will have to work. 

Concerning the possibility to try to cover Macif's approach: It does not change anything for us, we are not in the same location, not in the same time frame, our optimal route is not the same, in any case, it is not worth taking their option and heading to the southwest.

The results should be known by the end of the week ...

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Francois has achieved some incredible sailing in the past. But, this looks like a Hail Mary to me.

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Definitely a risky option...

But Actual and Gitana dis say it was the fastest routing based on some weather models...

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Either the option works and he may win, or if it doesn't work, he still should have time to get second, so really nothing to lose...

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My guess, François is playing to win.

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Well, Cammas is right if they wanted to drum up more interest than just a drag race would create:

Quote

This is a notion that Franck Cammas never forgets: "Part of the appeal of offshore racing is that it's not just a drag race... even if going quick often helps. Offshore racing is primarily all about weather and strategy. There are a lot more gains to be made thanks to weather choices. It's like a game of chess with things you don't always control. Even though there's a lot of theory involved, in practice it's about sensitivity and experience and a human touch, all of which colour the strategic choices."

https://www.sail-world.com/news/224428/Brest-Atlantiques-Day-21?source=twitter 

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"nice video of maneuvers, life and aerial shots aboard the ultim Team Actual Leader" 

 

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https://www.brestatlantiques.com/actualites/francois-gabart-so-far-so-good

Macif : So far so good

In a video sent by Jérémie Eloy, report on Macif, François Gabart and Gwénolé Gahinet commented on their option to take the west route, which should soon allow them to close part of their delay on the two leading boats in Brest Atlantiques.

François Gabart: "The night was not easy, we certainly had average winds a little stronger than the others but on the other hand it was hyper unstable, we had shifts of 90 degrees, it is not super comfortable because it's difficult to maintain a good average speed when the wind shifts so much, we do a little zigzags with the sails we have .. But we are moving faster than the routing, it's pretty cool. So far, so good, we could say ... "

Gwénolé Gahinet: "We've found some wind, we're happy, it's progressing well and in the right direction, and when we look at Actual's progress, we can see that they are going a little slower than we had imagined, it's rather a good thing.

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Some nice drone shots of Gitana in lighter breeze.  Strobe going on top of the mast...

 

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6 minutes ago, jb5 said:

Strobe going on top of the mast...

Interesting. So much for Canadian cruisers especially having the rep of abusing the 'obstacle' light (well, 20 yrs ago on the Pacific coast).

Ultimes are considered fliers ;) 

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2 hours ago, stief said:

So much for Canadian cruisers especially having the rep ....

Don't get me started. We see a lot around here. Some of them are great but some others...  My personal favorites are those that love to anchor between the channel markers in marina entrances (go figure) and those that anchor poorly and get blown through mooring fields taking out equipment etc in the middle of the night before leaving very quickly, if they still can. Those are just some of the 'highlights'.  Not all of them deserve that rep by a long way and they are not the only ones either but...

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https://www.brestatlantiques.com/actualites/mot-du-bord-actual-leader-ils-empannent-comme-sur-un-hobie-16

Update from Actual Leader - Ronan Gladu on board reporter

We're going around the north of the St. Helena High and it's hard work, it's hard for me to  be moving so slowly, sometimes in the wrong direction. Yves and Alex are confident : We knew what we were getting into by choosing this route. It's a new adventure, this route The weather files agree and say 10-12 knots of wind throughout the area. But here it's different: very unstable. In Brittany, during a depression there are often differences between forecasts and reality, the wind is often stronger, especially the gusts. In an anticyclone it is the exact opposite: the wind is often weaker than expected. Under some clouds there is only 2-3 knots of wind.

This is already not "fun" on a sailboat on a human scale, but then on an Ultim ...! Between the hulls that hit, as if dead, in the swell, and especially the composite sails weighing more than 300 kilos each which "faseyent": it is a horror! Fortunately, the slightest breath of air revives the machine, along with the mast that rises to 37m tall! All the appendages that can be removed from the water are raised and we have an average of 8 knots of wind, which makes us move from 5 to 18 knots, but not always in the right direction!

