As the Barcelona World Race fleet plunges further south so do the temperatures, with ice warnings as the leaders move into the furious fifties.
MRCC LA REUNION yesterday informed the race committee that the ice limit has been given at 52° South near Kerguelen Island and Hear Island, and all the boats have been informed.
The icy western wind of the "Screaming Fifties" blew force 6 all night and is relentless. A drop to 25 knots would also seem calm in comparison!! The fleet has record-breaking conditions but it is incredibly dangerous, and with two boats already out of the race, it would give the fleet food for thought - right now current icy conditions alone increase the threat; a growler is perhaps the greatest danger.
At the front, Paprec Virbac 2
is still just over 100 miles ahead of Veolia Environnement
, but the Roland JOURDAIN (FRA) and Jean-Luc NÉLIAS (FRA) tandem gained 42 miles on them during the night, although Jean Pierre DICK (FRA) and Damian FOXALL (IRL) had the edge on speed in the latest poll at 10:00 UTC. Hugo Boss
, currently the furthest south, made up 38 miles on second-placed Veolia
last night. They are another of the competitors who has declared they are sailing with greater caution and temperance in areas where ice is an increasingly stronger probability.
As the front runners speed forward, Temenos II
and Mutua Madrileña
are now over 900 and 1,600 miles behind respectively, having been trapped by a high pressure system. Temenos
has finally got away this morning, and now finds herself alone with the same westerly force 6 wind as the leaders. The Spanish contingent continues to make slow progress, their frustration evident, they are now 200 miles from gate four. Educacion sin Fronteras
is now into the roaring forties and will also be beginning to notice the extreme change in conditions. Estrella Damm
is 140 miles from Cape Town, due to arrive some time late this afternoon.
has now reached Cape Town and retired from the Barcelona World Race. Onboard Huog Boss
yesterday, Alex THOMSON (GBR), spoke of his disappointment at seeing the Orange boat forced to retire. "Both Capey and I are very, very sorry to see PRB out of the race. They've done a fantastic race so far, obviously one of the pre-race favourites and Vincent and Seb did a fantastic job of preparing the boat and had done very well so far. And of course we're gutted to hear about Delta Dore. It was a big surprise. Again, a well prepared boat. The conditions were completely heinous, but losing a mast, especially the whole mast is pretty awful, especially when the nearest land is 800 miles away,"
Barcelona World Race - www.barcelonaworldrace.org