Foncia and Virbac-Paprec on the rise
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||24 10.11' S||26 59.95' W||16||173||5.9||142||20511.9||0|
|2||Kito de Pavant - Sebastien Audigane||GROUPE BEL||23 06.09' S||26 32.61' W||13.1||158||6.5||160.4||20539.8||27.8|
|3||Michel Desjoyeaux - Francois Gabart||FONCIA||31 52.16' S||34 27.95' W||16.8||156||12||288.7||20548.8||36.9|
|4||Jean Pierre Dick - Loick Peyron||VIRBAC-PAPREC 3||30 09.15' S||34 31.24' W||17.3||162||11.1||267||20604.6||92.7|
|5||Dominique Wavre - Michele Paret||MIRABAUD||22 06.48' S||27 34.92' W||11.9||145||4.2||100.4||20622.6||110.7|
|6||Iker Martinez - Xabi Fernandez||MAPFRE||26 09.80' S||32 03.43' W||18||177||6.2||147.6||20638.2||126.3|
|7||Pachi Rivero - Antonio Piris||RENAULT Z.E||21 08.16' S||27 08.85' W||11||152||6.2||152.8||20648.9||137|
|8||Dee Caffari - Anna Corbella||GAES CENTROS AUDITIVOS||20 13.39' S||26 16.74' W||13.6||170||5.5||132.9||20657.9||146|
|9||Boris Herrmann - Ryan Breymaier||NEUTROGENA FORMULA NORUEGA||21 24.74' S||27 57.18' W||9.2||126||4.9||117.3||20667.2||155.2|
|10||Juan Merediz - Fran Palacio||CENTRAL LECHERA ASTURIANA||17 57.98' S||26 47.92' W||3.8||146||6.5||159.5||20781.1||269.2|
|11||Wouter Verbraak - Andy Meiklejohn||HUGO BOSS||19 36.04' S||28 57.30' W||9.1||184||7.1||173||20785.4||273.5|
|12||Jaume Mumbru - Cali Sanmarti||WE ARE WATER||17 23.03' S||27 01.82' W||8.2||164||8||196.1||20816.7||304.8|
|13||Gerard Marin - Ludovic Aglaor||FORUM MARITIM CATALA||17 31.37' S||30 25.12' W||11.1||184||8.8||215.1||20934||422.1|
|ABD||Jean le Cam - Bruno Garcia||PRESIDENT|
We may have underestimated just how much of an advantage Foncia and Virbac Paprec 3 have had by being out in the west. The last 24 hours has seen these two rise up the official results table from eighth and ninth overall into third and fourth place this morning. With the boats heading for the remote Gough Island as their next waypoint, in fact the real picture, courtesy of our nice Expedition software, is that Foncia has pulled into the lead with 1287 miles to go, followed by Estrella Damm, seven miles behind, then Groupe Bel with Virbac Paprec 3 in fourth with 57 more miles to sail to Gough Island than Foncia and Mapfre in fifth.
Overnight the breeze has picked up for the easterly group. Estrella Damm, Groupe Bel and Mirabaud had all made a measly 4-5 knots over the hour leading up to the last sched yesterday. This morning it is looking more hopeful with them making 16, 13 and 11 respectively. Mid-way between the two groups, Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez also picked up the breeze last night and seem to have found their afterburner switch, coaxing 18 knots out of Mapfre, the former Foncia, over the last hour.
The forecast for the area has changed significantly over the last 24 hours with a front, attached to a Southern Ocean depression all the way down at 60°S, separating the areas of high pressure, one over Gough Island and another to the west over the entrance to the River Plate between Urugary and Argentina. Down the leading edge of this front is a band of northerlies, which Foncia and Virbac Paprec 3 are already keying into and to get some of this, Estrella Damm and Mapfre have both turned their bows south too.
Sadly this front appears to be at its most active tomorrow and then peters out over the course of this weekend, allowing the two areas of high pressure to merge just to the north of Gough Island, causing the giant parking lot to resume. While the leaders may just make it before this happens, although this is doubtful this will certainly slow the mid-fleet back. Come Monday the forecast shows is a giant area of no wind spanning the breadth of the South Atlantic between 30-40degS. Not fun.