CLS Supplies Ice Data for Sailing Race
Since 2008, CLS, official supplier of ice data for the Vendée Globe sailing race, has been using technologies and satellites designed and deployed by CNES (French National Center for Space Studies) and ESA (European Space Agency) to detect icebergs threatening skippers’ routes.
This year, a dozen satellites, including Sentinels 1 and 3, and no less than 300 radar images will be used to detect these UFOs (unidentified floating objects) in the southern seas.
CLS radar imagery analysts have detected around 20 questionable icebergs in about 50 images in the Crozet and Kerguelen area of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands. Faced with these doubts, Vendée Globe race management, after consulting with CLS teams, did not hesitate to raise the Antarctic Exclusion Zone by 5 degrees further north, lengthening this safety cordon by more than 400 km.
The Antarctic Exclusion Zone is a virtual zone where the skippers are forbidden to sail under risk of encountering these icy monsters, a crossing that could endanger their safety and cost them penalties.