Volvo Ocean Race: Getting closer....
Just over 80 miles to go for Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing as the Volvo Ocean Race fleet descends on Lisbon in what is lining up to be the first (and long overdue) offshore leg win of the Volvo Ocean Race for Ian Walker's team.
Chart above courtesy of Expedition/Tasman Bay Navigation Systems and GRIB (GFS model) from PredictWind
Positions at 1255
|1||Abu Dhabi||Ian Walker||39 19.250n||010 45.900w||18||129||80.98||0|
|2||Groupama||Franck Cammas||39 05.750n||011 11.800w||18.7||115||95.1||14.12|
|3||Puma||Ken Read||39 27.520n||011 27.400w||21.3||126||113.55||32.56|
|4||Camper||Chris Nicholson||39 27.100n||011 54.520w||22||116||132.94||51.95|
|5||Sanya||Mike Sanderson||40 06.880n||011 38.420w||20||134||140.66||59.67|
|6||Telefonica||Iker Martinez||39 24.070n||012 11.930w||21||114||144.84||63.86|
At their present speeds the boats will be streaming into Lisbon over the course of this evening and into the early hours of tomorrow morning. Of particular importance to the race overall is the gap on this leg between Groupama and Telefonica - if the French boat finishes second and the Spanish remain in sixth place it will cause a major upheaval in the overall points, rocketing Groupama into the lead and cause Telefonica to plummet down to third, with Puma in second a point ahead of the Spanish.
If Telefonica can overhaul Sanya in this last miles, then she will save second place overall for herself.
On board the Spanish boat there's no letting up of the pace, both on deck and at the nav station. The team's MCM Diego Fructuoso said that the Spanish team is “making the most of every little gust to get the sails moving. We're sailing with the Code Zero now and I've just heard Iker gives the order to prepare the Genoa for what may come. It's a good sign that we're moving to a smaller sail, because that means there is some wind.
“We're almost in in-port mode, with almost everyone on watch working as hard as they can. No-one's going to sleep on here until we get to Lisbon, I'm sure. The guys shut their eyes on deck when they can, but every metre and every miles is crucial,” explains the Spaniard.