Monday, January 28, 2008

Barcelona World Race: Close battle for third place

[Source: Barcelona World Race] The fight to get on the podium in Barcelona is intensifying as Mutua Madrileña has taken more miles out of Temenos II over the past 24 hours. At one stage overnight, the delta was down to just 20 miles, before Temenos II stretched away again.

This afternoon, just 44 miles separate the two boats after 79 days of racing. That’s close enough that just one small mistake in the variable South Atlantic weather could be the difference maker. Although they’ve left the Southern Ocean, the pressure hasn’t eased at all for these two competitors.

“We haven’t been able to relax at all,” said Michèle Paret this afternoon. “It’s been very stormy weather, very difficult for the past 24 hours. We’re manoeuvring all the time and really getting quite tired of this pace. I can’t wait to get out of here.”

Pressure is coming from behind where Mutua Madrileña is ensuring there is no time to relax: “Last night we caught up a lot to Temenos II and we woke up with them ahead by just 36 miles,” explained Javier Sansó. “They went a bit more westerly and it was a very good strategic move and now they are sailing to windward of us. He gained a bit this morning because we are going through a lot of squalls. The forecasts aren't very accurate in here but overnight we should have the wind going east and increasing to 8 to 12 knots and that should take us up to the doldrums. By this time tomorrow we should be on starboard tacking making nice progress north at 10 knots - I hope!”

The battle at the head of the fleet is much closer as well, with Hugo Boss having gained over 300 miles since Friday afternoon. The black boat is now less than 550 miles behind race leading Paprec-Virbac 2. But with the doldrums looming ahead, Hugo Boss isn’t expecting to keep up this recent pace of impressive gains.

“We'll slow up tomorrow or the next day when we hit the doldrums but I think it will still compress a bit,” Andrew Cape said today. “We've both been pretty slow and it's complex for both of us so we'll see. I think it'll get better but probably not enough.”

Complex weather is exactly what Paprec-Virbac 2 is facing. Skipper Jean-Pierre Dick said he and co-skipper Damian Foxall are still uncertain about their next move: “The situation is not easy and there are still a lot of miles to gain or lose.”

Educación sin Fronteras continues its steady pace at the back of the fleet. The fifth place boat is averaging about 10 knots, while steadily posting 240 mile days in the South Atlantic.

Day 79 – January 28, 14:00 GMT - Position report with distance to leader

1. PAPREC-VIRBAC 2 - Jean Pierre DICK / Damian FOXALL – 2660 to finish
2. HUGO BOSS - Alex THOMSON / Andrew CAPE – 546
3. TEMENOS 2 - Dominique Wavre / Michele PARET- 1638
4. MUTUA MADRILENA - Javier SANSO / Pachi RIVERO – 1682

Abandoned - DELTA DORE - Jérémie BEYOU / Sidney GAVIGNET
Abandoned - PRB - Vincent Riou / Sebastien JOSSE



Post a Comment

<< Home