sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Video Gallery Photo Gallery

 

Sail-World.com : Gitana close to North Pacific Record Attempt goal

Gitana close to North Pacific Record Attempt goal

'Gitana 13 crew - East to West crossing of the North Pacific record attempt 2008'    © Copyright : Gitana S.A.
The low has been true to form and the men aboard Gitana 13 have experienced one of the most lively days so far on this their tenth day at sea.

They've had to deal with the most violent of winds, massive seas and impressive storms, racking up the miles no matter what was thrown at them; such was the setting off the coast of East Japan for Lionel Lemonchois and his ten crew. 174.60 miles from Yokohama at 1230 UT and boosted by a lead of over 948.1 miles on the reference time, they should conclude their North Pacific crossing during the course of the night (UT). In the meantime however, some difficult hours still lay ahead of the eleven sailors.

'It’s a bit full on!' We’ve had it all: gusts at over 58 knots, storms accompanied by lightning and heavy with rain. Right now the wind has calmed down a little and we've only got 25 knots. We're currently sailing under staysail with two reefs in the mainsail. We’re a little under-canvassed but the sea state is forcing us to sail in this configuration' explained Lionel Lemonchois yesterday evening prior to 2300 hours. Indeed, with average waves of 8 metres, reaching as high as 10 metres at times, the handling of the 33 metres maxi-catamaran has been acrobatic to say the least:

'We’re surfing at 30 knots with virtually nothing aloft. It’s impressive and above all very demanding for the helmsmen. The past few hours have been stressful for everyone.' In these conditions, it is difficult, even impossible to get any sleep. Despite all this, the crew has remained in watch configuration; although given the vast amount of trimming to be done, the crew normally on standby were on deck with those on watch.

Benefiting from their proximity to the depression centre, synonymous with light winds, the crew of Gitana 13 performed another gybe last night. Since then, the maxi-catamaran has switched to a heading of 290°to extract itself from the centre and hunt down the surrounding low. 'They’re going to accompany the wind rotation, which will back from the south-east to the east and then the north-east, prior to fixing themselves in the north within the system. The seas won’t be so big but they will be shorter. Indeed, it is in this zone that the Kuro-Shivo reigns – a SE'ly current equivalent to the Gulf Stream along the East American seaboard' detailed Sylvain Mondon from Météo France.

'We are on the home straight and there’s no way we can rush things. We making headway with care, trying to prevent too much pressure on the gear as much as we can' detailed the skipper of Gitana 13, remaining loyal to his philosophy.

Positioned 174.6 miles from the finish at 1230 UT, the maxi-catamaran in the colours of LCF Rothschild Group is expected into Yokohama during the course of the night this Wednesday (UT). However, for Lionel Lemonchois and his ten crew, everything will depend on the negotiation of the final miles prior to Cape Nojima, which marks the entrance into Tokyo Bay. A 30 mile beat will then be the order of the day in order to make the finish line, situated at the far end of the bay off Yokohama (between the lighthouse at the entrance to Hakkeijima Marina and the white lighthouse to the south of the passage towards Hakkeijama, as stipulated in the WSSRC texts).

Gitana 13 - East to West crossing of the North Pacific record attempt 2008 -  © Copyright : Gitana S.A?nid=43379.

Onboard comments - Let’s talk records

This Pacific crossing will end with an objective reached: that of considerably improving on the current record time. Of course, the time we’re going to set will be broken someday, but it certainly won’t be easy. It is worth pointing out that this crossing cannot be sailed along the great circle route, that is the shortest distance between San Francisco and Yokohama (4,482 miles).

Due to the roundness of the earth, this theoretical route would shave the Aleutians, a string of islands which separate the Pacific from the Bering Sea. These islands, which bar access to the north, save via some narrow channels, prevent boats getting to the right side of the lows (via the north). An added hazard of passing through this remote zone is the possible icebergs and growlers. All this is a far cry from an Atlantic record attempt, where the latest victorious attempts have followed very similar routes, to within a handful of miles of the theoretical (direct) route.

The challenge therefore is to adopt a route which is ‘meteorologically' achievable, whilst trying to cover the least number of miles possible. With what is always a precious collaboration with Sylvain Mondon, this is what we’ve undertaken. The challenge is complicated given the immensity of this ocean. Although just a single weather system is in play on an Atlantic crossing, here it's a very different picture. We've had to negotiate two lows: one at the start, the other at the finish. Between the two there were no less than three zones of high pressure which we had to deal with, with 'crazy' passages thrown in each time we slipped from one to the other. A huge amount of parameters come into play and the smooth running of the operation can falter at the slightest snag.

