Imagine It. Done. has often demonstrated the ability to sail fast and enjoyed spells at the top of the table. Their recent impressive performance is just reward for their efforts, having led the fleet past the waypoint and held first place for a prolonged period.
However, after commanding a lead of around 10nm on the approach to the mark, Imagine It. Done. is now under serious pressure from Spirit of Sark. Duggie GILLESPIE (GBR) and his crew have relegated BP Explorer to third, and this morning only 1nm separates them from the lead as they bear down on the front-runner.
Further down the leaderboard, recent developments have not gone in the teams' favour. As the fleet approached Waypoint Bravo, the wind shifted and many of the teams were headed. The lead yachts had passed the waypoint and were on their way south again, but the shift effectively shut the door on the second half of the fleet.
'We looked at the long-range forecast,' explained Andy FORBES (AUS), 'and expected the weather to come in from the south, which it did. But it came round further to the west-northwest than we thought over the last 36-48 hours, which means we were headed more than we intended to be. We lost out a bit in the final stages, it didn't seem to matter which way we turned the breeze seem to come on the nose!'
As a result, the top half of the fleet has pulled ahead as those further back lost ground while tacking up to the mark. As the lead yachts passed the waypoint, BG SPIRIT, in sixth place, were 59nm behind Imagine It. Done. Just six hours later, they were 71nm behind, but still in sixth as teams behind them lost a similar distance to the leading bunch.
'Waypoint Bravo, as Alpha was in leg two, is something that the crew can look forward to,' continued FORBES. 'It's a pivotal point in the race. The next waypoint on the chart is Cape Town, so it's a great chance to regroup and refocus. We set small goals all the way, so we'll be putting those together, having a really good meal tonight in celebration of rounding Bravo and then push forward from there.'
BP Explorer is currently three points behind them in second on the overall leaderboard, but ahead of BG SPIRIT in third on the water this morning. Questioned about the team's position relative to BP Explorer, FORBES said his immediate target is Pindar, but has his sights set on the leader:
'We're watching Dee [CAFFARI (GBR), skipper of Imagine It. Done. - Ed] - we want to pull back Imagine It. Done. - we're going for broke all the way to Cape Town.'
If the leg were to finish now, BP Explorer would move into joint first overall with BG SPIRIT. Therefore, FORBES and his crew will be keen to improve their position as each and every point could influence their ability to hang on to the overall lead.
VAIO was one of the more northerly teams on the approach to the waypoint, and took a course even further north early yesterday evening. At the 1942 hours GMT position report yesterday, VAIO was 127nm behind Imagine It. Done. This morning they have lost 51nm, now 178nm off the pace and still heading northwest while the leaders, already past the waypoint, are ducking south towards the great circle route.