Rubber banding it
|1||illbruck||17 43.76N||061 40.72W||1161||0||0||11.7||322|
|2||Assa Abloy||17 31.68N||061 34.48W||1172||11||-6||12.6||320|
|3||Tyco||17 30.04N||061 31.88W||1175||14||-6||12.5||319|
|4||SEB||16 18.84N||060 43.76W||1258||97||-19||14.8||313|
|5||Amer One||15 52.64N||060 05.84W||1302||141||-16||14.3||308|
|6||News Corp||15 46.40N||060 00.16W||1310||149||-17||14.4||311|
|7||Amer Too||15 26.76N||059 29.64W||1345||184||-10||12.8||316|
|8||djuice||15 18.08N||059 03.80W||1369||208||-14||13.9||310|
Weather situation for 1200GMT 23 March
The front runners in the Volvo Ocean Race look set to round the 'turning' mark off the Caribbean island of Barbuda later this morning as they peel off the miles north west to Miami. The rubber banding goes on between the three leaders. Last night illbruck was mile by mile slowly pulling away from Assa Abloy and Tyco placed second and third respectively. But this morning illbruck had lost miles to them again. And the race is by no means over yet...
The weather map for Saturday (above) shows that the conditions are likely to go soft for the front runners has they have to tackle a slow moving cold front. This will see the wind veer to the south east, putting them on a light air run and the crews will have to work hard on their gybing angles to maintain a good VMG to the next turning mark - the Sombrero Light at 18deg 36'N, 063deg 26.0W - until they are through the front and back into the north easterlies.
This will give the tailenders who will continue to stay in the regular north easterly trade winds, the opportunity to catch up a little and will give the navigators (most of whom have been on the rail for the last few days) some work to do. The outcome will depend on whether there is a difference between how the front affects those at the front and those at the back of the fleet.
In the regular reaching conditions with little to do tactically and few sail changes to be made and without the horrors of bumping into icebergs, the main concerns of the crews have been ensuring that they have enough suntan lotion on and that they keep enough water inside them. Otherwise they have been contemplating their navels or engaging in 'weather rail banter'. On the next page SEB's Jon Gundersen, recently jumped ship from News Corp, gives some insight on how in an international team such as theirs they are not just talking about girls, beer, boats and sport.
On Amer Sports Too, the girls have managed to fix their watermaker. The boats only carry safety reserves of water and must rely on a watermaker for all their drinking, cooking and occasional washing requirements. This watermaker desalinates the salt water by forcing the water through a very very fine filter that allows water molecules to pass through, but not the larger salt ones.
Into the Trades with SEB. Note the twin hatch configuration which nearly caused her to sink (were it not for her dismasting) on the last leg