Meteorological juggernaut crosses the race course
Positions at 0330 GMT
|1 hour aver||24 hours|
|1||Jean Pierre Dick - Loick Peyron||VIRBAC-PAPREC 3||42 36.09' S||58 30.96' E||14.1||106||7.7||253.2||16502||0|
|2||Iker Martinez - Xabi Fernandez||MAPFRE||41 21.60' S||47 39.63' E||15||89||13.3||319.5||16991.2||489.2|
|3||Kito de Pavant - Sebastien Audigane||GROUPE BEL||41 09.00' S||44 33.16' E||18.4||91||13.5||324.6||17131.2||629.2|
|4||Alex Pella - Pepe Ribes||ESTRELLA DAMM Sailing Team||41 18.69' S||44 23.52' E||15.7||77||13||311.6||17137.2||635.2|
|5||Pachi Rivero - Antonio Piris||RENAULT Z.E||40 07.87' S||41 16.62' E||19.9||92||13.1||315.3||17290.6||788.6|
|6||Dominique Wavre - Michele Paret||MIRABAUD||41 54.50' S||30 05.36' E||11.8||87||9.4||250.6||17768.4||1266.4|
|7||Boris Herrmann - Ryan Breymaier||NEUTROGENA FORMULA NORUEGA||42 02.27' S||29 28.15' E||12||96||11.6||308.6||17794.8||1292.8|
|8||Dee Caffari - Anna Corbella||GAES CENTROS AUDITIVOS||39 08.00' S||22 14.48' E||10.5||85||8.1||193.6||18153.8||1651.8|
|9||Wouter Verbraak - Andy Meiklejohn||HUGO BOSS||41 21.75' S||16 43.29' E||11.1||145||10.2||245.3||18364.2||1862.2|
|10||Jaume Mumbru - Cali Sanmarti||WE ARE WATER||40 16.53' S||9 56.38' E||7.3||88||4.7||113.6||18678.9||2176.9|
|11||Juan Merediz - Fran Palacio||CENTRAL LECHERA ASTURIANA||36 13.22' S||11 30.19' E||8.4||62||4.7||113.3||18692.5||2190.5|
|12||Gerard Marin - Ludovic Aglaor||FORUM MARITIM CATALA||39 53.64' S||8 55.64' E||6.2||87||6.3||151.6||18729.8||2227.8|
|ABD||Michel Desjoyeaux - Francois Gabart||FONCIA|
|ABD||Jean le Cam - Bruno Garcia||PRESIDENT|
The Barcelona World Race now spans the width of the first third of the Indian Ocean section of the Southern Ocean. Coming up to pass north of the Crozet gate has cost Jean-Pierre Dick and Loick Peyron on Virbac Paprec 3 dearly. The duo were forced to remain south to stay in favourable breeze and only bore away yesterday morning to head north, passing north of the gate at around 1830 last night. As a result over the last 24 hours her lead has diminished from 555 miles to 489. The question is - will she be able to regain her losses?
As the chart above shows, a significant depression is currently separating Virbac Paprec 3 from the boats immediately astern of her. This depression is rapidly heading south over the course of today, dragging a front behind it. So the leaders are set for a very fast, possibly record breaking couple of days, as they sprint away in strong northerlies, hopefully keeping their nose ahead of the front. But those behind, led by Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez on Mapfre, are also set for a speedy 48 hours but in completely reverse conditions - in strong southerlies in the northwest quadrant of the depression.
Looking ahead longer term, the front is forecast to lurk around this part of the Indian Ocean for the remainder of the week. Virbac Paprec 3 looks to be in good shape to make the next way point gate, the western end of which is 863 miles away at the latest sched, in brisk northerlies. Meanwhile as the front stops moving east, so those chasing will have to sail through it encountering features such as a 180° wind shift into the NNW and some extremely confused sea to negotiate as a result.
Overnight there has been a change in the leaderboard with Kito de Pavant and Sebastien Audigane on Groupe Bel taking over third place from Alex Pella and Pepe Ribes' Estrella Damm. In ocean racing terms the two boats are match racing, with Groupe Bel some 12 miles to the northeast of her opposition. Both boats are on much the same course as Mapfre ahead of them, all three making 15.5-16.5 knots.
Another tight race is going on for sixth place between Dominique Wavre and Michelle Paret on the Swiss boat Mirabaud and the US-German alliance of Ryan Breymaier and Boris Herrmann on Neutrogena. Mirabaud was 85 miles ahead of her rival 24 hours ago, but this morning this has reduced to just 26. While the leaders and those chasing are in different parts of the same weather system, Mirabaud and Neutrogena are in a third scenario, in moderate southeasterlies in the top right quadrant of an area of high pressure centred unusually at around 47°S, in the Southern Ocean directly down from South Africa. It is this high that is creating the delightful easterly headwinds for the back end of the fleet.