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Day 105 A Return No Easier Than Their Departure

After the start in early January Hugo Boss’ duo Andy Meiklejohn and Wouter Verbraak did not particularly enjoy their slow exit from the Mediterranean and passage down to the Canary Islands’ when they finally hit the trade winds, but the same stretch of water is being no less compliant on their return, certainly not recognising the achievements of the duo so far.

The saving grace at day 104 of their race, is that  every mile gained is one closer to home but the Kiwi-Dutch duo are being made to fight upwind with a very complex weather pattern which leaves them walking a strategic tight rope.

To their east now is a huge zone of variable light breezes and so increasingly the co-skippers are resigned to continuing north in a series of hitches before they will hit the Easterly Levant wind, the outflow from the Straits of Gibraltar which will require them to approach directly upwind.

This afternoon Hugo Boss was 550 miles west of Gibraltar which they are expected to reach in about three days.

But the situation is improving for Forum Maritim Catala’s Gérard Marin and Ludovic Aglaor who have the potential to catch up significantly on the strength of coming in on W’ly and SW’lies from the low pressure.

And for We Are Water it is finally the champagne trade winds sailing after Jaume Mumbru and Cali Sanmarti managed to get east into the 16-18kts SE’lies so the duo have been making steady 11kts boat speed today.


Jaume Mumbru (ESP) We Are Water: “We are sailing in the trades and little by little the trade winds are rotating more east for us, and so we are heading almost directly for our waypoint which is off the point of Brazil and there we should start to enter the Doldrums, but it is a very good situation for us now, we are just trying to get as much rest as we can in these regular conditions. Two weeks ago we were just leaving Ushuaia and it is true that we really feel the fatigue and tiredness associated with that and what went on before. We are quite calm and the slamming of the boat we are much more relaxed with everything now we are out of the south. We are studying a bit the Doldrums but we have not really much to reference against at this time of year, it is new for us, but the idea should be to cross between 29 and 30 degrees west.”

“We are now relaxing, us and the boat and the feelings are good. We have to remind ourself that some weeks ago it was so bad.”

Juan Merediz (ESP) Central Lechera Asturiana:“ We are good because we did all that we could. We now have to deal with the decision. We were more than 1000 miles out when we broke the frame, four days since we left Wellington. In the end the decision was not difficult. At the time there was one wave, one slam and it was over for us.”


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