Gilles Martin-Raget / Barcelona World Race

One out, one in

Renault Captur departs Wellington as Spirit of Hungary makes for Invercargill in the Barcelona World Race

Monday February 23rd 2015, Author: Helen Fretter, Location: none selected

Within hours of each other Spirit of Hungary was finally forced to bow to the inescapable truth that they have to make a pitstop in Invercargill, South Island NZ while Renault Captur has left Wellington after completing their own pitstop.

The Spirit of Hungary crew, Nandor Fa and Conrad Colman, had made every possible effort to repair or remove their damaged, stuck mainsail slide. Between them they have climbed to the damaged car five times over the last three days, trying at all costs to avoid a pitstop, which it seems will almost certainly lose them their best chance of catching Renault Captur. But the news came during last night that Fa and Colman are re-routing towards Invercargill where Kiwi Colman's friends and family will do all they can to assist a smooth turnaround. In his blog this morning Colman seemed to indicate that their stop should be no more than the 24 hours minimum required by the Barcelona World Race rules.

At 0500 UTC this morning, just when Spirit of Hungary had 550 miles to sail to Invercargill - due to arrive around mid-morning to mid-afternoon Tuesday - the 30 hours pit stop of Jorg Riechers and Sébastien Audigane ended in Wellington. With their starboard rudder repaired by local composite specialist Matt Gottard of MG Composites (ex-Hakes Marine who built Mike Golding's Ecover and Dee Caffari's IMOCA 60 Aviva), keel sorted and their J2 headsail fixed, Renault Captur was facing light winds to start with, but should get into 20-25 knots downwind to get their race back on track. But from challenging for third, or maybe even second, the German-French partnership are down to sixth and now have a 614 miles deficit on fifth-placed One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton. With just under half of the race course left they have a fighting chance of achieving that.

"It was good," said Riechers of their pitstop. "We solved the rudder problem and are happy to be back on the seas. We will see what happens and how we can get back into it. At the moment it is difficult to say, it is hard to say what is happening with the winds. There is a low pressure coming down so we will see how that works.

"We had a really, really good team over there who are fixing everything, the rudder was Matt Gotthard who organised the pitstop. We had the J2 repaired which needed minor repairs. We cleaned the boat which is full of diesel after we had some bad broaches. Apart from that we had a look at the boat and verified the boat a lot.

" We had a nice shower, some good food. It was brilliant. It is bad to lose places, we feel bad about that, but there is nothing we can do. We try to get back in the race, do our best to get back the places which were lost. We lost 2000 miles."

Cheminées Poujoulat's crew is lining up its approach to Cape Horn, with 530 miles to go this afternoon. Barcelona World Race leaders Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam hold a lead of 1063 miles over Neutrogena and were making a solid 16-17 knots boat speed today in a 17-20 knot southerly. They are racing at the same latitude as Cape Horn, 55°S, but will rise a little more north before setting course for their rounding tomorrow afternoon.

On Neutrogena, Guillermo Altadill and José Muñoz have extended their lead over Anna Corbella and Gerard Marín to just on 60 miles this afternoon. They have the increased benefit of better, stronger winds that their rivals, who have now dropped behind the leading edge of the front, into more unsettled breezes and confused seas. Chilean Muñoz is looking forwards most to Cape Horn. He recalled today that when he passed in 2008-9 during the Global Ocean Race friends and family were out to greet them.

In fourth and fifth respectively, the delta between We Are Water and her pursuers One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton is still shrinking - down to 209 miles with Alex Gelabert and Didac Costa sailing almost three knots quicker than the Garcia brothers on We Are Water. The fourth placed boat is sailing more downwind in slightly lighter pressure and so having to gybe.

Positions at 1400 UTC

1 Cheminées Poujoulat (B Stamm – J Le Cam) at 7412 miles to finish
2 Neutrogena (G Altadill – J Muñoz) + 1063 miles to leader
3 GAES Centros Auditivos (A Corbella – G Marin) + 1162 miles to leader
4 We Are Water (B Garcia – W Garcia) + 3072 miles to leader
5 One Planet One Ocean & Pharmaton (A Gelabert – D Costa) + 3281 miles to leader
6 Renault Captur (J Riechers – S Audigane) + 3909 miles to leader
7 Spirit of Hungary (N Fa – C Colman) + 4322 miles to leader
ABD : Hugo Boss (A. Thomson - P. Ribes)

Latest Comments

Add a comment - Members log in

Latest news!

Back to top
    Back to top