The Race - 1230 - 1/2/01
The problem is Club Med (blue), charging ahead once again as they fly up the west coast of the South Island of New Zealand, only 330 miles from the passage through Cook Straits. Dalton is still finding plenty of power in the breeze from that big high pressure centred to his west. Club Med have extended their lead once again - another hundred miles or so in the last 24 hours - as Innovation Explorer was battered by the storm now to their south-west.
There's not a huge change anticipated in the next 24 hours (right) and although Dalton will have to dive hard south out of the Strait, it looks like he's not going to get held up for any significant length of time.
If Peyron decides to stop he will enable his boat to once again reach its full potential through the rest of the Southern Ocean. But the penalty will be high, Club Med could be three or even four days ahead by the time Innovation Explorer goes back to sea after 48 hours in the stop-over sin bin. Enough of a lead for Dalton to throttle back and nurse his machine the rest of the way if he wants to.
Or Peyron can keep charging as best he can, and hope that he pushes Dalton into a bigger breakdown and forces the big blue cat to pit-stop. Not an easy call.
continued on page two
Map images courtesy of Virtual Spectator, click here to go to The Race site for a free download of the software.