Since the weather forecast no longer reflects the reality here on the water Yves and Alex steer a lot by observing the water and sails, the old school! The sea and each cloud is analyzed through the experience of the sailors. In these conditions and with the repetitions that add up they gybe like on a Hobie 16! A real choreography, to look for the slightest gust. But they need both of them to maneuver, which is not easy, given the frequency of the gybes!

We still have a minimum of 48 hours to go on like this. Meanwhile, Macif flies west. Who will win in this fight against the anticyclone? Gitana, it's obvious: they will not take long in getting back into the trade winds: it will hurt! In any case on Actual Leader, the long-term fight continues, the guys do not give up: each breath of wind is exploited to its fullest!

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Go Gitana 17!! and Happy Thanksgiving from Team Fire Arrow/WOLF.......

MPX_Fire Arrow-3D SAILING-7-24-14 009 (4) - Copy - Copy.JPG

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3 hours ago, Doug Lord said:

Go Gitana 17!! and Happy Thanksgiving from Team Fire Arrow/WOLF.......

MPX_Fire Arrow-3D SAILING-7-24-14 009 (4) - Copy - Copy.JPG

Latest Lego set?

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So Macif has gybed for the equator. 

https://www.brestatlantiques.com/actualites/yves-le-blevec-avec-macif-ca-va-se-jouer-dans-les-24-heures

Update from Actual Leader Approaching the equator and the outcome with Macif. 

We are in perfect sailing conditions, with the wind coming back a bit, we are at about twenty knots, we have the Saint Helena high pressure almost behind us, we have almost done a circle since we left Rio, and we are practically full west and we are headed towards northeastern Brazil. Once we cross our path we will gybe and go north to the trade winds, get into the Doldrums, get out of there as quickly as possible. hopefully, and go to the North Atlantic where the situation is not yet clear: will we go around with high winds, but lengthen the road, or we will try to cut the cheese a bit with less strong winds, even upwind, but shortening the road? We do not know yet. We took advantage of moments of calm to do a complete check of the boat and a lot of small things so that we can enter the North Atlantic with a boat in the best possible state. It's interesting, because MACIF took a slightly different route, it went south of the most important mass of the anticyclone, it was on paper faster by more than ten hours, but a bit more complicated: we had to cross a front, with more sea. We have chosen a less efficient route, but we know that, given the conditions in which we sail, we are certainly using 100% of the boat, it also allowed us to take care of the boat and the crew for the the last week of the race. It's still hard to know how the cross with Macif will turn out, it's not impossible that they will be out in front of us, we'll see, I think it will be decided within 24 hours. "

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Nice shots of Actual Leader 

 

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Macif still having rudder issues.

https://www.brestatlantiques.com/actualites/le-maxi-edmond-de-rothschild-retrouve-le-nord

Gitana gybed north on Wednesday around 21h, a few hours after Macif which which was slowed down in the night by light winds in an extension of the St. Helena high pressure zone, with very low average speeds of 6 knots between the 4h and 8h classifications.

François Gabart, in an interview on Wednesday evening with Europe 1 spoke of small technical problems including the rudders.  They should be out of this area without wind during the day and could by tonight close some of the gap to Actual Leader thanks to a better wind angle and cross the equator on Friday.

Yves Le Blevec : It's still hard to know how we will cross with Macif it's not impossible that they will come out in front of us, we'll see, I think we will know within 24 hours.

We will probably know much more tonight in the 20h ranking.

Photo: Jérémie Eloy / Macif

OK_photo5980973325729509991.jpg?itok=6pa_NYK6

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Classic. Like taking a shower with a water blaster.  No need to exfoliate that's for sure!

Screen Shot 2019-11-29 at 7.15.32 AM.png

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On 11/25/2019 at 9:01 PM, Tom O'Keefe said:

Francois has achieved some incredible sailing in the past. But, this looks like a Hail Mary to me.

