Gilles Martin-Raget / Barcelona World Race

Second Great Cape ticked off

Another landmark passed for leader Cheminees Poujoulat in the Barcelona World Race

Friday February 6th 2015, Author: Helen Fretter, Location: none selected

Cheminées Poujoulat passed the second ‘Great Cape’ in the Barcelona World Race, passing around 600 miles south of Cape Leeuwin, at the tip of south-western Australia, at 1525 UTC, 37 days, 3 hours and 25 minutes after setting sail from Barcelona.

In the last Barcelona World Race, race winners Virbac Paprec 3 passed the longitude of Leeuwin on February 8, suggesting that this time round the race leaders are already 48 hours faster than the last race’s record-setting pace.

Cheminées Poujoulat has currently sailed around 40% of the 23,465 mile theoretical course distance, and now has around three days more sailing in the Indian Ocean before technically crossing into the Pacific after she passes south of Tasmania. Neutrogena in second place is 175 miles to the west, averaging around 1 knot faster than the race leader over the past 24 hours.

Pepe Ribes, who was in first place with Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss when they were dismasted off South America on January 15, gave his analysis of the competition: “I think it’s still quite a good fight. Obviously between the first and the second group there is quite a bit of separation, really difficult to catch. But between first and second and third and fourth maybe we will see some changes of positions. But the distance that they have now, already, I think to have changes of positions you have to break a boat or don’t sail properly the boat because you have a problem, because 150 or 100 miles is already a bit gap to catch up, or to jump a weather system. So I think the race is not even in the middle, so the boats and the guys are going to suffer a lot still. I think we can expect everything!"

Different angles

The difference between reaching in 30-knot winds and beating into 30-knot headwinds was vividly illustrated today.

Renault Captur in fourth place was this morning racing in 25 knots, with stable wave conditions and sunshine making for a pleasant day of fast sailing for Jörg Riechers and Sebastien Audigane.

Riechers reported that although they expected conditions to build, thanks to a low pressure system to the southwest, they were unconcerned: “We are in 25 knots, reaching at about an angle of 125° degrees, going fast and still sunny conditions, but I think in a couple of hours the wind will be getting stronger, and probably will stay strong for the next four days. So we are expecting 35 knots for the next night, and for two days we will see probably 40 knots.

“It’s downwind so for the next night it will probably be two reefs and the J2, and for the 40 knots it will probably be two reefs and the J3, but nothing really to declare about. Just to take the reefs when the wind gets up.

“For us it’s easy at the moment. So it’s nothing really special at the moment. When it gets to 40 knots it will be maybe a bit tough, but nothing really to worry about.

“At the moment with GAES it’s like, I think VMG downwind they are a touch faster than us and there’s nothing we can do about it.

“Now we have taken a little bit of lateral separation, so maybe we hope we can get some distance back in the next one or two days. So for sure, we will not give up to fight for the podium, but it’s not easy to catch them because they are going fast. But we will do everything, no problem!

“Nowadays I think you don’t feel really isolated. It’s not like the days when Moitessier or Robin Knox-Johnston sailed around the world when you had no contact to nobody. So, this is not super-isolating because you have telephones, you can talk to family, so no, it’s ok for us.”

Renault Captur is currently at the leading edge of a low pressure system, which has seen them average 17.8 knots boat speed over Friday afternoon. Third placed GAES Centros Auditivos is around 250 miles to the east and slightly further north, frequently in 5-10 knots less pressure, and with a 212-mile margin today, reduced by around 60 miles since yesterday.

However, fifth placed We Are Water, some 575 miles behind, is still to the west of the Kerguelen Islands, and to the west of the same front. Willy Garcia reported strikingly different conditions this morning: “We have been sailing for 6 or 7 hours with 40 knots of wind and gusts of 45-47 knots. Our speed over the ground: 20-25 knots constantly. Boat more below the sea than above it…”

Headed off course

One Planet One Ocean & Pharmaton has also been experiencing upwind southeasterlies, however, Spirit of Hungary has had to take the most dramatically evasive action, sailing around 300 miles on a northeasterly course in ENEerly winds, before finally tacking this afternoon.

Skipper Nandor Fa spoke today of the challenges he and Conrad Colman were facing: “Life is very difficult right now. You know we are sailing in upwind since four or five days, and it’s really difficult now, it’s stronger than it was before. In the night we had 30 knots plus winds from the east, and quite rough seas.

“Sometimes I have a feeling we are sailing in the wrong direction in the planet, because it is like we are sailing in the opposite direction – but anyway we are sailing and quite soon we will turn, we will tack, and we go to the south-east after. But right now still we point north and hope that the wind should change a little bit more.

“So the life is quite difficult on the boat because it’s very much heeled, and very much movement, very bumpy, a lot of slamming, so it’s tough. But we are moving at least and soon we will be making a change – maybe in two days. So anyway we are quite happy, in spite of the difficult conditions.

“At the moment it’s very difficult to talk about any strategy because we try to go as much to the east as possible, we follow the wind, but there’s a huge area against us. Maybe in the next days it will be better and more favourable than now. We want to go as safe as possible as fast as possible, and we put our energy into that, but that’s he best we can do now – no more!”

Positions at 1400 UTC

1 .Cheminées Poujoulat (B. Stamm - J. Le Cam) at 13,575.9 miles to the finish
2. Neutrogena (G. Altadill - J. Muñoz) + 175.3 miles to the leader
3. GAES Centros Auditivos (A. Corbella - G. Marín) + 1,212.7 miles to the leader
4. Renault Captur (J. Riechers - S. Audigane) + 1,450.2 miles to the leader
5. We Are Water (B. Garcia - W. Garcia) + 2,025.8 miles to the leader
6. One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton (A. Gelabert - D. Costa) + 2,723.4 miles to the leader
7. Spirit of Hungary (N. Fa - C. Colman) + 3,328.0 miles to the leader
ABD Hugo Boss (A. Thomson - P. Ribes)

Latest Comments

Add a comment - Members log in

Latest news!

Back to top
    Back to top