Having set a new 24-hour 60ft monohull speed record covering 516 miles on Friday (subject to ratification by the World Sailing Speed Record Council) Virbac Paprec 3 reclaimed the lead of the Barcelona World Race on Sunday.
The total of 516.37 miles was calculated as the distance covered by Jean-Pierre Dick and Loïck Peyron
(FRA) by Barcelona World Race tracking between 09:00 UTC on 21 January and 09:00 UTC 22 January. This equates to an average speed of 21.51 knots.
The distance is subject to ratification by the WRSSC and will beat the previous best of 501.3 miles covered by Alex Thomson
(GBR) and Andrew Cape
(AUS) on Hugo Boss
during the 2007 Barcelona World Race.
Virbac Paprec 3
on Sunday morning, first crossing to the south of Michel Desjoyeaux and François Gabart
(FRA) around midnight on Saturday, and then overhauling them in the position rankings by 10:00 UTC on Sunday.
And Virbac Paprec 3
looks set to remain at the head of the rankings until at least 05:00 UTC on Tuesday 25 January. That's because the third boat to deal their 'joker' card and opt for 'stealth mode' is Foncia
, their nearest rival and previous race leader.
At last count Virbac Paprec 3
had a ten mile lead and were sailing approximately one knot faster, with the lead boats anticipated to pass the waypoint of Gough Island this afternoon.
However, the Foncia
duo have decided to make the game a little more cloak and dagger as they opted for 'stealth' mode which will see Foncia
disappear from the rankings until 05:00 UTC on Tuesday.
Gabart said, "Michel and I have decided to use the ghost mode, so we won't appear in the next ranking. With Virbac Paprec 3 it's a game of chase! So which one is best? I prefer to be in front."
Gabart also hinted at some reasons why Virbac Paprec 3
had outrun the other newly launched Verbier-VPLP design, saying, "One of the mistakes we have made is with the choice of sails. We have made a lot of sail changes, too many. When you haven't got the timing right with the choice of sail, you are always out of sync.
"For the past 36 hours that's what happened. It's why we have lost a lot of speed against Virbac Paprec. Today we're going to try and had a good sail, and not change every five minutes."
For the middle of the fleet the game has become one of snakes and ladders, catching the breeze to move up places and avoiding the windless holes which see boats slithering back down the rankings.
in the west have averaged over eight knots since Sunday mornings 10:00 UTC ranking to reclaim third overall. Meanwhile Groupe Bel's
sub five knot pace has dropped them to fifth as Estrella Damm
jumped back up to fourth, with less than ten miles distinguishing the pair.
Further back Neutrogena
, in seventh, and Mirabaud
, in eighth have been struggling as they averaged just 2.9 knots on Sunday. However they have not the only ones who have struggled for speed as six boats showed less than five knot speeds on Sunday afternoon.
Standings at Sunday 23 January at 14:00 UTC
1 - Virbac-Paprec 3 at 19,401miles from the finish
2 - Foncia in stealth mode
3 - Mapfre at 513 miles from the leader
4 - Estrella Damm at 522 miles
5 - Groupe Bel at 526 miles
6 - Renault Z.E. at 584 miles
7 - Neutrogena at 609 miles
8 - Mirabaud at 618 miles
9 - Gaes Centros Auditivos at 634 miles
10 - Hugo Boss at 730 miles
11 - Central Lechera Asturiana at 734 miles
12 - We Are Water at 822 miles
13 - Forum Maritim Catala at 925 miles
Event website - www.barcelonaworldrace.org