Interview with Gabart this morning:

Posted on 29.11.2019 Joined this Friday at the weekly session of Brest Atlantiques, François Gabart, who had crossed the equator in the morning at 8:30, returned to the option attempted in the west on the trimaran MACIF and spoke of the last week of racing. The west option in the South Atlantic. "We made a shift with our boyfriends three days ago with a crossing of the front in two stages that allowed us to have the wind a little stronger and above all a better angle to enter the trade wind. It was not the simplest option in terms of maneuvers and transitions, but it seemed the fastest, and I think it was the right option. When we left in our option, we had a small delay on Actual, there, we return right in front, so we are rather happy to have done that, it was important to try in the situation we were in, it has worked as we imagined, it was good to try. "

The conditions after the passage of the equator. "We are approaching the Doldrums, we have just passed 2 ° North, we always have wind, between 28 and 32 knots, normally it should soften and refuse in the coming hours. It is sunny, with small cumulus clouds that become more important at the approach of the Doldrums, it slips a lot, there is a little sea, it's not all flat, but they are good hours of sailing for 24-48 hours to finally exploit the speed of our boats.

" The Doldrums. "It seems to be rather easy to cross, the situation seems a priori rather favorable, but I remain super vigilant, we will talk about it when we have passed, when he will be well behind. There may be clouds forming in a few hours that may not be seen on the satellite photos and can cause the situation to change completely in 2-3 hours. So I know that the coming hours and the next night are not going to be easy, we will be well rested to be in good shape for the Doldrums. "

The state of the trimaran MACIF. "We had a lot of worries that slowed us down considerably, but now, as I speak, we are almost 95% of the potential of the boat, it feels good and it's nice, but it's sure that for it was a big issue during the race, we did not talk too much about it.

" The situation compared to Maxi Edmond de Rothschild. "There is always a way to get them, even if we know that it will be complicated. They start to have a good lead, we are not quite in the same weather systems, but in the routing, there are still a lot of uncertainties about our various trajectories. We will not necessarily be in the same timings, it means that there may be gaps between them and us. If there is an exceptional situation, which is deteriorating or changing, there may still be a lot of things going on. We will try to make the best trajectory to arrive as quickly as possible to Brest, we believe it and we will believe it until the last second, there is still a little way, it can happen many things, we will arrive in the North Atlantic in the middle of winter. " Photo: Jérémie Eloy / Macif

Source (in french)
The last minute victory

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733401325_brestatlantique2911.thumb.PNG.8920d44ad3e000e0e15fa4b026785fb5.PNG
755723659_brestatlantique2911Windyty.PNG.95f76d344dfa82a7512c90f042078709.PNG

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https://www.brestatlantiques.com/actualites/vacation-franck-cammas-un-nouveau-depart-pour-la-course-0

Update from Gitana/F. Cammas

We are reaching in the trade winds headed towards Cape Verde, there is a small oncoming sea which is starting to diminish, it was a bit brutal last night because we were going 25 knots into the waves. Now it has reduced but the wind is a little stronger, 18-20 knots. We try not to push the boat too much but we remain fast, this is where the boat goes fast, even if we do not have the perfect conditions it still works pretty well. The weather is nice, there are flying fish and a lot of apparent wind, so we do not go out of the cockpit much.

On the fast crossing of the doldrums. - We were in an area without any convection, there were just soft spots to go through, but the wind was not brutally unstable as it can be with thunderstorms and black storms. There were hardly any storms, just a small amount of rain, the wind was soft at one moment, 6-7 knots, for a few hours, but the boat remained above 10 knots and the rotation was continuous, there was no big change in wind strength, everything was smooth compared to the first passage through the doldrums.

On Macif's strategy - It's always better when the pursuers follow you, there's always a risk when someone attacks the leader. We had seen this option at one time for ourselves but we never felt that it was interesting for us. There were still two transition passages to pass, Macif had a very good first transition, the second was a little longer. We watched him of course, I think it was successful for them because they got a hundred miles on Actual, it's proof that it was an interesting option, even if it was not simple.

