Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Groupama New Caledonia Race: The Fourth Night will be Decisive

Supplied image.

The 4th night will be decisive

by Florence Dhie-Le Guénédal

Today has been a work worthy of wide-open. A film that the final episode will probably take place, tomorrow late afternoon or early night, to know the epilogue: Who will win? What crews will be on the podium? Currently the difference between the first eight boats after more than 500 nautical miles of the race is only 5 miles (10 km!). ODM.NC currently leads (pictured above). For how long?

Offshore or along the reef, tactics and trajectories are different ... But today, four boats, in turn, led the way: Northern Province, the Caledonian News/Team Australia, Lagoon and ODM.NC

These last 24 hours have been full of surprises. Last night a bunch of eight vessels was breaking off Bélep.

Positions of the boats. Image copyright Groupama Race.

Highlights of the late night:

a) In the morning the boats to the coast ("Mumm" "ODM.NC", "Northern Province", "Eat Well move More", Team NZ Ramada Plaza), which were stopped with no wind for 4H. When stopped, their peaks were at 0, 4 knots!

b) Early morning, the group's broad (Caledonian News/Team Australia, Lagoon Ozone Reunion Pacific Lagoon Travel) takes the lead of the race.

c) Finally, around the coast at 10/11am thermal winds began to blow. Boats along the reef resume speed and hope. The fleet is very spread out, from the reef to over 80 km to the west ... but the distance to the goal is almost the same for all!

d) This evening the boats were therefore after 500 miles and 4 days of racing at only 5 miles différence to the goal...

At the rear Young Sailors Trophy and Gummo are coming back very strong. With the waters of Mount Dore Géant Casino they reattached the pack.

Optic 2000 also came back full speed and is now at the head of the boats race ...
They can still all win the race.

* The options of the night: Stay ashore, stay off, go back to earth ... Big dilemma! Meteo France Announces Southeast wind 10 to 15 knots tonight to turn East North-East during the night along the coast.
* So how these sailors will have to negotiate the 4th night and 5th day? ... Difficult to predict. Everyone is tired. Nerves are frayed, the equipment is sometimes damaged. But everyone knows that victory is possible Under two conditions: stay focused and make the right choice in coming weather for the next 24-36 hours.
* The event record in 3 days, 23 hours, 20 minutes and 50 seconds, will not fall this year.

To follow the race live via satellite tags fitted to all ships and know the real time rankings:
http://www.groupamarace.nc tab (tracking) or

Groupama Race