Monday, January 07, 2008

Paprec-Virbac racing ahead of the rest of the Barcelona World Race fleet

[Source: Barcelona World Race] There are a few tough days ahead for Hugo Boss as the race leader, Paprec-Virbac 2 has hooked into a nice Southern Ocean low and is running away, while Hugo Boss is stuck in very mild conditions – in every sense of the word. Describing their current situation, the words of Jean-Pierre Dick on Paprec-Virbac 2 and Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss couldn’t have been more different.

“There is a lot of rain and gusty winds, up to 35 knots. It’s very difficult to sail the boat,” Jean-Pierre said. “It’s very, very cold here, so just checking the sails and adjusting the sheets is torture. It’s terrible really.”

The consolation is a boat speed approaching 20 knots. Meanwhile, Hugo Boss is in the same ‘Furious Fifties’, but struggling to make 5 knots on a sunny, warm, windless day.

“Our situation hasn’t really changed for the past few days. We’re still catching up to this ridge of high pressure and sailing along with the ridge,” Alex Thomson said on the video conference today. He then switched the camera to an outside view, showing a beautiful, sunny, blue sky, the sea calm and nearly flat. It certainly looked like anything but the Southern Ocean. We asked Alex if it was frustrating.

“We’re not too fussed about it. There’s nothing we can do about it. We stopped for 48 hours in New Zealand. We could sit and complain that we’re so unlucky and he’s so lucky but the fact is we stopped and you can’t expect to be right up next to him a week after you stop,” Thomson said. “We’ll wait and see what happens after Cape Horn.”

Behind them, the rest of the fleet has picked up the pace as well. Temenos II is trying to fend off the advance of Mutua Madrileña, who has picked up 75 miles over the last 24 hours. Javier Sansó and Pachi Rivero are now just over 100 miles behind Temenos II.

Educación Sin Fronteras crossing the Cook Strait. Wellington, 6 January 2008. Photo copyright Chris Cameron

“We are quite happy to have the wind again. I think we’ve lost about three days to the high pressure,” complained Dominique Wavre, from on board Temenos II. “In a way it’s nice to have Mutua pushing us, but in a way it’s very frustrating. He gained 200 miles so easily because we had bad timing coming out of Wellington. We don’t feel there is a lot of justice in it! But it will be better in a few days.”

And Educación sin Fronteras is up to speed today again, after passing through Cook Strait yesterday and leaving New Zealand behind. Albert Bargués is happy to begin the second half of the race without having stopped, and is looking forward to Cape Horn, over 4000 miles in the distance.

“The importance of Cape Horn is that this place is a symbol for us really, of all of our hard work so far,” he said. “It’s an accumulation of all the effort by everyone associated with our team to get us this far. That’s why it will be special for us.”

Day 58 – January 7, 14:00 GMT - Position report with distance to leader

1. PAPREC-VIRBAC 2 - Jean Pierre DICK / Damian FOXALL - 0
2. HUGO BOSS - Alex THOMSON / Andrew CAPE – 863
3. TEMENOS II - Dominique Wavre / Michele PARET- 2837
4. MUTUA MADRILENA - Javier SANSO / Pachi RIVERO – 2944

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

In Quotes – Alex Thomson, Hugo Boss: “Can you see the sunlight there? This is the Southern Ocean and it’s like a millpond. We haven’t had the sea this calm since that light spot before the Canary Islands. It’s pretty amazing actually. It’s like a millpond and the boat is hardly moving - it’s the Furious Fifties! This leg of the Southern Ocean for us, we’ve had maybe six hours with the wind over 22 knots and apart from that it’s been less than 20 knots, and it’s going to stay that way most of the way to Cape Horn.”



At 10:22 AM, Blogger SuTree said...

What a great race!!!! it seems to quite competitive and challenging. How is it comparing to the American cup race?


Post a Comment

<< Home