Also have been thinking about the UFO/OFNI topic from a statistical point of view:
1. Let's "narrow down" the band of sea where the fleet is sailing in the SO to an imaginary section between Cape Town and the AEZ. This is ~620 nautical miles. For the sake of comparisons let's convert this to...
Looks bad for Akzo :( With no main, they won't have the boat speed to outrun the "eye", unless it dives more to the south. With wave state increasing and steady 35-40 knots, not much chance to pull a crew member onto the mast for the fixes...
Good luck for them nevertheless.
A gybe is imminent. And if Mapfre truly has that edge, which is mentioned by the Racexperts video, by sailing 2-3 degs lower, they might run them down. If they manage to keep their AIS separation "distance" by choosing another lane on port tack, they could have a chance.
Congrats to Eric Bellion, a very nice performance. Just watched his funny Xmas video again, almost colliding with Alan Roura :)
As to Conrad: suggesting he manages to have a headsail as well, two questions remain open:
1. With around 700 miles to go, and suggesting a VMG speed of 3-4 knots...
Too bad for Alex: no AIS, no AP = no sleep.
No sleep = no focus.
And quite risky along La Manche and Britanny with traffic overnight.
He might need to tack just to remain a bit further offshore.
2nd is still nice.
First of all congrats to Alex Thomson on the new record.
On the other hand in terms of tactics, (based on the paths of the last 24-36 hours) looks like Alex's current goal is to stay on the heels of Armel no matter what.
If he could get within Armel's AIS range (10-15-25? miles), he could make...
Great stuff. Hoping to get more and more refined and detailed updates as we come close to the end.
Also done some tests with the online Remora tool. Looks like a very nice downwind (140-150 TWA) section coming up after the Azores islands.
It has to be pedal to the metal for both Armel and...