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Day 86 Virbac-Paprec 3 less than 1400 miles to finish

  • Virbac-Paprec 3 detour north to avoid Canary Islands lee
  • ETA Virbac-Paprec 3 at Gibraltar overnight 31st March to 1st April
  • Central Lechera Asturiana aim to restart from Wellington after 25 day technical stopover.

As anticipated by many, Virbac-Paprec 3 has tacked north again this afternoon, taking a short hitch to avoid passing directly through the Canary Islands archipelago and the likely long wind shadows cast bay the high mountains, especially Tenerife. With some 90 miles left to reach the westernmost extremity of the islands, Jean-Pierre Dick and Loick Peyron will take a short hitch back to the north before extending east all the way to the Moroccan coast.

Iker Martinez retains his fierce optimism, believing that there will be chances to pull back some miles on the leading pair after MAPFRE passes the Canary Islands.

As far as strategy goes there is not much before the Canary Islands, we make a mainly northerly course and will tack to the east depending on the evolution of the anticyclone, but what seems more complex is after the Canaries to the Straits of Gibraltar when it seems like there will be less wind.”  The Spanish double Olympic medalist explained on this morning’s visio link up with MAPFRE.  They remain determined to be resigned to second place, but he admits “our destiny is for sure not 100% in our own hands.”

 

If the Spanish sailing icons don’t feel particularly compromised on this long upwind leg since the Equator byt the damaged dagger board, Martinez saying it might be causing them a small fraction of a knot of difference, Boris Herrmann and his co-skipper Ryan Breymaier are much more frustrated by the fact they cannot cant their keel to its maximum, so losing valuable righting moment as they duel with Estrella Damm. Herrmann’s assertion is backed up by their loss of 14 miles over the last 24 hours to their Spanish rivals. Estrella Damm are now 36 miles ahead:

“It is just a bit nuts for us just now because we feel like if we had the full potential of our keel then it would be a totally different game, for us it is like driving a car with only four out of five gears. We cant switch into fifth gear and get the last bit of speed. We reckon that it is almost a knot that we are missing, so it is a good thing for them. They seem to be able to sail away from us with no trouble.

It is like in a dinghy, a lighter dinghy crew has to sail a higher angle, a closer angle to the wind, trying to do the same VMG like that. That is what we try to do here. The boat has slightly less righting moment, the only option is to sail higher at a slower speed, but that works pretty well.  Explained Herrmann

But for the Spanish-English duo of Anna Corbella and Dee Caffari on GAES Centros Auditivos there is the hope that they will be able to sail the north Atlantic with their IMOCA Open 60 back at very close to 100% potential after completing their ballast tank repair yesterday. Corbella confirmed they will be giving the lamination 48 hours to cure completely before building up to maximum speed.

But the biggest repair of all has been that of Central Lechera who have been in Wellington since 3rd March when they arrived with their broken mast, but the team informed Race Direction in Barcelona that they intend to set out from the Kiwi capital tonight.

“Our objective was and continues to be the completion of the circumnavigation. As the Mexican song goes, ‘finishing first is not really the important thing, the important thing is to know how to finish’. We really have this desire to complete what we started” explained Juan Merediz, while his co-skipper, Fran Palacio, explains: “ Our
shore team, management and the FNOB are doing all in their power for us
to be able to fulfill our dream. We do not have enough words of gratitude
to express all we feel for this help. Without a doubt we have worked
with the best”.

Standings of Sunday 27th March  at 1400hrs

1              VIRBAC-PAPREC 3 1401 miles to finish 

2              MAPFRE + 242 miles to leader

3              RENAULT Z.E at + 1081 miles to leader

4              ESTRELLA DAMM Sailing Team at + 1236 miles to leader

5              NEUTROGENA at + 1271 miles to leader

6              GAES CENTROS AUDITIVOS at + 1846 miles to leader

7              HUGO BOSS at + 3367 miles to leader

8              FORUM MARITIM CATALA at + 3855 miles to leader

9              WE ARE WATER at 5640 miles to leader

10            CENTRAL LECHERA ASTURIANA at + 10149 miles to leader

RTD          FONCIA

RTD         PRESIDENT

RTD         GROUPE BEL

RTD        MIRABAUD

Quotes:
Boris Herrmann (GER) Neutrogena
:“It is just a bit nuts for us just now because we feel like if we had the full potential of our keel then it would be a totally different game, for us it is like driving a car with only four out of five gears. We cant switch into fifth gear and get the last bit of speed. We reckon that it is almost a knot that we are missing, so it is a good thing for them. They seem to be able to sail away from us with no trouble.

It is like in a dinghy, a lighter dinghy crew has to sail a higher angle, a closer angle to the wind, trying to do the same VMG like that. That is what we try to do here. The boat has slightly less righting moment, the only option is to sail higher at a slower speed, but that works pretty well. In any case this is a very good boat upwind, which makes us even more mad. If we had everything together we could be doing very well, and sail quite fast.

Upwind we have established a four hours routine in these conditions, one of us is four hours is controlling the pilot, trimming, and trying to optimise the speed or performance all the time while the other one is down below looking at the weather and stuff like that. I have one good book that I am reading now.

