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Reality bites

© Thierry Martinez
© Thierry Martinez

Reality Bites

The Barcelona World Race tells the tale of the 'Haves' and the 'Have Nots' today. Leaders Chemineés Poujoulat have plenty of perfect breeze, sprinting nearly due east at speeds peaking at more than 20kts, while the chasing pack 'have not' and are stymied by the Saint Helena high pressure which seems loathe to relinquish its grip, delivering only light and unstable breezes for those battling to descend to the Southern Ocean.

Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam are ripping distance away from the fleet, not least because their course is a straight line due East, whilst second placed Neutrogena, now 500 miles SW of the leader, were still making SE this afternoon in much more modest breezes, despite being south, 42 deg S. The strategy of Guillermo Altadill and José Munoz is much more about long term, but in the here and now they have conceded 30 miles between 0900hrs and 1400hrs UTC and the lead of Chemineés Poujoulat is now 192 miles. Cheminées Poujoulat had about 1250 miles to go to pass the first of the three great capes, Good Hope.

Racing in what is usually fertile 'record' territory, Cheminées Poujoulat are a few miles shy of the pace set on the 2010-11 race by Jean-Pierre Dick and Loick Peyron on Virbac-Paprec 3. The French duo sailed 506 miles on this day four years ago, Stamm and Le Cam made 436 miles in the 24 hours to 1400hrs UTC this afternoon.

In third Anna Corbella and Gérard Marin on GAES Centros Auditivos were trapped in a ridge of high pressure, a tentacle from Saint Helena, and rather than the might of of the Roaring 40s it was 'trying to get south in not very much wind at 38 degrees south' for the Spanish pair. Of the light winds she and Marin have been having, Corbella wrote: 
" Right now we are in a calm that comes as 'rain in May', which gives us a chance to fix what what we broke yesterday… I do not know what we would do at GAES Centros Auditivos without these calm chances to repair things."

They started their Barcelona World Race on Renault Captur three weeks ago today with hopes of a podium, but - still snared in the South Atlantic High - they are nearly 600 miles from GAES Centros Auditivos who hold in third. Riechers and Audigane are actually closer to fifth - 300 miles or so ahead of We Are Water today but Bruno and Willy Garcia are now also 60 miles further south and were sailing five knots faster.

" It’s not that brilliant this morning, as we’re stuck in a calm and finding it hard to get out. We’re trying to make our way south and the wind can’t be far ahead of us now. We’ve had a lot of little repairs to do and can’t wait to do some real racing. I know we’ve been saying that since the start and I probably sound bitter." said Audigane rufeully this morning,

" We decided to get through the Doldrums quite some way east. We made our way more or less through that. Then, we had a few technical problems, in particular with the mast track, which was damaged. That slowed us down and we’re still paying the price."


See all skippers quotes on: www.imocaoceanmasters.com

IMOCA Ocean Masters
Barcelona World Race

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