On their lead. - We are not looking to far ahead, we mainly looking at the current situation in relation to weather. We are looking for weather  that is easier on the boat, where there is the least risk for damage. So this is not the time to relax, I think there are some interesting options before the arrival in Brest if we go fast enough and do not to put the boat in complicated conditions. Our first priority is to stay in safe places and not to overload the boat. For example, we are not fully exploiting our sail changes, we try to anticipate and not over-sail the boat, which we might have done the first two weeks. We spent some time checking the boat before the Doldrums, fixing what we could, so for now, we are pretty confident about the boat. Inevitably, there is wear and tear after 30 days at sea, so one is never safe from breaking something. so we are never safe from breaking something.

ETA - The trade winds are still strong but north of Cape Verde it starts to weaken. The idea is to go north as fast as possible to the Azores to catch the front of a storm that will allow us to approach Brest in a southerly wind. This would be the ideal scenario, but the tricky point is to catch this southerly wind, there will be a little ridge to pass. That's why we're moving fast now. Afterwards it will be a highway, but not necessarily a simple highway, since we will be reaching in 20-25 knots, so it will be fast, it will be necessary to pay attention to the boat and manage it to the finish. If we arrive on the 4th, we will have had good weather, that would be good.

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3 hours ago, schakel488 said:

Interview with Gabart this morning:

Posted on 29.11.2019 Joined this Friday at the weekly session of Brest Atlantiques, François Gabart, who had crossed the equator in the morning at 8:30, returned to the option attempted in the west on the trimaran MACIF and spoke of the last week of racing. The west option in the South Atlantic. "We made a shift with our boyfriends three days ago with a crossing of the front in two stages that allowed us to have the wind a little stronger and above all a better angle to enter the trade wind. It was not the simplest option in terms of maneuvers and transitions, but it seemed the fastest, and I think it was the right option. When we left in our option, we had a small delay on Actual, there, we return right in front, so we are rather happy to have done that, it was important to try in the situation we were in, it has worked as we imagined, it was good to try. "

The conditions after the passage of the equator. "We are approaching the Doldrums, we have just passed 2 ° North, we always have wind, between 28 and 32 knots, normally it should soften and refuse in the coming hours. It is sunny, with small cumulus clouds that become more important at the approach of the Doldrums, it slips a lot, there is a little sea, it's not all flat, but they are good hours of sailing for 24-48 hours to finally exploit the speed of our boats.

" The Doldrums. "It seems to be rather easy to cross, the situation seems a priori rather favorable, but I remain super vigilant, we will talk about it when we have passed, when he will be well behind. There may be clouds forming in a few hours that may not be seen on the satellite photos and can cause the situation to change completely in 2-3 hours. So I know that the coming hours and the next night are not going to be easy, we will be well rested to be in good shape for the Doldrums. "

The state of the trimaran MACIF. "We had a lot of worries that slowed us down considerably, but now, as I speak, we are almost 95% of the potential of the boat, it feels good and it's nice, but it's sure that for it was a big issue during the race, we did not talk too much about it.

" The situation compared to Maxi Edmond de Rothschild. "There is always a way to get them, even if we know that it will be complicated. They start to have a good lead, we are not quite in the same weather systems, but in the routing, there are still a lot of uncertainties about our various trajectories. We will not necessarily be in the same timings, it means that there may be gaps between them and us. If there is an exceptional situation, which is deteriorating or changing, there may still be a lot of things going on. We will try to make the best trajectory to arrive as quickly as possible to Brest, we believe it and we will believe it until the last second, there is still a little way, it can happen many things, we will arrive in the North Atlantic in the middle of winter. " Photo: Jérémie Eloy / Macif

Source (in french)
The last minute victory

OK_photo5983523690194776172.jpg?itok=kI3
733401325_brestatlantique2911.thumb.PNG.8920d44ad3e000e0e15fa4b026785fb5.PNG
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I admit that Macif made out better than I anticipated. I not sure that their boat speed advantage over Actual might have played into Macif's over taking Actual as much as routing. But, my hats off to Francois for taking the gamble and making it pay at least a bit.

 

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https://mailchi.mp/tipandshaft.com/tip-shaft-188-armel-le-clach-brest-atlantiques-trs-riche-denseignements-comment-cherbourg-a-dcroch-larrive-du-fastnet?e=9a497c6fa7

Intervioew with Armel Le Cléac'h. In French. Some Ultim/Brest Atlantiques parts below.

