The great divide
|1||illbruck||42 00.20S||050 13.28W||1199||032||11.6||-||-|
|2||Amer One||43 10.72S||050 30.60W||1270||353||10.2||71||+13|
|3||Tyco||42 57.32S||051 36.12W||1274||027||9.4||75||+12|
|4||djuice||43 48.92S||050 07.56W||1301||002||9.5||102||+12|
|5||Assa Abloy||43 23.24S||052 40.04W||1316||045||7.1||117||+28|
|6||News Corp||43 13.52S||053 49.24W||1329||035||6.1||130||+32|
|7||Amer Too||48 41.48S||058 45.60W||1716||025||9.9||517||+9|
|8||SEB||54 36.04S||073 44.40W||2498||091||7.5||1290||+26|
This massive divide across the race track started because of Amer Sports One and djuice's decision to leave the Falkland Islands to port, while the rest of the boats took the shorter route to the west of this British outpost. But yesterday the boats got caught by a front which for News Corp, Assa and Tyco in the west, saw the wind veer to the south west forcing them to head up to the north to maintain speed.
Last night the three boats had swung back on course, but throughout this the immaculate illbruck, that crucial 60-80 miles ahead of them, had managed to stay on course in north westerlies ahead of the front.
After their diversion yesterday the boats to the west seems to have better pressure and remarkably Kevin Shoebridge's team on Tyco has come out smelling of roses and is now squeezing Amer Sports One, currently 70 miles to the east of Tyco, for second place.
In their traditional cover-all-eventualities tactics illbruck have now positioned themselves in the centre of the race track in the best position to cover, while djuice and Amer Sports One are also coming in from the right and there is a general convergence.
The forecast for the next few days is looking surprisingly good for the front runners, with an expressway of favourable south westerly winds pushing them north towards Rio, still some 1,200 miles away.
At present the boats are under still under the influence of a massive depression deep in the Southern Ocean but over the next 48 hours will pass into the influence of a high pressure system that is developing to the west of the boats over the south American continent. For the navigators it will be a case of closing a route which is a compromise between minimum distance and maximum wind.
Astern Amer Sports Too has had better breeze than the rest of the boats and has gained 31 nautical miles on race leader, illbruck, in the last six hours.
Despite Tyco gain yesterday was not a good day for Shoeby: "Personally I have had a shocking 24 hours. It started with a blocked toilet yesterday. This was followed by being drowned by 10 gallons of water coming in through a cockpit vent and landing on me in my bunk. Just after I had changed into my dry gear in the nav station, another five gallons came in that hatch; so I was soaked again. To finish the day, I found my gear bag floating in the bilge mixed with a cup of diesel."
see the next pages for the reports from the boats...