With more than 600 miles sailed per day, Club Med is expected at Cape Horn on Sunday. Days of more than 500 miles, average speeds of 21 knots and more, instantaneous speeds of over 30 knots.
From Team Legato to Club MEd it has been the week of total excess and endeavour. "No Limits" said Bruno Peyron. Some read into that "dollars", "carbon", "showbiz"... but it has been "excellence", "performance" and "discovery". The Deep South is there all right, with its train of lows, its swell, rather taller and confused than in the books. The sailors of The Race are taking it all in their stride. Grant Dalton thinks he has caught a glimpse of the light of the Atlantic. Loick Peyron is battling to remain in his wake. Warta-Polpharma, Team Legato and Team Adventure have not had their fill yet and are dreaming of records.
A huge depression to the South-west is pushing Innovation Explorer from astern. It is deepening and will generate 35 to 40 knots of wind, then more than 45! Loick has read the warning. He is moving up North a little letting the strong South-westerly push along his big cat along, heading East and if the sea allows, flat out until Sunday. The Horn might be close but it's wearing its foul weather gear, tormented by this great West wind. Innovation Explorer should be steering well clear and rounding it well to the South, even if it means not catching sight of it.
The rookies on board Club MEd are getting their cameras out! Less than 700 miles away from the famous rock, their long legged cat is striding 600 mile days! Aiming straight for the mark. On starboard tack, Grant's boys are latching on to the South-westerly that is their entry ticket into the Atlantic. No wind to the South. Grant is protecting his North and is getting set for a nice landfall with the rotation of the wind to the West. Almost too good to be true! The sea is still flat and calm, just a little worrying at night. The boys are cold. Feet and hands above a.
Team Adventure wins the prize for the most pitiless route.. After the calms and the crashing to windward, a really huge seaway last night and some hairy frights. Three times they buried the bows in the backs of waves, sheets let fly in a hurry. Under Tasmania, Cam Lewis has found some speed again and is negotiating a rapid approach towards New Zealand, an eye riveted on the anticyclone that is spreading in the Tasman Sea. 0854 UTC Warta-Polpharma passed the longitude of Cape Leeuwin. A new satisfaction for Roman Paszke's Poles who have had to get used to travelling on a ridge between two systems of high pressure. "All our attempts at latching onto the edge of a depression have failed", admitted Dariusz Drapella.
Team Legato or the happy catamaran. Contrary to the Poles, Bullimore's boys are clinging on to their precious depression. With a 25 knot North-westerly, they are reeling in 500 miles per day and have reduced the gap behind Warta-Polpharma to 800 miles.
Ranking (09/02/01 15:00:00 GMT)
Name Speed DTF DTL
1 Club MEd 23.0 7742.2 0
2 Innovation Explorer 29.1 8673.7 931.5
3 TeamAdventure 17.2 12777.2 5035.0
4 Warta Polpharma 23.4 13771.1 6028.9
5 Team Legato 26.0 14590.6 6848.4
Great Pictures now online from Giles Martin-Raget , PPL and Carlo Borlenghi