Even if Brest Atlantiques is not finished yet, what lessons do you draw from it to date?
Even if the boats have some small problems, I think that structurally they really held up well - I hope it will remain this way until they finish - and that was really the goal after the Route du Rhum. In addition, they had difficult conditions, so that is reassuring with the goal of world tours inthe coming years. On the performance side, we see that the two most developed boats are above the others. Too bad that Sodebo gave up. But the good thing is that until they reach Good Hope they were in the match, including Actual Leader . In any case, for the teams,i t's a race full of lessons for the future.  For example, we had a big meeting last week to try to find solutions so that impacts with UFOs do not cause as much damage as we have seen.
 
Can solutions exist to deal with the randomness of these collisions?
There are several things. First, maybe sometimes they broke a little too quickly : some boats did not have these concerns, is it because they have different approach to the structure of the appendages? We are inevitably asking questions. This is also the case of our old boat, Idec (former Banque Populaire VII), which went to Mauritius without any concern for an appendage, but also Spindrift (formerly Banque Populaire V ) last year, even though he gave up because of other problems on the Jules Verne. Then, with the other teams, we work on detection systems for UFOs , including the Oscar camera which is already in place on a lot of boats. Today, we are in the data capture phase to help them move the system forward; we hope that eventually it will work. Finally, we must look at ways to finish a race by remaining strong even when we are disabled  as was the case for Alex Thomson on the last Vendée Globe.
 
If I understand you correctly, Brest Atlantiques will influence some choices on  Banque Populaire XI , especially on the appendages?
Absolutely. Today, the plans of appendages are not totally finalized, so all that we could see from this race the damage, the performance, the videos of the drones, which all helps us , especially since until now we had very little outside information, because flying boats are new.
 
The Maxi Edmond de Rothschild , is the best of the fleet today?
Yes, they have an ability to fly and go fast at almost all speeds, it is the reference and it is a model which inspired the specifications of BP XI . 
 
What will BP XI look like compared to its predecessor?
It will not be radically different; in the spirit, the two will look alike, we have not made a boat completely atypical, we have for example retained the classic cockpit, we have not taken the same philosophy as Sodebo . But we worked a lot on the aero part and on the appendages which are today clearly the engines of the boat, so I would say that it will be a little like a new version of an iPhone: more optimized compared to the previous one!

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I don't think there will be much change in the order of the three boats. The boats are gourgeous but the race is boring.
1691287136_brestatlantique3011.thumb.PNG.07441a44924cc6126d6331b01a4a4de4.PNG

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The race was not boring for the first 2 legs, that's for sure.  If not for the problem with UFOs, you can bet that you would not be calling the race boring.  Really too bad Sodebo had to abandon.  But really, this is no more boring that 90% of open ocean races (I see the Volvo as boring with the follow-the-leader identical boats, even if the racing is close on many legs).

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4 hours ago, schakel488 said:

I don't think there will be much change in the order of the three boats. The boats are gourgeous but the race is boring.
1691287136_brestatlantique3011.thumb.PNG.07441a44924cc6126d6331b01a4a4de4.PNG

Actual Leader already managed to pass Macif once. How can you be sure that is not going to happen again?

Are they both going upwind near Madeira, or passing the light wind zone and following closer to the same route of Gitana 17?

Or having a different route separating them again?

It's not over yet for either. As long as Gitana remains in good condition (no breakages) it will win (plenty of lead and a better weather for them). But they haven't finished yet so anything can still happen.

 

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3 hours ago, Scipion said:

Return trip aboard Sodebo Ultim 3, Thomas Coville and his crew on their way to Brittany. A few days ago, Sodebo Ultim 3 set out again for Brittany.

Tracker here : http://yb.tl/su3_ConvoyageCapTown

 

Good find.  So...  have they officially withdrawn from the race?  They aren't all that far beyond third place...

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14 hours ago, Your Mom said:

Good find.  So...  have they officially withdrawn from the race?  They aren't all that far beyond third place...

