Saturday, 26 February 2011

BWR: Breeze ON !!!

Groupe Bel. Image copyright Gilles Martin-Raget/Groupe Bel.

by Barcelona World Race media

Virbac-Paprec 3 and MAPFRE have fulfilled the Mid Pacific gate as of yesterday morning and have 600 miles to the West Pacific gate. The leading duo have been fast reaching in 20-25kts and remain very evenly matched in these conditions, with Virbac-Paprec making only 0.5NM on their Spanish adversaries since last night's 1900hrs ranking. Virbac-Paprec 3's margin is 14.5 miles over MAPFRE at 0400hrs UTC this morning with both making between 16.5-18kts.

Renault Z.E Sailing Team have 200 miles to make the W. Pacific gate and have between 30 and 35 kts of NW'ly, making around 16.5 kts on average.

Neutrogena have carried their speed well through the night averaging 17.3kts and were just over 63 miles behind Renault Z.E this morning and hold a lead of 184 miles on Mirabaud.

Groupe Bel and Estrella Damm have pushed through to the east side of the system ex Atu. The weather files show winds of 55kts and more in the gusts, but the seas will still be their biggest problem. Kito De Pavant said in his mail this morning:
"Upwind in 40kts with gusts of 50, big, short seas and torrential rain. That's the post card for us just now. It is tough and we have a painful 24hours then hard reaching. We stopped in Wellington to repair our downwind sails because?"

Hugo Boss are in SW'ly 35 kts slowed on the other side of the system, while GAES Centros Auditivos have been making a more northerly course, slowing back to let the worst of the low pass, their very northerly route diverging from the rhumb line accounting for their 3.5kts VMG.

Moving at speed: Mapfre's wake. Image copyright Mapfre.

FMC have 700 miles to the Cook Strait entrance and still expect to make their technical stop in Wellington Monday morning, making a good 14kts this morning. Central Lechera Asturiana have 20-25kts W'ly and their speed has picked up in recent hours as the wind pressure builds for them, while We Are Water have only 600 miles of the Pacific left.

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