Hard last miles

Virbac-Paprec 3 have a week ahead of them on the wind in the Barcelona World Race

Monday March 28th 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 Latitude Longitude Spd Crs VMG Dist DTF DTL
          1 hour av   24 hours      
1 Jean Pierre Dick - Loick Peyron VIRBAC-PAPREC 3 29 39.36' N 17 53.86' W 9.9 6 7.8 187.2 1249.2 0
2 Iker Martinez - Xabi Fernandez MAPFRE 27 18.44' N 22 15.43' W 8.5 354 6.7 163.3 1518.4 269.1
3 Pachi Rivero - Antonio Piris RENAULT Z.E Sailing Team 16 16.59' N 31 08.22' W 11.7 7 8.3 202.9 2326.3 1077.1
4 Alex Pella - Pepe Ribes ESTRELLA DAMM Sailing Team 12 33.41' N 30 49.91' W 11.8 349 8.4 204.3 2480.2 1231
5 Boris Herrmann - Ryan Breymaier NEUTROGENA FORMULA NORUEGA 11 05.25' N 30 01.43' W 10.4 352 8.2 196.4 2520.1 1270.9
6 Dee Caffari - Anna Corbella GAES CENTROS AUDITIVOS 0 01.16' S 29 14.38' W 10 13 9.9 237.8 3055.6 1806.4
7 Wouter Verbraak - Andy Meiklejohn HUGO BOSS 25 31.02' S 32 31.89' W 10 355 12.2 298.9 4543.8 3294.6
8 Gerard Marin - Ludovic Aglaor FORUM MARITIM CATALA 33 14.78' S 41 27.22' W 7.4 69 5.3 127.2 5151.1 3901.9
9 Jaume Mumbru - Cali Sanmarti WE ARE WATER 56 26.70' S 68 52.03' W 3.9 142 6 144.3 6941.1 5691.9
10 Juan Merediz - Fran Palacio CENTRAL LECHERA ASTURIANA 41 17.41' S 174 47.13' E 0 295 0 0 11550.3 10301.1
ABD Dominique Wavre - Michele Paret MIRABAUD                
ABD Kito de Pavant - Sebastien Audigane GROUPE BEL                
ABD Michel Desjoyeaux - Francois Gabart FONCIA                
ABD Jean le Cam - Bruno Garcia PRESIDENT                

While they may appear to be closing on the finish, the last miles of the Barcelona World Race look set to be hard ones for the leaders. At the latest sched Virbac Paprec 3 is to the northwest of the Canaries with 744 miles to go to Gibraltar. Given their progress over the last 24 hours has been just 187 miles, this equates to the best part of four days before they reach the Med, four days with the wind on the nose - just what you need to complete a lengthy lap of the planet. And guess what? Once they're into the Med, the forecast still has them upwind...

Forecast-wise, at present the Azores high is to their northwest, centred south of the Azores and over the course of the next 48 hours it is due to turn into a ESE-WNW orientated ridge that drifts over towards the Iberian Peninsula, effectively shadowing the race leaders up the track. So come Wednesday Virbac Paprec 3 will be upwind in 25 knots. Come Friday the high will have moved fully over Spain... On board it will be crash, crash, crash with the boat mostly under autopilot as the crew tack on any small shifts that might benefit them or simply to relieve the monotony.

This scenario does open up some options for second placed Mapfre, but conditions behind the high may offer her a more favourable wind direction, but in less pressure.

Conditions are more positive for the trio hunting third place, who are currently tight reaching on starboard, across the Trades with third placed Renault currently at the latitude of the Cape Verdes, albeit some 470 miles to their west. Despite good wind conditions they are only making 10-12 knots suggesting that they are getting knocked around by the sea state. Over the weekend Neutrogena has gradually been dropping back - on Saturday morning she was 165 miles behind Renault, this morning her deficit is up to 193, while fourth placed Estrella Damm has matched their third placed sistership's pace.

Behind them in sixth, Dee Caffari and Anna Corbella on GAES are a whisker away from crossing the Equator this morning. Yesterday Dee reported about how she has finally ripped in to the repairs to her IMOCA 60's leaky ballast tank.

Back in the South Atlantic, Hugo Boss' Andy Meiklejohn and Wouter Verbraak are well positioned to make progress north, offshore enough to get past Recife. They are approaching the latitude of Rio.

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Pos Crew Boat Latitude Longitude Spd Crs VMG Dist DTF DTL
          1 hour av   24 hours      
1 Jean Pierre Dick - Loick Peyron VIRBAC-PAPREC 3 29 39.36' N 17 53.86' W 9.9 6 7.8 187.2 1249.2 0
2 Iker Martinez - Xabi Fernandez MAPFRE 27 18.44' N 22 15.43' W 8.5 354 6.7 163.3 1518.4 269.1
3 Pachi Rivero - Antonio Piris RENAULT Z.E Sailing Team 16 16.59' N 31 08.22' W 11.7 7 8.3 202.9 2326.3 1077.1
4 Alex Pella - Pepe Ribes ESTRELLA DAMM Sailing Team 12 33.41' N 30 49.91' W 11.8 349 8.4 204.3 2480.2 1231
5 Boris Herrmann - Ryan Breymaier NEUTROGENA FORMULA NORUEGA 11 05.25' N 30 01.43' W 10.4 352 8.2 196.4 2520.1 1270.9
6 Dee Caffari - Anna Corbella GAES CENTROS AUDITIVOS 0 01.16' S 29 14.38' W 10 13 9.9 237.8 3055.6 1806.4
7 Wouter Verbraak - Andy Meiklejohn HUGO BOSS 25 31.02' S 32 31.89' W 10 355 12.2 298.9 4543.8 3294.6
8 Gerard Marin - Ludovic Aglaor FORUM MARITIM CATALA 33 14.78' S 41 27.22' W 7.4 69 5.3 127.2 5151.1 3901.9
9 Jaume Mumbru - Cali Sanmarti WE ARE WATER 56 26.70' S 68 52.03' W 3.9 142 6 144.3 6941.1 5691.9
10 Juan Merediz - Fran Palacio CENTRAL LECHERA ASTURIANA 41 17.41' S 174 47.13' E 0 295 0 0 11550.3 10301.1
ABD Dominique Wavre - Michele Paret MIRABAUD                
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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