Kingfisher2 Reaches Cape Verde as Breeze Increases
Kingfisher 2©Jaques Vapillon
Jules Verne Trophy
Round the World
Now only 11 hours behind the record-breaking time by Orange on day five of their Jules Verne attempt, Kingfisher2 has picked up speed again and averages 27.9 knots between 0600 and 0700 GMT this morning.
The trade winds are behaving themselves again as the breeze picked up yesterday evening and Kingfisher2 have set their sights on beating Orange's time to the equator of 7 days 22 hours, as well as the previous record holder, Enza's time of 7 days and 4 hours. To do this they will need to cross the equator before 1048 GMT on Thursday.
The Cape Verde Islands gave the crew and boat a little bit of trouble yesterday and this morning was spent on an unfavoured tack taking them further west than ideally required, in order to avoid the wind shadow from the islands.
LATEST COMMUNICATION FROM ELLEN:
"We have 20 knots of breeze - it came back yesterday afternoon - and we're now just 40 miles from the Cape Verde Islands. Right now, slightly more east then we would like but we are about 1000 miles from the Equator and now the breeze has kicked in, it should stay with us to be able to make a good course straight down to the Equator.
We're going to pass the Islands and we're going to gybe away or we're lose the breeze in the shadow area. At the moment we're holding 26 00' W to 27 00' W - I discussed with Meeno the options and we decided the best option would be to gybe to the west earlier rather than later. So everything got set up on deck, the standby watch up came up and then we got a 30 degree wind shift which meant we were heading to the west side of the islands and actually making it past the islands. But the issue is that behind the big island (approx 2000m high) you get a wind shadow and that wind shadow can be up to 50 miles. So what we're doing right now is gybing away to the west to pass further away so we don't get stuck.
Sometimes the wind shadow can be 4 times the size of the islands - even if you can't see it there can be absolutely no wind. It's not the case every time but all of us have been stuck behind islands and its not much fun."