New boats bolt for it
Image above courtesy of Expedition Navigation Systems
Positions at 0330 GMT
|1 hr aver||24 hours|
|1||Jean Pierre Dick - Loick Peyron||VIRBAC-PAPREC 3||34 08.44' N||10 17.71' W||9.8||202||7.4||178||23853.5||0|
|2||Michel Desjoyeaux - Francois Gabart||FONCIA||34 48.63' N||9 50.58' W||8.5||209||6.3||150.1||23899.5||46|
|3||Dominique Wavre - Michele Paret||MIRABAUD||35 16.91' N||8 50.42' W||7.8||293||4.9||118||23948.2||94.7|
|4||Alex Pella - Pepe Ribes||ESTRELLA DAMM Sailing Team||35 47.72' N||8 58.71' W||6.3||296||3.9||94||23971.6||118.1|
|5||Boris Herrmann - Ryan Breymaier||NEUTROGENA FORMULA NORUEGA||35 34.77' N||6 46.23' W||8.8||266||2.6||62.9||24018.6||165.1|
|6||Dee Caffari - Anna Corbella||GAES CENTROS AUDITIVOS||35 45.41' N||6 50.82' W||10.9||279||2.8||66.1||24025.1||171.6|
|7||Jean le Cam - Bruno Garcia||PRESIDENT||35 39.21' N||6 14.66' W||9.1||232||3.9||92.8||24037.5||184|
|8||Iker Martinez - Xabi Fernandez||MAPFRE||35 43.10' N||6 14.70' W||11||246||4.4||106.4||24040.6||187.1|
|9||Kito de Pavant - Sebastien Audigane||GROUPE BEL||35 59.87' N||6 34.69' W||11.6||283||3.6||85.8||24044.4||191|
|10||Jaume Mumbru - Cali Sanmarti||WE ARE WATER||36 11.43' N||5 06.72' W||5.3||244||3||71.2||24100.3||246.8|
|11||Gerard Marin - Ludovic Aglaor||FORUM MARITIM CATALA||36 01.55' N||4 35.78' W||0.9||44||2.2||53.8||24120.7||267.2|
|12||Pachi Rivero - Antonio Piris||RENAULT Z.E||36 03.12' N||4 33.39' W||1.2||48||2.1||51.4||24122.9||269.4|
|13||Juan Merediz - Fran Palacio||CENTRAL LECHERA ASTURIANA||36 02.61' N||4 29.70' W||1.4||71||2.5||59.7||24125.7||272.3|
|14||Wouter Verbraak - Andy Meiklejohn||HUGO BOSS||35 59.67' N||4 02.73' W||3.7||194||2||49||24147||293.5|
Well the table above pretty much sums up the state of affairs in the Barcelona World Race - those out into the Atlantic are averaging around 8-10 knots while the five remaining boats that have yet to pass Gibraltar are at a virtual standstill. Desperately Hugo Boss and the promising duo Pachi Rivero and Antonio Piris on Renault ZE have covered just 50 miles in the last 24 hours. Further up the fleet, despite making progress now, fifth and sixth placed Neutrogena and Gaes have faired little better covering just over 60 miles since the same sched yesterday - that's a VMG of less than 3 knots for 24 hours. At the latest sched tailender Hugo Boss still has 75 miles to go before she passes into the Atlantic.
Meanwhile at the front of the fleet - and pardon us for using that familiar expression - the richer have been getting decidedly richer. Yesterday second and third placed Foncia and Estrella Damm trailed leader Virbac Paprec 3 by 18 and 34 miles respectively. 24 hours on and Foncia is 46 miles from first while the well seasoned duo Dominique Wavre and Michele Paret on Mirabaud are now up to third and 94 miles off the money.
Interestingly the top four boats all seem to be taking a different approach to their early tactics in the Atlantic. At the one extreme Jean-Pierre Dick and Loick Peyron on the race leader have headed south whereas Alex Pella and Pepe Ribes on Estrella Damm lost third place yesterday as they put in a costly tack north (north?) in almost the opposite direction to the great circle, have since tacked back and are now on a heading of more or less due west.
For the boats out in the Atlantic, the defining weather feature is the depression currently thundering east across the North Atlantic. Over the last 24 hours the track of this has shifted slightly further north and as a result the boats are now having to tackle southwesterly headway, where under normal circumstances they would expect to be breaking into northeasterly Trades.
We're not entirely certain of what Virbac-Paprec's plans are but it is possible we may seem them put in an unfavourable tack to the west at some point as the Canaries is not a place to be in the days hence - to the south of the depression, the high is developing and while there appears to be a little favourable pressure on the east side of this, the Canaries appears to be one big hole two days from now. On Estrella Damm Pella and Ribes meanwhile seem to have put all their eggs into the 'getting the westerly shift and tacking south' option with the aim of planting their red boat to the west of the Canaries where the forecast indicates slightly more breeze. So we can expect a slight reshuffle or an inward concertina-ing by the weekend.
There seems to be no reprieve for those at the back of the fleet. They will be faced with the choice of heading southwest on the direct route to the Canaries directly upwind, or heading due west...also into headwinds. Yuck.