Global Ocean Race: Fields surge through

Deep into the Roaring Forties, the leaders turn east

Wednesday February 1st 2012, Author: Ollie Dewar, Location: none selected

As the Global Ocean Race Class40s dropped deeper south through the Pacific’s Roaring Forties led by Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron on Campagne de France, the distance between the leading trio of boats compressed rapidly from 30 miles on Tuesday evening GMT, to just six miles on Wednesday morning.

By 11:00 GMT on Wednesday, Ross and Campbell Field – guarding their habitual position furthest south – took Buckley Systems into the lead at 48°S with Mabire and Merron dropping back to third, 20 miles directly astern of the Fields with Conrad Colman and Adrian Kuttel holding second place to leeward on Cessna Citation.

Meanwhile, Marco Nannini and Hugo Ramon on Financial Crisis had re-joined the main pack, but kept north with the South African duo of Nick Leggatt and Phillippa Hutton-Squire working south with Phesheya-Racing and recovering from sail damage: “Our high speed run yesterday came to an abrupt end soon after dark when the boat spun out of control at speed,” reports Nick Leggatt. “The bluQube A6 got wrapped around the forestay, causing a tear just above the tack. In the darkness we were lucky to retrieve the sail on the foredeck without too much fuss and then bundled it down below to start repairs immediately.” With the wind gusting at the top end of the 20-knot range, Leggatt and Hutton-Squire were on high alert: “We decided to remain cautious until daybreak even though it meant losing a lot of miles to Financial Crisis,” he explains.

At 21:00 GMT on Wednesday, Phesheya-Racing was 81 miles behind Nannini and Ramon on Financial Crisis and trailing the fleet leader by 129 miles as Leggatt and Hutton-Squire continued to drop south. “The dive down towards the south by the entire fleet is to try and position ourselves in the optimum place to make it through the forecast strong southeast winds that are expected,” Nick Leggatt explains of the imminent 25-30 knots of wind.

In the GOR’s 21:00 GMT position poll, Mabire and Merron had taken Campagne de France furthest south approaching 49°S in third place with 22 miles to the Fields on Buckley Systems who remain in the lead with Colman and Kuttel hard on the chase for pole position with Cessna Citation just five miles behind the Kiwi father-and-son duo.

GOR leaderboard at 21:00GMT 01/02/2012:

1. Buckley Systems DTF 5212 11.9kts
2. Cessna Citation DTL 05 12.1kts
3. Campagne de France DTL 22 10.3kts
4. Financial Crisis DTL 48 9.6kts
5. Phesheya-Racing DTL 129 8.kts

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