I play with thoughts when you have time to think just now, the thoughts can take you anywhere into the future, for future professional life I would hope that if it was not sailing it could be in a sector like that (adventure and environmental projects)

Maybe every 15 minutes there is one big slam in a wave, but mostly we go through quite smoothly. We have a reef in the main because of the keel, it is a little bit gusty and puffy but we are quite happy with this pace doing 9.5 to 10 knots.

We don’t have grib files which reach from here to Gibraltar so it is hard to make a route more than a week ahead, we expect probably five days upwind on this tack. To be honest I am not pressed by tactical options, I am just hoping the whole scenario will change to give more opportunities.

I would like to go into the Pyrenees when I get back, it is not far from Barcelona, maybe still in April so I hope to find time for that.”

Iker Martinez (ESP) MAPFRE: “All is good on board and we are pressing on. Right now we are beating, upwind which we have been doing pretty much since the Equator. I don’t remember when we last did such a long upwind, I guess since the last Volvo, but it is not really upwind like the Copa del Rey, tacking back and forth.

As for our food situation, well it is really precipitated by a problem we have had with some of the freeze dried which got contaminated, we will find out how or why later, but we have been rationing it for three weeks now, but in fact we are quite used to watching our weight for the 49er racing, so it is not unusual for us.

The problem with the daggerboard is not so noticeable, on port it goes a little better but we are talking fractions of a knot, but the figures are not so important.

As far as strategy goes there is not much before the Canary Islands, we make a mainly northerly course and will tack to the east depending on the evolution of the anticyclone, but what seems more complex is after the Canaries to the Straits of Gibraltar when it seems like there will be less wind.

The race feels like it is counting down the end feels not far away but like others at the stage that kind of makes the days feel longer. This section feels quite long. But the motivation increases all the time. To be closer to the finish really motivates you, just the same as it does in the Olympics. But the tiredness catches up with you now, too. And for us the added problem is the lack of food because after all it is the fuel, and we are lacking fuel

What worries us, if anything, just now is breaking something because the boat still slams and waves hit the boat a bit, so you are not always forcing it.”

Anna Corbella (ESP) GAES Centros Auditivos:“The wall of the ballast tank is the same as the structural ring frame and so we had to make a hole in the tank to laminate it on the inside. So we hope that it will hold and we are confident it will. We needed 24 hours and now 48 hours to make sure it cures, and so until then we have to sail gently with small sails and then we have to cross the Doldrums.

Yesterday we had to check the rig while we were slowed down in the light winds and it was good to know that it is all good.”

Heading east, Virbac-Paprec 3 attempts to escape at high pressure and headed straight to the Canary Islands that will have to ward off heading north on the way home. The challenge is therefore to avoid the wind shadow of the Islands imposing reliefs. Recall that the highest peak of Spain is in this archipelago: a volcano called Mount Teide rising to over 3700 meters. XXX farther south, the problem is the same for the crew of MAPFRE: Stepped up north, cross the Cape Verdean archipelago without getting caught. On board the former owners, multiple Olympic and world champions Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez will not resign themselves to occupy the place of dolphin, but they also know that their fate is not entirely in their hands. With a delay that is X way to go and a strategy almost obligatory to close the passing lanes will be rare ... Virbac Paprec-3 is expected to Gibraltar on the night of March 31 to April 1. MAPFRE 24 hours later.

Neutrogena handicapped by its keel
Behind in the south of Cape Verde, Renault ZE doing very well at his two rivals at bay. Pachi Rivero and Antonio Piris received the first of strengthening trade winds. And since there is neither large nor underhanded strategies on the horizon, the hierarchy should remain the same for at least a good week, Estrella Damm in 4th position and Neutrogena fifth. At the upwind a bit tough, the boat crew Germano America is hampered by the inability to switch all the keel (the problem of jacks found earlier this month). Neutrogena go slowly and Boris Hermann did not have any illusions about the outcome of this race the wind speed.

Tinker day for girls
At the entrance of the Pot Black, Dee Caffari and Anna Corbella sacrificed yesterday to repair the bulkhead ballast before Gaes Centros Auditivos. They spent almost 24 hours arrested with three reefs in the mainsail to carry out the work of stratification. Anna took this "pause tinkering" to make a climb in the mast and see that the rigging of the boat was spotless. Here they are again en route to the equator, low speed but at 100% capacity.

Hugo Boss line with English
In southern Brazil, taking advantage of a weather pattern where successive depressions and anticyclones, Hugo Boss is trying to sow his companion CME. A few days ago, when Verbraak Wouter and Andy Meiklejohn left the Falklands after stopping technique to repair their sails and the mast track, the two vessels were separated by only 120 miles. Today, this gap amounts to XXXX and it is likely to widen the first spin downwind when the second fight against headwinds.

Central Lechera Asturianawill start in the race
While We Are Water progressing without difficulty mainsail towards Cape Horn, Central  Lechera Asturiana is about to join the Pacific, after 25 days in port in Wellington. March 3, Juan Merediz and Fran Palacio stopped in the capital of New Zealand to repair their mast broke two days earlier in the Tasman Sea. The spar has been repaired. The crew set and tested its equipment and now wants to finish her world tour. According to a statement released by their teams, and Juan Fran plan to cast off at 00:00 GMT tonight (Monday 02 am in Europe). Then they depart with more than 10,000 miles and almost two oceans behind the leaders ...

www.barcelonaworldrace.org

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