Saturday, January 12, 2008

Barcelona World Race: Hugo Boss closing in on leader Paprec Virbac

[Source; Barcelona World Race] Hugo Boss has made great strides over the past 24 hours in chasing down the leader of the Barcelona World Race, Paprec-Virbac 2. While the leading boat made its way up inside the Falkland Islands, Hugo Boss was enjoying tremendous Southern Ocean reaching conditions and has put 422 miles behind them over the past 24 hours.

“We have had a good break with the weather,” explained co-skipper Andrew Cape. “The conditions since yesterday have been 25-30 knots and the boat was really excelling. We are now just below 20 knots wind speed and sitting on about 17 or 18 knots of boat speed. We expect it to pick up again in about ten hours as we get nearer the coast and Cape Horn. We think our ETA at the Horn is just over 24 hours - tomorrow afternoon (GMT) for sure.”

In front, Paprec-Virbac 2 opted to sail west of the Falklands to avoid winds that were forecast to be as strong as 60 knots on the outside of the Islands. Instead, the leader gybed its way between the mainland and the islands in relatively benign 25 knot winds, although waves and currents still made it a tricky proposition. While dropping just over 150 miles to Hugo Boss over the past 24 hours, Paprec-Virbac 2 still enjoys an 833 mile buffer.

At the other end of the fleet, Educación sin Fronteras has been forced to sail cautiously with a Southern Ocean gale bringing winds of upwards of 35 knots on the forecast. For the moment, it’s much more manageable with winds of 20 knots today. Servane Escoffier and Albert Bargués on deck to change some broken battens in the mainsail. Servane says they are being very cautious in these conditions and aren’t expecting to sail particularly fast.

Mutua Madrileña and Temenos II continue to sail along in lockstep towards Cape Horn with just 150 miles separating the pair. Javier Sanso, on Mutua Madrileña described the current conditions with one word: miserable!

“It is miserable,” he said laughing. “We’re reaching along, going up and down the waves and the boat is really slamming. You get thrown over the waves and the boat slams so hard your ears are buzzing. Besides that, everything is fine!”

Day 62 – January 11, 14:00 GMT - Position report with distance to leader

1. PAPREC-VIRBAC 2 - Jean Pierre DICK / Damian FOXALL – 6510 to finish
2. HUGO BOSS - Alex THOMSON / Andrew CAPE – 833
3. TEMENOS II - Dominique Wavre / Michele PARET- 2856
4. MUTUA MADRILENA - Javier SANSO / Pachi RIVERO – 3007

Abandoned - ESTRELLA DAMM - Guillermo ALTADILL / Jonathan MCKEE
Abandoned - DELTA DORE - Jérémie BEYOU / Sidney GAVIGNET
Abandoned - PRB - Vincent Riou / Sebastien JOSSE

In Quotes – Dominique Wavre, Temenos II: “Sunrise and it’s a little bit grey outside, but it’s ok. We have the low pressure behind us and a high pressure ahead and we’re sort of sandwiched between the two. It’s not too cold, there’s not a huge sea running but there is more wind coming from behind. We’re trimming a lot, but not much to do in terms of being on the wheel.”



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