Saturday, 5 March 2011

BWR: Iker and Xabi, 24 hours from Cape Horn

It is expected that “MAPFRE” will round the legendary Cape tomorrow

by Helena Paz

Iker Martínez and Xabi Fernández are drawing ever closer to the legendary Cape Horn, the southernmost Cape of Tierra del Fuego and a sailing chart landmark. The latest forecasts continue to indicate that tomorrow will be the day Iker and Xabi round the Cape to commence the final leg in the race, the 7,200 miles home to Barcelona.

Since they passed the previous gate in the Pacific, “MAPFRE” has chosen to stay further South than the regatta leader, following a course closer to the orthodromic line, the shortest route to the finish. Between 14:00 GMT and 19:00 GMT yesterday, Iker and Xabi were back on the attack, cutting down the gap with Dick and Peyron by 10 miles. However, during the night the leaders got away and with the latest position report at 09:00 GMT “MAPFRE” were able to slow down the escape by “Virbac Paprec 3” with the gap standing between the two entries at 87 miles.

Having picked speed back up to 19.2 knots in the 09:00 GMT position report, Xabi Fernández made these comments in a brief email sent to his team, letting them know that things weren't easy on board “MAPFRE”: “We are going like crazy. The truth is that between one thing and the other things are tough. This could get ugly.”

We'll see if Cape Horn could also be an area where distances could be again reduced between the French and Spanish. Xabi touched on this yesterday: “We were very close once and although we've dropped back somewhat, they may be the chance for some compression at Cape Horn and we'll get back together.”

Day 61 - 09:00 GMT

1. VIRBAC-PAPREC 3 (Jean Pierre Dick - Loïck Peyron) FRA, 7,365.5 miles from finish
2. MAPFRE (Iker Martínez - Xabi Fernández) ESP, +79.7 miles
3. RENAULT Z. E. (Pachi Rivero - Antonio Piris) ESP, +1,372.2 miles
4. NEUTROGENA FÓRMULA NORUEGA (Boris Herrmann - Ryan Breymaier) NOR, +1,405.5 miles
5. MIRABAUD (Dominique Wavre - Michéle Paret) SUI, +1,598.3 miles
6. GROUPE BEL (Kito de Pavant - Sebastien Audigane) FRA, +1,875.9 miles
7. ESTRELLA DAMM SAILING TEAM (Alex Pella - Pepe Ribes) ESP, +1,955.8 miles
8. HUGO BOSS (Wouter Verbraak - Andy Meiklejohn) GBR, +2,329.1 miles
9. GAES CENTROS AUDITIVOS (Dee Caffari - Anna Corbella) GBR/ESP, +2,495.1 miles
10. FÒRUM MARÍTIM CATALÀ (Gerard Marín - Ludovic Aglaor) ESP, +4,184.8 miles **MAKING A TECHNICAL STOPOVER IN WELLINGTON**
11. CENTRAL LECHERA ASTURIANA (Juan Merediz - Fran Palacio) ESP, +4,354.5 miles
12. WE ARE WATER (Jaume Mumbrú - Cali Sanmartí) ESP, +4,940.3 miles
** FONCIA (Michel Desjoyeaux - François Gabart) FRA, RACE ABANDONED 26th January.
** PRÉSIDENT (Jean le Cam - Bruno García) FRA/ESP, RACE ABANDONED 12th January.

Barcelona World Race