Flight west

Second placed Foncia closes on the race leader in the Barcelona World Race

Thursday January 6th 2011, Author: James Boyd, Location: none selected

Image above courtesy of Expedition Navigation Systems

Positions at 0830 GMT

Pos Crew Boat Lat Long Spd Crs Spd Dist DTF DTL
          1 hour av   24 hours      
1 Jean Pierre Dick - Loick Peyron VIRBAC-PAPREC 3 33 52.98' N 16 20.53' W 10.9 266 3.2 77.4 23734 0
2 Michel Desjoyeaux - Francois Gabart FONCIA 34 13.27' N 15 41.38' W 11.3 274 4.4 106.6 23762 28.4
3 Dominique Wavre - Michele Paret MIRABAUD 34 33.68' N 13 52.63' W 10.7 258 4.4 106.1 23809 75
4 Alex Pella - Pepe Ribes ESTRELLA DAMM Sailing Team 35 01.59' N 14 34.71' W 13.3 260 4.9 118.2 23824 90.7
5 Iker Martinez - Xabi Fernandez MAPFRE 35 18.62' N 12 19.76' W 11 254 5.4 129.6 23877 143.4
6 Boris Herrmann - Ryan Breymaier NEUTROGENA FORMULA NORUEGA 35 29.30' N 12 48.04' W 11 260 4.9 116.6 23879 145.3
7 Jean le Cam - Bruno Garcia PRESIDENT 35 26.56' N 12 32.85' W 11.7 260 5.2 124.7 23881 147
8 Dee Caffari - Anna Corbella GAES CENTROS AUDITIVOS 35 32.33' N 12 44.77' W 11.1 259 5 120.3 23883 149
9 Kito de Pavant - Sebastien Audigane GROUPE BEL 35 43.64' N 12 36.81' W 11.1 257 5 121.1 23896 161.8
10 Juan Merediz - Fran Palacio CENTRAL LECHERA ASTURIANA 35 17.46' N 8 06.48' W 9.7 253 6.3 151 23967 233.5
11 Jaume Mumbru - Cali Sanmarti WE ARE WATER 36 11.69' N 9 54.52' W 10.1 256 4.7 113 23972 238.4
12 Pachi Rivero - Antonio Piris RENAULT Z.E 35 51.95' N 8 48.23' W 13 267 5.8 138 23979 245.5
13 Gerard Marin - Ludovic Aglaor FORUM MARITIM CATALA 35 55.77' N 8 37.61' W 11.6 267 5.3 126.8 23987 253.1
14 Wouter Verbraak - Andy Meiklejohn HUGO BOSS 35 47.77' N 6 20.67' W 12.1 263 4.3 102.1 24041 307.4

All 14 boats in the Barcelona World Race are now past Gibraltar and out into the Atlantic, heading WSW on port tack bound for the shift on which they can tack south. Back marker, Hugo Boss was to the south of Gibraltar at around 0400 GMT this morning.

Yesterday morning between 0600 and 0800 the three leading boats all tacked west. This has resulted in the race leader, Jean-Pierre Dick and Loick Peyron on Virbac Paprec 3, becoming the most southerly boat in the fleet, while remaining the most westerly. But since then Michel Desjoyeaux and Francois Gabart on Foncia have managed to reclaim some 30 miles and have close to 28 miles astern of Virbac. Compared to Virbac, Foncia has seen the wind more backed, with the end result is that her route over the last 24 hours has converged with race leader - from 60 miles of north-south separation down to 20 at the latest sched. At present the weather the fleet is experiencing is being dominated by a giant depression now to their NNW and thus Virbac has found herself to be more headed compared to the boats to the north.

Throughout the fleet there has been a general concertinaing inwards over the last 24 hours. The biggest gains have been made by Spanish 49er aces and Volvo sailors Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez on Mapfre (the ex-Foncia) who have pulled up from eighth place to fifth, reeling in 50 miles on Virbac. However we are also liking where Alex Pella and Pepe Ribes have positioned Estrella Damm, to the northwest of Mirabaud and certain to see the shift come first compared to the third placed Swiss boat.

The lead duo are likely to see the shift into the WNW at some point this afternoon or tonight, allowing them to tack south, neatly leaving Madeira to port. But despite this brief respite they will be far from out of the woods for to their south, on an west-east axis just to the south of the Canaries, is a substantial ridge. The GFS model has this ridge shifting north over the next 24 hours, ultimately developing some circulation so that by Saturday there will be pressure - favourable northeasterlies - to its east.

 

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