South Atlantic parking lot
Image above courtesy of Expedition Navigation Systems and PredictWind. See a bigger version here. If you can't see the whole of the table below (this depends which browser you use), scroll down to the bottom of the page.
Positions at 0830 GMT
|1 hour aver||24 hours|
|1||Alex Pella - Pepe Ribes||ESTRELLA DAMM Sailing Team||21 40.66' S||27 54.60' W||1.7||160||2.9||69.6||20653.9||0|
|2||Kito de Pavant - Sebastien Audigane||GROUPE BEL||21 00.46' S||28 17.51' W||4.6||148||5.6||133.8||20697.8||43.9|
|3||Dominique Wavre - Michele Paret||MIRABAUD||20 47.28' S||28 41.86' W||5.9||162||7.1||170.7||20723||69.1|
|4||Boris Herrmann - Ryan Breymaier||NEUTROGENA FORMULA NORUEGA||19 44.20' S||29 05.44' W||8.5||159||9||215.5||20784.5||130.5|
|5||Jean Pierre Dick - Loick Peyron||VIRBAC-PAPREC 3||GHOST|
|6||Iker Martinez - Xabi Fernandez||MAPFRE||23 17.04' S||32 55.18' W||6.4||190||4.5||108.7||20785.9||132|
|7||Dee Caffari - Anna Corbella||GAES CENTROS AUDITIVOS||17 57.67' S||27 03.74' W||9.2||164||8.9||214.2||20790.8||136.9|
|8||Pachi Rivero - Antonio Piris||RENAULT Z.E||18 34.97' S||28 01.99' W||10.1||169||9.3||223.5||20797.2||143.3|
|9||Michel Desjoyeaux - Francois Gabart||FONCIA||26 51.98' S||37 19.11' W||14||150||8||193.1||20837.5||183.6|
|10||Juan Merediz - Fran Palacio||CENTRAL LECHERA ASTURIANA||14 51.77' S||27 07.76' W||8.3||164||9.9||237.6||20936.7||282.8|
|11||Wouter Verbraak - Andy Meiklejohn||HUGO BOSS||15 47.09' S||28 53.60' W||8||165||7.9||194.5||20954.7||300.8|
|12||Jaume Mumbru - Cali Sanmarti||WE ARE WATER||13 30.42' S||27 18.61' W||10||155||9.9||237||21007.9||354|
|13||Gerard Marin - Ludovic Aglaor||FORUM MARITIM CATALA||12 53.51' S||30 23.63' W||11.4||184||9.2||220.5||21144.7||490.8|
|ABD||Jean le Cam - Bruno Garcia||PRESIDENT|
Oh dear - it's even slower than we anticipated for the front runners in the Barcelona World Race. Over the last two scheds the hourly average for Alex Pella and Pepe Ribes on race leader Estrella Damm has been just 0.8 knots and 1.7 knots as they have been all but becalmed just north of the latitude of Rio (some 860 miles to their west). Over the last 24 hours they have covered just 70 miles...
This parking lot is causing the boats behind to catch up big time. Among the leaders second placed Kito de Pavant and Sebastien Audiagne on Groupe Bel have closed from 108 miles behind to just 43 over the last 24 hours, while those at the back of the fleet have made the biggest gains - Jaume Mumbri and Cali Sanmarti on We Are Water closing by 167 miles and Juan Merediz and Fran Palacio on Central Lechera Asturiana are 166 miles closer to the leader than they were a day ago. A week ago We Are Water was more than 700 miles from first place. Their deficit is now half that.
While the leaders struggle so Michel Desjoyeaux and Francois Gabart on Foncia have been steaming down to the Brazilian coast. Earlier than we expected, they gybed southeast yesterday at around 1700 GMT, their position now some 620 miles to the southwest of Estrella Damm. But where the Spanish are wallowing, the French have the pedal to the metal and over the hour leading up to the 0830 GMT sched had averaged 14 knots, the highest in the fleet, although their westerly position still leaves them in a humble ninth place.
Of course all eyes will be on the former race leader Virbac Paprec 3 when she reappears at the next shed having been in 'stealth mode' since yesterday morning. Where has she gone in the interim? Did she gybe earlier or later than Foncia? All will be revealed.
Weather-wise, as the map above amply shows, the breadth of the South Atlantic is spanned by high pressure. While this has left the leaders becalmed, at some point in the next 24 hours the wind will begin filling in from the east, although it is hard to assess from the forecast charts whether Estrella Damm will be the first into the new breeze or whether the lead group to the east see it arrive simultaneously as the high to the southeast consolidates.
Meanwhile off to the west Foncia is still benefitting from more pressure thanks to the shallow depression just off the Brazilian coast to their southwest that is generating favourable NNEerly flow. While Foncia will be approaching the main area of high pressure from 10 o'clock rather than 11 o'clock (as Estrella Damm will eventually) both groups will be on a tight reach on port, only that Foncia will be into the pressure first. We wait to see if she will be able to make up enough ground to launch her into the lead. A 183 mile deficit represents a lot of catching up to do.