As regards distance, we’ll have actually covered 5,633 miles, a figure which takes into account the 100 miles still separating us from the finish at the moment where I write these lines (1700 UT). As a result we’ll have covered 1,152 miles more than on the theoretical (direct) route. Our actual average speed will then be around 21.33 knots along the ground. If these figures don't appear on the WSSRC texts, it is they that will be closely examined by the future pretenders to the record.

As for life aboard, it will be said that we did the essentials, namely eating, sleeping (when that was possible) and being on deck. There wasn't a lot of embellishment in our schedule, Gitana 13 leaving us speechless with its capacity to take a pounding. Not a single piece of damage suffice to say. Even though we were never over the limit, quite the contrary in fact with a fine safety margin at times, Captain Lionel certainly imposed a fast pace. He lets nothing pass him by. Sailing alongside him, you immediately understand why he left all his adversaries in his wake in the Route du Rhum 2006.

See you soon

Nicolas Raynaud

http://www.gitana-team.com/

East to West crossing of the North Pacific record attempt 2008 -  © Copyright : Gitana S.A?nid=43379.




by Kate Jennings - Gitana Team media

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=43379

9:19 PM Wed 9 Apr 2008 GMT






Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on


Related News Stories:

26 Sep 2008  Gitana 13 claims new Tea Route record time
25 Sep 2008  Gitana 13 nears end of Tea Route voyage
23 Sep 2008  Gitana 13 nearing end of Tea Route attempt
20 Sep 2008  Gitana 13 reads low and heads for Cape Finisterre
19 Sep 2008  Brain-teaser for Gitana 13 crew
15 Sep 2008  Gitana 13 sailing abeam of Sierra Leone
11 Sep 2008  Gitana 13 racking up the miles
10 Sep 2008  Gitana 13 - Gybe towards the equator imminent
07 Sep 2008  South Easterly tradewind assisting Gitana 13
05 Sep 2008  Gitana 13 round the Cape of Good Hope
MORE STORIES ...

News - USA and the World











America's Cup Book Review: Winging It - Oracle Team USA's comeback *Feature by Richard Gladwell Sail-World.com/nz,




Rolex China Sea Race 2014 - nip and tuck for IRC honours by RHKYC and Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia, Hong Kong


























HUD Vision: An interview with Afterguard Marine’s Alex Moret *Feature by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor, Seattle














America's Cup: Expected de Ridder penalty should be reduced *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz, Auckland, NZ












Image gallery: James Cook High's Royal encounter on Steinlager 2 *Feature
Volvo Ocean Race - Maersk Line named shipping partner
Congressional Cup - Victory for Taylor Canfield and crew
SSV Oliver Hazard Perry joins America's Tall Ship fleet + Video
2014 Halifax – Saint-Pierre Ocean Race
Oyster Regatta Antigua - Glorious conditions prevail on final day
WWA Pro Card Qualifier - Pro Cards earned at Freedom Wake Park
Christmas Caribbean Rally - Top class sailors to compete
Earth Day boater tips
Anna Tunnicliffe - from CrossFit to Extreme 40's
Charleston Race Week - Photos by Chris Howell
Image Gallery: Stratis SL33 flies on the Waitemata
Audi Melges 20- Sperry Topsider Charleston Race Week - Light final day
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - PSP Logistics prepares for USA
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères - Crème of the crop to compete
Congressional Cup: Luna Rossa makes podium in first event
Int 14 World Championships 2015 launch new event website
International Optimist Regatta Clinic and Team Race - Register now!
Congressional Cup: World top rankers finish that way in Long Beach
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week Day 3 finale
America's Cup: Gino Morrelli outlines the new AC62 design   
Doyle Sails New Zealand signs Andrew Brown as One Design Manager   
America's Cup: Dean Barker's Blog - A sail with the Duke and Duchess *Feature   
29er World Youth Sailing Week Easter regatta - Day 1 and 2 overall   
C Thomas Clagett Jr Memorial Clinic/Regatta - Entries start to roll in   
50th Congressional Cup: See the delayed coverage and media conferences   
Clipper Race 10 Day 27: Closing stages - Qingdao to San Francisco   
Canfield, Williams, Bruni, Swinton in Congressional Cup final four   
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week - Day 2   
Audi Melges 20 Charleston Race Week - Perfect conditions in Charleston   
Oyster Regatta Antigua - Full on ocean conditions for day 3   
PWA World Tour - A taste of things to come at La Torche + Video   
Women's International Match Racing Series kicks off in June   
Melges 32 Audi Tron Sailing Series - Action shots by Max Ranchi   
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Frustrating conditions   
Man rescued after falling overboard in Pacific taken to hospital   
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week 2014 - Youth leading Melges 20   
Congressional Cup - Canfield leads toward Congressional Cup sailoffs   
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week 2014 - Perfection for Day 1   
America's Cup: Coutts claims ISAF Jury on a crusade, backs Kiwi report *Feature   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
X6XL NEW US