Indeed, but yes they officially withdrawn, and they are 4 or 5 onboard (don't know exactly)

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https://www.brestatlantiques.com/actualites/mot-du-bord-actual-leader-le-retour-de-la-vie-des-betes

Ronan Gladu - Actual Leader. Summary about being in 2nd when Mafic went west, ending up behind them and the return to tougher conditions in the North Atlantic as well as the ETA.


We were very proud of our journey in the Southern Hemisphere and to have gotten in front of Macif was a score in the middle of the night ... Very quickly, the speed differentials between the two boats hurt:us and we feel that Macif have nothing to lose! The result is still super positive taking the direct route, It was easier on the boat and especially for the sailors, but now in pursuit of Macif we have entered a nightmare.

Fortunately, it is much less violent and more stable. A lot of lightning around us, all night and a succession of storms, but the wind is softening. Yves & Alex had to stay focused all night, at the controls and listening. They have hardly slept. Since this morning, we have been ejected into the North Atlantic.

We are upwind in 15-18 knots of wind and we are moving between 25 and 30 knots! Wind machines these boats! But at the price of total discomfort, which we had almost forgotten. So again the "salt fogger", moving on all fours in the boat, permanent humidity, everywhere. There is a lot of Sargassum at sea, fortunately not huge heaps, just long lines in the trade wind. The foil and rudders, launched at this speed, have nothing to do with it!

Routings give very different trajectories, some with a big bypass to the west and an arrival via Ireland! But all give a time of arrival in Brest next weekend, in a week. The atmosphere is always good, despite fatigue, weariness and the return of "animal life". We will start counting the days. In any case, good weekend to all, here we are always thoroughly! 

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Meanwhile, they are cooking up some tapas at 35kt, doing it in style!

 

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5 hours ago, yl75 said:

Indeed, but yes they officially withdrawn, and they are 4 or 5 onboard (don't know exactly)

Makes sense...  I was in the mindset of "they might as well score their return delivery even if it's 4th...  maybe a UFO or spar breakage for someone else will move them to 3"...  But I hadn't thought of the crew situation.  Delivery way easier with 4 or 5 than 2.  Probably even fun.  Maybe some decent food, etc.  Would the French bring wine in such a situation?

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13 hours ago, Your Mom said:

Makes sense...  I was in the mindset of "they might as well score their return delivery even if it's 4th...  maybe a UFO or spar breakage for someone else will move them to 3"...  But I hadn't thought of the crew situation.  Delivery way easier with 4 or 5 than 2.  Probably even fun.  Maybe some decent food, etc.  Would the French bring wine in such a situation?

Yes could be, and there are some great South African wines, but I'm not sure that's the type of Coville

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OK, so Gitana team hooked onto the low pressure system passing to their North and should have a fast ride, almost until Brest... The end might be more difficult in light wind near the entrance of the English Channel.

Macif and Actual missed the train and are pointing towards the next low pressure system currently on the Eastern american shore...

So unless something really bad happens to Gitana team (which I am sure nobody wishes them), they will win.

On the other hand, Actual gained on Macif and are now trailing by about 25 miles. Macif did a weird jibe to port tack for about one hour, pointing basically directly away from the finish line... See their track on December 2nd at 17:00. That did not help. I wonder what the hell is going on, onboard...

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Interesting video from Actual, about the "brain" of the boat.

 

Here is a few translation tidbits, with corresponding time on the video. italic are my added comments.

 

00:40: this side of the boat is the whole brain of the boat. Everything is here: electrical, electronics, softwares.

Everything is powered and connected together.

00:55: There is a series of sensors, giving the usual windspeed, wind direction, boat speed, but also the position of the boat (meaning pitch, roll, yaw)

01:03: all those sensors data arrive in this small box with blinking lights. From there, we feed all the displays on deck with wind speed, wind direction, foil position, etc, and we can display whatever we want.

1:22: at the same time all this data is going to be fed to this small box underneath, which is the brain of the autopilot. It is critical for the AP. (MADBrain box)

And at the same time, it is linked to the computer which is right here, with the screen and keyboard up in the cabin. This is our interface with the autopilot.

