Big blow expected for front runners
|1||Jean Pierre Dick - Loick Peyron||VIRBAC-PAPREC 3||47 37.80' S||137 03.24' E||16.7||97||16.4||392.8||13126.7||0|
|2||Iker Martinez - Xabi Fernandez||MAPFRE||46 38.51' S||126 11.79' E||15.8||116||18.2||436.4||13570.9||444.2|
|3||Alex Pella - Pepe Ribes||ESTRELLA DAMM Sailing Team||46 41.01' S||124 34.24' E||15.5||114||15.8||397.1||13637.5||510.8|
|4||Kito de Pavant - Sebastien Audigane||GROUPE BEL||45 15.64' S||118 09.85' E||15.8||67||13.3||318.1||13915.5||788.8|
|5||Pachi Rivero - Antonio Piris||RENAULT Z.E Sailing Team||44 34.44' S||108 52.94' E||15.6||57||13.3||318||14307.6||1180.9|
|6||Dominique Wavre - Michele Paret||MIRABAUD||46 45.32' S||98 29.10' E||9.4||111||16.2||390||14729.2||1602.5|
|7||Boris Herrmann - Ryan Breymaier||NEUTROGENA FORMULA NORUEGA||46 36.45' S||95 52.80' E||17||84||16.2||389.5||14835.3||1708.7|
|8||Wouter Verbraak - Andy Meiklejohn||HUGO BOSS||45 02.57' S||84 34.87' E||17.8||115||16.6||402||15313.7||2187|
|9||Dee Caffari - Anna Corbella||GAES CENTROS AUDITIVOS||44 07.28' S||84 39.02' E||15.1||113||15.8||384||15323.1||2196.5|
|10||Gerard Marin - Ludovic Aglaor||FORUM MARITIM CATALA||41 14.72' S||60 32.03' E||16.5||84||17||408.1||16422.9||3296.2|
|11||Juan Merediz - Fran Palacio||CENTRAL LECHERA ASTURIANA||41 25.67' S||55 05.81' E||15.5||94||15||360.2||16662.9||3536.2|
|12||Jaume Mumbru - Cali Sanmarti||WE ARE WATER||41 16.90' S||54 55.15' E||13||95||13.1||314.2||16672.2||3545.6|
|ABD||Michel Desjoyeaux - Francois Gabart||FONCIA|
|ABD||Jean le Cam - Bruno Garcia||PRESIDENT|
Oddly the closest competition in the Barcelona World Race this morning is between the two backmarkers - the Spanish crews, Juan Merediz and Fran Palacio on Central Lechera Asturiana and Jaume Mumbri and Cali Sanmarti on We Are Water, separated by just nine miles. Horrifically they are now more than 3500 miles behind the race leader - while this morning Jean-Pierre Dick and Loick Peyron on Virbac Paprec 3 are drawing level with Adelaide, the tailenders are still closer to South Africa, having only just passed the Crozet islands.
Overnight Wouter Verbraak and Andy Meiklejohn aboard Hugo Boss have finally overtaken Dee Caffari and Anna Corbella on GAES Centros Auditivos to claim eighth place. With their heavier more powerful boat, the Hugo Boss crew have been taking a route further south than GAES in more breeze and have been consistently sailing faster.
With a high currently centred southwest of Australia and a series of depressions deep in the Southern Ocean, conditions are at present textbook for the front runners. The biggest gains recently have been made by Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez on Mapfre, now that they have an apparently working daggerboard (read Iker's entertaining account of their trying to fix their broken board here). Over the last 48 hours they have taken 146 miles out of Virbac Paprec 3's lead and are now 66 miles in front of Estrella Damm, which was nipping at their heels earlier on the week.
Between the leaders a game of bluff is going on over who will or won't stop in Wellington to make repairs, because for sure we haven't heard all the war stories yet. The fourth placed Groupe Bel crew are contemplating this to replace two broken sails. Will the daggerboard repair on Mapfre hold with half a circumnavigation still to sail? The problem is that a stop in Wellington cannot be a mere pitstop as it could earlier in the race, as the rules dictate that putting in here requires a boat to spend a minimum of 48 hours in port.
Weather-wise, conditions are still looking generally good to get the leader up to Wellington in westerlies. However a secondary low is forming to the south of the front runners at around 55°S and this is due to swing north towards them over the course of tomorrow. This will effect the chasing trio but could nail Virbac Paprec 3 the most, bringing with it 40-50 knot winds as they pass south of Tasmania. Expect to see the leaders turning their bow north soon... This violent, fastmoving depression is forecast to disappear deep into the Southern Ocean on Sunday, allowing the high pressure, to the south of Australia to extend into the Tasman Sea. The centre of this high moves over the Tasman Sea by Tuesday, so it is likely to be a slow ride north to Cook Strait for the 'chasing trio'.