Busy week ahead
Positions at 0330 GMT
|1 hour aver||24 hours|
|1||Jean Pierre Dick - Loick Peyron||VIRBAC-PAPREC 3||44 51.31' S||49 26.97' E||18.3||85||14.7||351.8||16997.6||0|
|2||Iker Martinez - Xabi Fernandez||MAPFRE||41 29.28' S||34 24.03' E||15.8||97||16.5||395||17579.8||582.3|
|3||Alex Pella - Pepe Ribes||ESTRELLA DAMM Sailing Team||42 42.72' S||32 00.63' E||15.3||105||13.2||325.1||17679.1||681.5|
|4||Kito de Pavant - Sebastien Audigane||GROUPE BEL||42 25.50' S||31 32.73' E||14.5||101||15.2||364.3||17700.5||702.9|
|5||Pachi Rivero - Antonio Piris||RENAULT Z.E||41 40.60' S||29 02.39' E||11.9||90||14||335||17816.9||819.3|
|6||Dominique Wavre - Michele Paret||MIRABAUD||42 25.51' S||21 03.38' E||11.2||113||12.2||298.4||18170.4||1172.8|
|7||Boris Herrmann - Ryan Breymaier||NEUTROGENA FORMULA NORUEGA||42 26.13' S||19 56.29' E||9.3||100||11.8||283||18218.9||1221.3|
|8||Dee Caffari - Anna Corbella||GAES CENTROS AUDITIVOS||39 16.89' S||14 32.83' E||10.2||131||10.6||255.5||18492.8||1495.2|
|9||Wouter Verbraak - Andy Meiklejohn||HUGO BOSS||38 49.73' S||4 51.70' E||13.3||107||8.7||208.7||18928.6||1931|
|10||Juan Merediz - Fran Palacio||CENTRAL LECHERA ASTURIANA||36 43.36' S||5 08.15' E||2.1||159||5.8||139.7||18963.4||1965.8|
|11||Jaume Mumbru - Cali Sanmarti||WE ARE WATER||40 48.44' S||2 42.51' E||9.9||109||8.4||201.3||18994.2||1996.6|
|12||Gerard Marin - Ludovic Aglaor||FORUM MARITIM CATALA||38 06.02' S||1 06.79' E||11.1||83||8.2||196.2||19109.3||2111.8|
|ABD||Michel Desjoyeaux - Francois Gabart||FONCIA|
|ABD||Jean le Cam - Bruno Garcia||PRESIDENT|
The Barcelona World Race is bracing itself for a tricky week in the Indian Ocean. Mid-week the race course is set to be dominated by two areas of high pressure with a depression slipping south from Madagascar to the deep south between the highs. These areas of high pressure are not the benign type the competitors encountered in the Atlantic, but heavily powered affairs due to the depression mentioned and others deep in the Southern Ocean surrounding the highs .
Leaders Jean-Pierre Dick and Loick Peyron on board Virbac-Paprec 3 are the fastest in the fleet at the latest sched, riding the strong northwesterlies ahead of a front. However to stay in the strong breeze, that has enabled them to average 17.3 knots between the last two scheds, has taken them some 170 miles south of the next waypoint gate. At some point in the next few hours they will have to crack off in order to cross north of the eastern end of the 'Crozet gate'. The problem with this is that a ridge is developing over this gate today, so from being the fastest boat Virbac-Paprec 3 is likely to become one of the slowest boats in the race. Tomorrow the high is forecast to move south leaving the race leader on the wind but the good news is that there will be pressure and if they forge east they will see the wind backing into the north. The wind is due to stay in the north for the lead duo taking them to the next waypoint gate after Crozet.
In the competitive side of the event - the fight for second place 500+ miles behind the leaders, two strategies are being played out. Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez on second placed Mapfre are taking a northerly track east while third placed Estrella Damm, with Alex Pella and Pepe Ribes on board, are following a route some 90 miles south, with Groupe Bel just to the north of them. These boats are riding the southerly breeze on the eastern edge of the giant area of high pressure centred to the south of South Africa. Unfortunately as the high divides the eastern end slips to their southeast leaving the boats hard pressed on starboard later today in order to lay the Crozet Gate, which for Mapfre remains some 780 miles away. With the area of high pressure to their west developing mid-week they will find the breeze veering into the southeast and then building to gale force. Chilly.
For the rest of the fleet the southerly location of the areas of high pressure is providing a disproportionate amount of headwinds and unfortunately with five sets of waypoint gates between South Africa and Australia in order to keep the fleet north, away from icebergs and ultimately within reach of the Australian rescue authorities, this dramatically limits the tactical options of the crews. In particular it prevents them making the most of favourable wind conditions when they do develop. While the gates are a necessary evil, they do remove some of the routing skill from round the world racing.