1:40: all the finetuning of the autopilot is done through the computer. The AP remote control is just to start it up and give simple commands.

1:54: everything has redundancy. There are 2 computers, the one running is the one with the fan bolted on right now.

2:00: All of that is in a network with, on one side, all the electronics and sensors, and on the other side, with all the communication systems that are right here.

2:15: so with our satelitte antenna, we have access to internet. So of course, we have a pretty good firewall to ensure that we do not consume too much data. So for instance, we can avoid automatic software updates. But at the same time, you can send you video files, and we can get our weather report files. And we also have emails.

2:28: And the last panel is everything related to power supply. All batteries are located further forward. Globaly, we have a 24 V system, but of course, some items are in 12V so you need converters, and there are also some guys working with computers that need 220V to be charged up ! (small private joke with the media man, who must have his computer charging only on 220V...).

2:50: Mediaman talking: so we are entering my bedroom, here!

Answer from Yves Le Blevec: The Pirrelli calendar would have been a good addition, in here!!!

2:55: So here we have all the batteries. They are Lithium batteries, which work really well, and it's light... but... it is a little bit finicky and it can catch fire; there are some special conditions where it can explode! So you must have very robust safety systems that disconnect the battery if there is an issue.

3:18: so that is the 2 big heavy blue boxes you can see there; but we have no choice... Inside there is a massive electro magnet that can disconnect the battery. And since we do not want a total black out if there is an issue, we have 2 of each.

3:35: on top, we have a tiny box with blinking lights and another much bigger box: those are the "inertial measurement units" (sorry, but I am not sure of the correct description...)

3:45: the small one is fairly simple; it just measures the rotations, accelerations and angles of the boat in 3 axis. So with that, we know the position of the boat and the accelerations of the boat in reference to a datum. All of that is fed to the autopilot, so it is super important for the autopilot.

4:10: and there is another one in the big box there, that we call the "quadros" (not sure of the name...) which is even more sophisticated. It does exactly the same thing that the other one, but more accurately, apparently. And I am talking here, under the control of the experts... because I have not looked inside... But what I understood is that it can give the direction of the boat, in relation to the Geographical North, so independently of the magnetic field. Apparently, it is working with some kind of loops of optic fibers... Once you tell it where it is on the surface of the earth - yes, you have to give it the position of the boat, so it needs to be connected to a GPS - then it can detect the rotation of the Earth and therefore it can find out where the geographic North is.

5:00 So this way, we have true North determined, independant from the magnetic field, which gives only the Magnetic North. A compass is affected by the magnetic variation, which is changing as time passes by, on top of that..

5:27: It is very important, because a GPS does not tell you where the boat is pointing, but instead, the course you just followed. It does not give you the boat heading, it is affected by the dirift of the boat. This one gives us the exact position of the axis of the boat, and with the GPS, we know our actual course, so by coupling the two together, we can know our drift.

 

I am not sure the description of Yves on the second inertial unit is accurate, but basically, they have an actual measurement of the boat axis, in reference of True North.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wow.... Gitana team is cooking... They did about 700 miles in the last 24 hrs and will most likely arrive in Brest before the light winds set in.

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17 hours ago, Laurent said:

I am not sure the description of Yves on the second inertial unit is accurate, but basically, they have an actual measurement of the boat axis, in reference of True North.

Gyroscope I think, modern version, same as in the other box. French invention :) by Foucault. http://www.edubilla.com/invention/gyroscope/

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55 minutes ago, LeoV said:

Gyroscope I think, modern version, same as in the other box. French invention :) by Foucault. http://www.edubilla.com/invention/gyroscope/

I believe you are right. Must be optic fiber gyro.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fibre-optic_gyroscope

Quite different from the "mechanical" gyro I have on the Cessna C172 I fly....

 

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I understood it to be for inertial navigation (which I thought all the top end systems supported) but that can use optical gyros so thats not orthogonal.

