Hugo Boss ETA Thursday night
After passing Gibraltar last night at 2115 GMT Hugo Boss is into the western Alboran Sea progressing at around 9 knots with the decreasing easterly wind, just approaching the longitude of Malaga.
The easterlies are set to continue for Hugo Boss, taking them all the way up to the finish line off Barcelona’s W-Hotel where they are now predicted to arrive at around 1800-2000 GMT on Thursday.
Meanwhile for Forum Maritim Catala, their present rapid ride is forecsat to stop just short of the Straits with an awkward transition from the southwesterlies into easterlies they may cause them to stay north, towards the Gulf of Cadiz and Cabo Trafalgar in order to keep the breeze and avoid the worst of the transition zone. In theory at this pont, the distance between them and Hugo Boss will be at its lowest, perhaps down to just 150 miles or so. They will continue to make 14-15 knots for much of today while for Hugo Boss it be more like 8.5-9.5 knots upwind. The Franco-Catalan duo will take heart from their substantial gains, their latest sprint allowing them to take more than 700 miles out of Hugo Boss.
As the wind builds again, strengthening because of circulation from the depression over the Algerian coast through tonight and tomorrow, so it will become difficult for Forum Maritim Catala. Gerard Marin and Ludovic Aglaor will then start heading into strong easterlies, building up to 35 knots at times tomorrow with awkward wind against current conditions that this area is notorious for. But after clearing Cabo Gata, Hugo Boss will have no further meteo hurdles between them and the finish. Their routing shows some advantage to pushing east and getting a more consistent breeze on one tack all the way north, passing between Ibiza and Mallorca, but Andy Meiklejohn and Wouter Verbraak may choose a more conservative router and stay closer to the Spanish coast.