The clock is ticking and the miles are slipping

It’s been a difficult day for the Groupama 3 crew, with a tricky night in prospect. While the maxi trimaran is approaching 35° South, the weather situation isn’t really playing ball for the next 24 hours, with conditions forecast to be pretty unstable. As such Franck Cammas and his men are constantly having to adapt to the irregular breeze by zigzagging between the zones of high pressure.
The lead Groupama 3 had over the Jules Verne Trophy reference time has lessened each day from over 600 miles to less than 300. And it is going to get worse before it gets better.
“Fortunately there were some good wind rotations to play with last night: we were able to cover a fair few miles towards the South until morning. We’ve been able to make headway with some fairly unstable local phenomena, which is allowing us to drop down nicely under gennaker. We’ve only had gybes to do, but no sail changing manouvres. We had to be on the look-out the whole night so as to get the very best out of the shifts. It’s a race against the clock with a zone of high pressure that could well swallow us up. It’s a bit tense on board, but we’re doing what we can,” explained Franck Cammas at the 1130 UTC radio link-up with Groupama’s HQ in Paris.
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Groupama 3’s Log

Day 1 (1 February): 500 miles (deficit 94 miles)
Day 2: 560 miles (lead 3.5 miles)
Day 3: 535 miles (lead 170 miles)
Day 4: 565 miles (lead 245 miles)
Day 5: 656 miles (lead 562 miles)
Day 6: 456 miles (lead 620 miles)
Day 7: 430 miles (lead 539 miles)
Day 8: 305 miles (lead 456 miles)
Day 9: 436 miles (lead 393 miles)
Day 10: 355 miles (lead 272 miles)