Weather and routing update
Armel and Alex are closer to the UK than France actually atm. At the 07:00 GMT position, Armel was 120 NM from Bishop Rock (Islands of Scilly) and 176 NM from Ouessant (Brittany coast). According to the Forss / Greatcircle projections, Armel could get as close as +/- 70 miles before tacking in the afternoon. The wind will be backing in the coming hours with an average of 5 degrees per 3 hours. That will key when to do the actual tacks. Current wind GFS seems more or less OK compared to the actuals from the weather buoys and compared to the NOAA Atlantic Surface Analysis. But the lightship Seven Stones
, which is between the Islands of Scilly and Land's End, is already reporting in the past hours a due east wind, way ahead of the projections. This could indicate that Armel and Alex are tacking earlier than projected now in +/- 8 hours time (around 15:00 GMT). Which is not ideal for Alex to start earlier on port tack.
Looking at the wind forecast tomorrow morning early hours when Armel should arrive a bit west off Ile de Sein around 02:00 GMT, he would have a let's say 145 heading -/- 90 TWD = 55 apparent wind angle. Which is more close-hauled giving an extra advantage to Armel.
The ETA is consistently being pushed backwards in the past days. Now Jan 19th in the afternoon (14:00 GMT / 15:00 CET) if I may believe the Forss / Greatcircle projections. But the VG will have a better ETA because the skippers are obliged to pass their own ETA's to the RC. Currently between 09:00 and 13:00 GMT. So Armel has his thrusters prepared for that final port tack.
Forss' tracker could pick them up via AIS when they come near Ushant / Ouessant off the Brittany coast. Their projected tracks are within 30 nm of the island. Hope that Alex got his spare AIS antenna installed before crossing the traffic coming from, and going to The Channel. It's f*cking busy there. Armel would be on AIS probably around 00:00 GMT / 01:00 CET. Or earlier, if they tack earlier.
In the screenshot below I have plotted an extrapolation of heading and speed for 3 hours in red, to give an idea where they are going.