Lining up for the long surf
The right turn around the southwest corner of the high has begun for the lead duo among the remaining three on the war-torn first leg of the Volvo Ocean Race. But in particular they are keeping an eye over their right shoulder as they move into pre-frontal conditions - the strong band of northwesterlies to their west. The challenge for the remainder of the week is to stay in the maximum amount of breeze for the longest time. Cape Town is now 1660 miles away for leader Telefonica and the current forecast looks like she should have favourable breeze to take her most of the way to the finish line this weekend. To maximise their time ahead of the front, Camper has taken a line slightly north of Telefonica's.
The bad news is that is it doesn't seem that Groupama will be joining the record breakers as they ride the front east. As Yann Riou, MCM on Cammas' boat reports: "On the racing side of things, even the more optimistic ones are not too optimistic any more looking at the last weather forecast. Yet, these are just forecasts, and as long as there are not verified, we will keep sailing Groupama 4 as well as we can. And all of us know that until the line is crossed..."
In fact the forecast isn't dreadful for Groupama. She should be able to slip through between the two areas of high pressure before they merge tomorrow afternoon. It is just that she will miss being on the east side of the front and the 30 knots northwesterlies and relatively flat water that normally means record breaking conditions on this stage of the course.
See the latest from Puma skipper Ken Read here