Wednesday, November 28, 2007

PRB and Paprec-Virbac 2 leading the Barcelona World Race, just 10 miles apart

[Source: Barcelona World Race] The two race leaders, PRB and Paprec-Virbac 2, are determined to stay to close to each other as the two boats descend down towards the ‘Roaring 40’s’. That’s still some days off, but skippers on both boats say they’re determined to remain close, to ensure they stay in the same weather system as the other, and reach the Roaring 40's together.

“We just want to make sure that whatever PRB gets, we get it too,” explained Damian Foxall on Paprec-Virbac 2 this afternoon. PRB’s Vincent Riou had the same idea earlier in the day.

But Veolia Environnement appears to be determined to make it a three-boat party as Roland Jourdain’s boat has taken over 50 miles out of the leading PRB over the last 24 hours.

Veolia Environnement sailing towards Brazil. Atlantic Ocean, 28 November 2007. Video copyright Veolia Environnement

Further back Delta Dore and Hugo Boss have done even better, clawing back nearly 60 miles, although they remain over 200 miles behind. Those top five boats have now all crossed through the scoring gate at Fernando de Noronha.

Next to reach that milestone will be Temenos II, which has spent the day trying to drag itself clear of Mutua Madrileña and has been rewarded with a margin of 20 miles.

Also, finally joining the bulk of the fleet in the south Atlantic trade winds is Estrella Damm. Skippers Guillermo Altadill and Jonathan McKee have battled against a series of problems on board, with the result that they haven’t been able to stay in touch with their competitors.

“This has been one of the hardest three days of my life,” read the email today from Jonathan McKee. “Granted we had been having a rather bad race, whether making some poor decisions or being unlucky or some combination of those two. But we were still in the race, something like 30-50 miles behind the group in front on Sunday morning. But somehow they kept a lot more consistent breeze than us since then...According to our weather data, we should have had decent breeze the whole time, and better than the boats further west. But obviously those predictions have been wrong and somehow our competitors have analyzed the situation better than we have. Each time we would get a good southwest wind we would say, ok here we go at last, only to have it disappear within an hour, and we return to the DOLDRUMS, Heinous place...”

Perhaps they can take heart from the latest position report, which sees Estrella Damm racing south at 14.7 knots – the third fastest boat in the fleet. Meanwhile, Educación sin Fronteras, at the back of the fleet, will be spending the night in the doldrums.

Day 18 – November 28, 16:00 GMT – Position report with distance to leader

1. PRB - Vincent Riou / Sebastien JOSSE - 0.0
2. PAPREC-VIRBAC 2 - Jean Pierre DICK / Damian FOXALL - 10.1
4. DELTA DORE - Jérémie BEYOU / Sidney GAVIGNET - 204.4
5. HUGO BOSS - Alex THOMSON / Andrew CAPE - 220.1
6. TEMENOS 2 - Dominique Wavre / Michele PARET - 254.4
7. MUTUA MADRILENA - Javier SANSO / Pachi RIVERO - 274.0
8. ESTRELLA DAMM - Guillermo ALTADILL / Jonathan MCKEE - 472.0



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