With the breaking of the day all the faint dots on the radars on board of the Volvo 60’s during the night have become reality. Five boats within visual range of each other.
Five boats together after 7 days of racing. It does not get any better from a racing standpoint. There is definitely not any lack of focus and urgency on board of the yachts. The race is on for the trade winds south of the Canaries and my best guess is that we will also get there within visuals of each other. Then a race to the doldrums, could it be possible that we will all still be together by then? I bet my bottom dollar that we will still be racing boat for boat getting into Cape Town. So I guess, as in basketball, the winning team will be the one that gets to play the last move, gets the last wind shift right. (report from Assa Abloy)
Within the last six hours we saw Tyco pulling 13 miles away from her next rival ASSA ABLOY, having found more wind to the west of the fleet. Skipper Jez Fanstone and Navigator Steve Hayles are pleased with their advance.
Constantly they sailed 2 knots faster than the opposition. The other boat to make big gains was Grant Daltons Amer Sports One, overtaking long time leg leader illbruck. Still, the leading group with ASSA ABLOY, Amer Sports One, Tyco, illbruck and Newscorp is tightly packed and the crews start to think about their approach towards the equator with their notorious calm zones, the doldrums.
At 0024 GMT SEB picked up their spare headboard car at Puerto Santo, a
tiny island 20 miles to the northeast of Madeira. The other yacht in the race with a headboard car failure, djuice is setting to pick up their replacement at Fernando de Noronha, off the Brazilian coast.
The weather maps show stable trade winds south of 30N and the fleet is
expected to speed up once they get into this fair weather, warm and sunny stretch of this leg. Before they get into this, they are threatened by ridge moving east, out of the high-pressure system to the southwest of them.