In the strong, following W’ly wind and with the leading duo electing to stay north slightly – around 50 deg– the top of the fleet have compacted slightly more.
Charlie Dalin (APIVIA) – who slowed yesterday to consolidate his foil box repairs yesterday – has caught back some 40 miles on Yannick Bestaven (Maître Coq) and Thomas Ruyant (LinkedOut) has returned more than 120 miles on Bestaven to be 202 nautical miles behind Bestaven. As Cape Horn beckons this weekend it is as well Race Direction has opened the race area more by moving the ice barrier south in this area as there will be significant race traffic!
Fortunately for this lead group they will be into a new NW’ly flow today from a system which will take them east to exit the Pacific. Overnight Bestaven was not particularly fast and Damien Seguin (APICIL Group) is now close to Ruyant.
Those who had to gybe north to avoid the AEZ did not make as much, Maxime Sorel (V and B-Mayenne) and Louis Burton (Bureau Vallée 2), but from Giancarlo Pedote (Prysmian Group) up the second group are only one short day’s racing behind the top duo. And with the new depression arriving from behind the trio Attanasio, Cremer and Burton should catch up more.
Passed under New Zealand at 56 ° South there is the trio of the young Swiss Alan Roura (La Fabrique) now close to Arnaud Boissières (La Mie Câline-Artisans Artipôle) and Pip Hare (Medallia) racing along the AEZ. On the southern edge of a high pressure area, they can all lengthen their stride in a moderate NW’ly flow.
Good news from Stéphane Le Diraison (Time for Oceans) who had planned to sail to Macquarie Island to sort his mainsail track problems. He finally found a solution with the support of his shore team. He is back in race mode chasing the quick Jérémie Beyou (Charal) who emerged from the Tasmanian depression very well and can now press fast down from the AEZ. Alexia Barrier (TSE-4myplanet) has also picked up her pace after a fright when her backstay (which supports the mast from the back) block exploded! She was able to repair before passing Cape Leeuwin where Finnish racer Ari Huusela (STARK) also crossed last night.
Right now the initiative is with the hunters and many have the chance to make miles and de-stabilise the status quo. The weather situation around the Falklands islands does not look very stable at all for the early New Year and so there could yet be come very close finishes in Les Sables d’Olonne.
© Copyright 2011-2020 - Nautica Report - Reg. Tribunale di Roma n.314 - 27-12-2013 - Editore Carlo Alessandrelli - Conc. Pubb. Wave Promotion srls - P.Iva: 12411241008