The Race - 1230 - 7/2/01

Mark Chisnell reports as the leaders go on iceberg alert

Wednesday February 7th 2001, Author: Mark Chisnell, Location: United Kingdom
Fleet at 0700, 7/2/01

Conditions for the back half of the fleet remain average. Cam Lewis and Team Adventure (orange) continue their passage across the Great Australian Bight, amidst a swirl of isobars that refuse to form anything so significant as a weather system. They have found a little breeze and were up to 20 knots this morning, but with high pressure sitting in the Tasman Sea, their passage to the Cook Straits looks like being (relatively!) slow for a while yet.

As for the Poles aboard Warta Polpharma (yellow), you start to wonder if these guys actually know what they are doing. We noted yesterday that they seemed to risk going too far north and burying themselves in the centre of the high pressure. They seem to have realised this late, and have now bolted south - slowly, as they are indeed trapped by the high.

Weather at 0916, 8/2/01These guys have done a spectacular amount of extra miles as they have crossed the Indian Ocean, and it's hardly surprising that Tony Bullimore and Team Legato (purple) have now closed the gap between them to less than a thousand miles.

And Bullimore has every chance of closing it further, as Warta Polpharma won't get any decent breeze until the arrival of the low pressure system (right) that Bullimore has been riding on the back of more or less since Cape Town.

The forecast for Thursday morning (above) shows the Poles right in the path of this low. And while Bullimore is sitting in the relatively benign north-west sector, the Poles are setting themselves up to be hit by the full fury of the leading edge and its cold front. Not enough wind or too much - achieving pretty much the exact opposite to the goal of routing one of these cats through the Southern Ocean.

Standings (at 1100 GMT, 7/2/01)

1 Club Med 9,043 nm to the finish
2 Innovation Explorer +722.6 nm
3 Team Adventure +4862.3 nm
4 Warta Polpharma +5618.8 nm
5 Team Legato + 6575.5nm

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