Grant Dalton and his men must be delighted to have a 1,214-mile lead and 20 knots on the dial.
All the more so since Innovation Explorer is still stuck on 13 knots in the St. Helena High, leaving no doubt that it's been the "worst enemy" Loïck Peyron and his crew have met since the start. Off New Zealand, the race is raging: Team Adventure is making 27 knots in strong winds and doing her utmost to devour Warta-Polpharma's 298-mile lead. With a 1,214-mile lead, 20 knots on the dial, and less than 300 miles to go to the Equator, Club Med leads the race more confidently than ever. But we shouldn't expect Grant Dalton to relax the pressure even for a moment. And Skip Novak's e-mail daring him to throw over a few fishing lines in these fish-filled waters didn't elicit a peep from the boat.
Innovation Expolorer knows only too well the purgatory of the St. Helena High, "Innovation Explorer's worst enemy since the start" as Elena Caputo-Novak wrote today. Still under 13 knots, Loïck Peyron and his crew will have to wait for the southeast Trades before they have the thrill again of sailing at over 20 knots.
Off New Zealand, in contrast, there's no shortage of wind. Team Adventure and Warta-Polpharma, both in lively conditions on the edge of a depression, have switched on the turbo: 18 knots for the Polish boat and nearly 27 knots for Cam Lewis and his 8 crew. Roman Paszke still has a 298-mile lead over the Franco-American crew. At what point the next coup d'etat?
Team Legato is still alongside in Wellington. Tony Bullimore and his 6 crew should head out to sea tomorrow. The first miles will, however, be hard won, because of an anticyclone centered over New Zealand.
Ranking (21/02/01 03:00:00)
Name Speed DTF DTL
1 Club Med 22.0 3492.3 0
2 Innovation Explorer 13.0 4706.7 1214.4
3 Warta Polpharma 18.2 10224.4 6732.1
4 TeamAdventure 28.2 10522.9 7030.5
5 Team Legato 0 11317.2 7824.8