Into the Doldrums

At the front of the Barcelona World Race fleet, Virbac Paprec 3 slows to a crawl

Wednesday March 16th 2011, Author: James Boyd, Location: none selected

Image above courtesy of Expedition Navigation Systems and PredictWind. 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.

Pos Crew Boat Lat Long Spd Crs VMG Dist DTF DTL
          1 hour av   24 hours      
1 Jean Pierre Dick - Loick Peyron VIRBAC-PAPREC 3 5 07.48' S 29 13.63' W 2.5 322 5.3 126 3332 0
2 Iker Martinez - Xabi Fernandez MAPFRE 11 31.45' S 28 30.78' W 12.1 332 9.3 226.7 3675.5 343.5
3 Pachi Rivero - Antonio Piris RENAULT Z.E Sailing Team 26 33.64' S 37 39.41' W 17.1 32 13.3 319.8 4703.9 1371.9
4 Boris Herrmann - Ryan Breymaier NEUTROGENA FORMULA NORUEGA 30 40.23' S 37 30.93' W 15.7 47 12.6 303.5 4926.8 1594.8
5 Alex Pella - Pepe Ribes ESTRELLA DAMM Sailing Team 32 36.33' S 37 03.63' W 15.4 29 12.8 308.4 5025.1 1693.1
6 Dee Caffari - Anna Corbella GAES CENTROS AUDITIVOS 40 38.27' S 44 16.24' W 12.2 61 11.5 277.2 5607.6 2275.6
7 Dominique Wavre - Michele Paret MIRABAUD 42 54.13' S 55 02.46' W 2.3 22 0.3 7 5977.8 2645.8
8 Wouter Verbraak - Andy Meiklejohn HUGO BOSS 52 03.68' S 56 22.72' W 8.7 113 2.5 61.2 6452.2 3120.2
9 Gerard Marin - Ludovic Aglaor FORUM MARITIM CATALA 52 07.48' S 96 42.82' W 11.1 105 11 263 7935.3 4603.2
10 Jaume Mumbru - Cali Sanmarti WE ARE WATER 47 19.04' S 146 03.74' W 12.3 94 13.1 314.9 9861.3 6529.3
11 Juan Merediz - Fran Palacio CENTRAL LECHERA ASTURIANA 41 17.42' S 174 47.14' E 0 104 0   11550.3 8218.3
ABD Kito de Pavant - Sebastien Audigane GROUPE BEL                
ABD Michel Desjoyeaux - Francois Gabart FONCIA                
ABD Jean le Cam - Bruno Garcia PRESIDENT                

As the numbers above are indicating, Barcelona World Race leaders, Virbac Paprec 3 are now into Doldrums, despite still only being at 5°S. They have averaged just 2.5 knots over the last hour. Ouch! Satellite wind radar images are not at present covering their exact location but to their east the Doldrums are spanning all of 0-5°S, with the northeasterly trades kicking in at around 1°N while to their northwest there are squalls and nasty stuff up to around 5°N.

Inevitably this will lead to second placed Mapfre being able to close in, but whether the Spanish 49er Olympic medallists on board will fair any better once they reach ITCZ remains to be seen. Their track north is at present to the west of the race leaders, so perhaps they have different tactics and perhaps they may have more luck. The Doldrums crossing represents one of the last potential reshuffles in this long round the world race and the outcome won't be evident until Friday.

Once through into the north/northeasterlies Trades, there doesn't appear to be anything untoward occurring, looking forward until the weekend.

Behind, the trio of Renault, Neutrogena and Estrella Damm, fighting for third, are approaching the latitude of Rio, enjoying the fast reaching condition on starboard gybe thanks to the depression to their northeast. This depression is forecast to slink off to the east but this group will then be faced with a NW-SE orientated front to cross that is forecast put them into lighter NNWerlies once they are through it. Due to the orientation of the front, the duo trailing Renault will enjoy the present fast conditions for longer and should be able to close in. However all of this group look likely to face a tricky windless area at around 15°S before they make it through to the trades.

Further back up the race track, Dee Caffari and Anna Corbella on GAES are currently doing well, however an area of high pressure to their west is forecast to slide east and unless they hurry up, they are likely to be caught in its clutches.

Mirabaud seem to have their bow turned towards Punta Ala (the Argentinian version, rather than the Italian one) and are still 400 miles away at the latest sched.

Hugo Boss appear to have rejoined the race at around 1430 yesterday afternoon after their pitstop to repair mast track and sails on the south side of the Falklands.

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Pos Crew Boat Lat Long Spd Crs VMG Dist DTF DTL
          1 hour av   24 hours      
1 Jean Pierre Dick - Loick Peyron VIRBAC-PAPREC 3 5 07.48' S 29 13.63' W 2.5 322 5.3 126 3332 0
2 Iker Martinez - Xabi Fernandez MAPFRE 11 31.45' S 28 30.78' W 12.1 332 9.3 226.7 3675.5 343.5
3 Pachi Rivero - Antonio Piris RENAULT Z.E Sailing Team 26 33.64' S 37 39.41' W 17.1 32 13.3 319.8 4703.9 1371.9
4 Boris Herrmann - Ryan Breymaier NEUTROGENA FORMULA NORUEGA 30 40.23' S 37 30.93' W 15.7 47 12.6 303.5 4926.8 1594.8
5 Alex Pella - Pepe Ribes ESTRELLA DAMM Sailing Team 32 36.33' S 37 03.63' W 15.4 29 12.8 308.4 5025.1 1693.1
6 Dee Caffari - Anna Corbella GAES CENTROS AUDITIVOS 40 38.27' S 44 16.24' W 12.2 61 11.5 277.2 5607.6 2275.6
7 Dominique Wavre - Michele Paret MIRABAUD 42 54.13' S 55 02.46' W 2.3 22 0.3 7 5977.8 2645.8
8 Wouter Verbraak - Andy Meiklejohn HUGO BOSS 52 03.68' S 56 22.72' W 8.7 113 2.5 61.2 6452.2 3120.2
9 Gerard Marin - Ludovic Aglaor FORUM MARITIM CATALA 52 07.48' S 96 42.82' W 11.1 105 11 263 7935.3 4603.2
10 Jaume Mumbru - Cali Sanmarti WE ARE WATER 47 19.04' S 146 03.74' W 12.3 94 13.1 314.9 9861.3 6529.3
11 Juan Merediz - Fran Palacio CENTRAL LECHERA ASTURIANA 41 17.42' S 174 47.14' E 0 104 0   11550.3 8218.3
ABD Kito de Pavant - Sebastien Audigane GROUPE BEL                
ABD Michel Desjoyeaux - Francois Gabart FONCIA                
ABD Jean le Cam - Bruno Garcia PRESIDENT                
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