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What an exciting race to follow and watch the vids.  Gitana is just about done!  Can't wait til they are all in safely and looking forward to all the write ups and stories.  I believe the new dawn of ocean racing has arrived.1795414661_ScreenShot2019-12-03at18_09_31.thumb.png.8a4e8cce9ea6c56cf12b452ade3aa6f0.png

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Some extra zigzags it seems not to get at the finish line in the very dark hours. Gitana to finish shortly, the RC is on it's way to meet her. Well done!

EDIT: live coverage here 

Schermafdruk 2019-12-04 09.11.34.png

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1 hour ago, Ahstom said:

live stream for the arrival:

Sad part is that it was a live of after the arrival, which makes quite some difference. Would have been nice to have some images of the boat sailing/flying crossing the finish line, we don't have too many of them.

Congratulation to Gitana and if it stands as it is, the result sheet won't tell the whole story. Honorable mention to Actual Leader doing a nice job and taking full advantage of the opportunities they had (competitors issues), no match for the big boys but did better than I expected from them, they are almost keeping Macif in sight for this last "leg".

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2 minutes ago, Lakrass said:

it was a live of after the arrival

Negative.

It started well before the line but the machine doesn't fly very well in 5 knots of wind.

Agreed it would have been more exciting to watch if they came in with the afterburners on fire.

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8 minutes ago, Laser1 said:

Negative.

It started well before the line but the machine doesn't fly very well in 5 knots of wind.

Agreed it would have been more exciting to watch if they came in with the afterburners on fire

Guilty, I skipped through the video and it looked like there was some breeze from the flags where there wasn't. Not use to see them moving along quietly like a Sunday's ride.

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Congratulations to Gitana 17....and their remarkable foil system that allowed them to fly about 50% of the time!!! More details: https://www.boatdesign.net/threads/brest-atlantiques-2019-ultims.63039/page-4#post-865656

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On 11/7/2019 at 2:18 PM, GauchoGreg said:

DON'T jinx them, Doug.

Right!!!!!!

pix by Stickelbaut:

Gitana 17 2 Eloi Stichelbaut.jpg

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 A mighty fine effort.....a sailing team...a design team  and a building team .  ,      all covered for by a benefactor with a love of sail.....the next two having a good little battle . ....it is interesting times in the world of Sail

Screen Shot 2019-12-05 at 10.20.37 am.png

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Started sailing on a Quickat 16,..... then built an Arafura Cadet .  Not long after the French Tris came on the scene ....It was Pen Duick IV / Manureva that filled the imaginagation,  ....after the Gypsy Moth voyage of the world....it seemed so much faster .  The World is Shrinking.....

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If the race is advertised at 14,000 miles, and Gitana did it in 29 days...  

14000/29=482 miles/day average

482/24=20 knots average

That is including their pit stop in Rio, and not taking into account the fact that they probably sailed a lot more than 14,000 miles. 

These guys all seem to know what they’re doing. 

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5 minutes ago, PaulK said:

If the race is advertised at 14,000 miles, and Gitana did it in 29 days...  

14000/29=482 miles/day average

482/24=20 knots average

That is including their pit stop in Rio, and not taking into account the fact that they probably sailed a lot more than 14,000 miles. 

These guys all seem to know what they’re doing. 

Yes they do.....

Another very cool machine...

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15 minutes ago, PaulK said:

If the race is advertised at 14,000 miles, and Gitana did it in 29 days...  

14000/29=482 miles/day average

482/24=20 knots average

That is including their pit stop in Rio, and not taking into account the fact that they probably sailed a lot more than 14,000 miles. 

These guys all seem to know what they’re doing. 

Long article summarizing the numbers and more.

Quote


Magnificently rewarded after a circuit spanning 17,083 miles (31,600km) of the North and South Atlantic, Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier, accompanied by the on-board media man Yann Riou, can really savour this victory after 28 days, 23 hours, 24 minutes and 46 seconds at sea. Their average speed since leaving Brest on 5 November 2019 stands at 24.57 knots.

https://www.yachtsandyachting.com/news/224706/Maxi-Edmond-de-Rothschild-wins-Brest-Atlantiques?source=twitter 

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Pretty good race on for second, with about a day to go.  It looks like Actual Leader is able to sail much deeper angles than Macif.

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