Wednesday, 16 February 2011
On board GAES Centros Auditivos. Image copyright GAES Centros Auditivos.
by Coralie Rassinoux
The all female duo’s hearts were certainly racing yesterday but it had little to do with the romance of Valentine’s Day and more to do with the speeds their IMOCA Open 60, GAES Centos Auditivos, was achieving. At one point Caffari and Corbella were polled at 17.1 knots making them one of the fastest boats on the course and allowing them to continue their chase of closest race rivals Andy Meiklejohn & Wouter Verbraak aboard Hugo Boss.
GAES Centros Auditivos has now exited the eastern point of the Australian gate and Caffari explains how passing this latest ice gate was not all heart and flowers:
“We waited for the gap in the barrier to change sails knowing that, should the wind be gusty or come forward, we could bear away. This was okay and the forecast in the grib file was for the wind to decrease and go left lifting us. This never happened until some 200 miles later making our journey along the second half of the barrier extremely tight. With only 8 miles to play with to stay clear of the barrier we were relieved when the wind did eventually free us up and take the "will we, won't we?" element away.”
Today the GAES girls are enjoying a dry ride with big sails up and Project Manager, Harry Spedding, speculates on the conditions that lie ahead as they race along the south of Australia:
“The next 24 hours will see the girls overtaken by a weakening warm front, with the wind direction shifting between west and north west. Following this they will see a depression giving them a fast ride across the second Australian safety barrier to the Tasman Sea. The greatest issue will be negotiating the exit of this depression before entering the Cook Straits further north in the Tasman Sea. The end of the week will see some difficult tactical decision making, especially as the wrong decision could give them some very tough conditions.”The Barcelona World Race continues to be led by Virbac-Paprec 3 with Mapfre second and Estrella Damm third. At the 0900hrs ranking today, Caffari and Corbella onboard GAES Centros Auditivos were in 9th place, 145 miles behind Andy Meiklejohn & Wouter Verbraak on Hugo Boss.
Aviva has been a longstanding supporter of Dee Caffari and her inspirational record breaking sailing achievements, assisting her to three world records including becoming the first woman to sail solo, non-stop, around the world in both directions. As Founding Partner of Caffari’s sailing campaign, Aviva is pleased to extend this support to Corbella and GAES for the Barcelona World Race.
GAES Centros Auditivos
Barcelona World Race