Sunday, November 18, 2007

Leaders of Barcelona World Race to reach Canary Islands at noon

[Source: Barcelona World Race] One week into the Barcelona World Race, the leader, Paprec-Virbac 2 is projecting an ETA of noon GMT on Monday to pass through the second scoring gate at the Canary Islands.

“I think it will be close to noon tomorrow,” said co-skipper Damian Foxall on the phone conference Sunday afternoon. “But it’s really quite difficult. If someone had told me before the race that we’d be leading at this point, I’d have signed on for that right away. But it’s very uncertain coming up to this gate and a lot could still happen. It’s tending to lighten up and our main concern is how to deal with it. The islands can throw a long wind shadow so a 10-degree shift can make a big difference. We’ll be really pleased if we can get through this next gate in the lead.”

The middle of the leaderboard was given a good shake-up overnight as Veolia Environnement, Delta Dore and Hugo Boss all used a westerly position to sail around Estrella Damm and Temenos II.

“Conditions are much better now compared to last night,” admitted Dominique Wavre, the skipper of Temenos II. “We were quite stuck in very light and unstable wind, so it was a lot of work, using all of the sails.”

Similarly, Mutua Madrileña, who had tried a coastal strategy along Morocco, dropped back dramatically overnight after running out of wind. At the back of the fleet, Educación sin Fronteras also ran into a light patch and dropped further behind the leaders.

The passage past the Canary Islands holds a lot of potential for gains and losses. As Damian Foxall explained, the geography of the islands means it is quite easy to get stuck in the lee of an island, no matter how clever your plan is approaching the island.

All of the skippers are anxious to put the Canaries behind them and pick up the trade winds, which bring conditions more like what these Open 60 class boats were designed to excel in.

Day 8 – November 18, 16:00 GMT – Position report with distance to leader

1. PAPREC-VIRBAC 2 - Jean Pierre DICK / Damian FOXALL - 0.0
2. PRB - Vincent Riou / Sebastien JOSSE - 15.8
4. DELTA DORE - Jérémie BEYOU / Sidney GAVIGNET - 82.2
5. HUGO BOSS - Alex THOMSON / Andrew CAPE - 116.7
6. ESTRELLA DAMM - Guillermo ALTADILL / Jonathan MCKEE - 141.0
7. TEMENOS 2 - Dominique Wavre / Michele PARET - 145.4
8. MUTUA MADRILENA - Javier SANSO / Pachi RIVERO - 160.8

In Quotes – Vincent Riou, PRB: “We didn’t want to take more risks in this beginning of the race because we know that this is an around the world race and being there for the duration is more important. We knew that we might lose some miles like this, but the other way you can lose much more. Our position now, as expected, allows us to head on in good condition.”



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