Thursday, April 23, 2009

Ericsson 4 and Telefonice Blue enter stealth mode

[Source: Ericsson Racing Team] The two leaders on Leg 6 have both entered Stealth Play, which makes them invisible to the rest of the fleet and race fans until this evening.

Stealth play allows a crew to hide its position information from competing yachts and race fans for a period of 12 hours. The crews seem to enact it when they are nearing changes in weather that they don’t want their competitors to comprehend.

Telefónica Blue, which has led the race since Apr. 12, activated its Stealth option this morning at the 1000 GMT position report. Three hours later, Ericsson 4 went into Stealth mode. Each is invisible for a 12-hour period.

The last position report when both were visible was at 0700 GMT, and at that point Ericsson 4 had closed to within 6 nautical miles of the Spanish yacht. Last Sunday Ericsson 4 was 105 miles behind.

The actions of the two lead yachts put Ericsson 3 in the lead. At the 1300 report, the Nordic crew was 841 nautical miles from the finish and 15 miles ahead of Puma, the next closest yacht.

At the 0700 report, when the two leaders were visible, Ericsson 3 was 22 nautical miles behind Telefónica Blue and 16 miles behind its teammate.

Leg 6 has reached a crucial stage. The fleet is about to encounter a series of cold fronts that will change the wind direction to northwest, before it eventually backs to the southwest after a following high pressure sweeps across the race track.

(At 1301 GMT, Apr. 23, 2009)
1. Ericsson 3, 841 nautical miles to finish
2. Puma, +15 NM
3. Telefónica Black, +68 NM
4. Delta Lloyd, +78 NM
5. Green Dragon, +131 NM
Stealth Telefónica Blue, Ericsson 4

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