At 2200 hours UTC last night ABN AMRO ONE held a 16 mile lead over ABN AMRO TWO, but last night they abandoned their more northerly course to gybe south across the fleet and take up a position as the most southerly of the VO 70s this morning. Conversely ABN AMRO TWO remain well north of the rest of the fleet, currently 28 miles ahead of Ericsson in second place.
Pirates are just two miles behind Ericsson, with movistar a further six miles back and forming a small trio positioned in between the more southerly ABN AMRO ONE and more northerly Brasil 1, who occupy fourth place.
Before the gybe south, ABN AMRO ONE skipper SANDERSON hinted at a change of course yesterday saying, 'For now the big decision on this leg is how to deal with a big low that used to be a tropical storm, there are going to be some interesting tactical decisions needed to be made by the fleet in the next 48 hours.. will make for some fun watching.'
Aside from the tactical manoeuvring by the Dutch team, the main action in the fleet is between Neal MCDONALD's (GBR) Ericsson Racing Team and Paul CAYARD's (USA) Pirates of the Caribbean.
|Position map at 0400 UTC
this morning, showing ABN
AMRO ONE's gybe south
© Virual Spectator/Volvo
'We have had a great battle with them [Pirates],' said Steve HAYLES, the British navigator onboard Ericsson Racing Team. 'We've swapped sides a couple of times and we've been going better than them for a good section of it, and then they made a little gain. It's all down to exactly what sails you've got and what the wind is up to. As you make sail changes you loose a little bit, but then hopefully you get it back. It's been a very interesting battle, we're very, very similar boats, we're the same design boat and it's fairly even.'
CAYARD and his Pirates are sailing with a man down as Craig SATTERTHWAITE (NZL) is still sick in his bunk with tonsillitis, which is not helping the situation with Ericsson Racing Team. 'We're having a mini battle with them. In fact we're having a mini battle with everyone out here,' said CAYARD last night. 'We could actually see them [Ericsson Racing Team] a lot of the time. We were see-sawing back and forth. By and large, they have sailed a little bit faster than us in the last 24 hours. '
Bouwe BEKKING's (NED) Movistar reports that that his crew has packed food for 23 days for this leg. 'Very conservative, but we don't want to run out,' says BEKKING, explaining, 'That would be a disaster for our bodies not to forget our minds.
'Food is good for moral and the moral of our troops is good, and we're ready to take the battle on,' threatens BEKKING.
Onboard Torben GRAEL's (BRA) Brasil 1, the crew has had the sewing machine out, repairing a sail they damaged on the start line. Although they are 68 miles from the leading boat, they have gained nine miles in the last six hour period.
At the head of the fleet, onboard ABN AMRO TWO, the youngster on the second Dutch team were also facing up to the fact that they were approaching crunch time. 'Before long we will have to commit to which side of the ex-tropical storm we will go,' explained navigator Simon FISHER (GBR) last night. 'It is either a long trip up and over the top or a rather nasty upwind beat around the bottom of the system. Until now we have been biding our time and going east as fast we can, while our decision has been unclear, but the sand in the hour glass is running low and will have to hedge our bets and see if the others follow…'Position Report At 0400 Hours UTC, 21 February 2006
|ABN AMRO TWO||NED||Sebastian JOSSE (FRA)||50 14.03S||169 46.01W||6143||0||16||109||17.3||15.3||10/03/2006|
|Ericsson Racing Team||SWE||Neal MCDONALD (GBR)||51 20.02S||170 30.01W||6171||28||14||117||18.1||14.7||10/03/2006|
|Pirates of the Caribbean||USA||Paul CAYARD (USA)||51 28.03S||170 34.00W||6173||30||19||114||18.7||14.7||10/03/2006|
|Brasil 1||BRA||Torben GRAEL (BRA)||50 54.02S||170 43.04W||6178||35||33||97||19.5||14.6||10/03/2006|
|movistar||ESP||Bouwe BEKKING (NED)||51 18.01S||170 43.02W||6179||36||27||110||19.6||14.6||10/03/2006|
|ABN AMRO ONE||NED||Mike SANDERSON (NZL)||51 34.09S||170 53.02W||6186||43||-43||153||15.1||14.4||10/03/2006|
|Brunel||AUS||Grant WHARINGTON (AUS)||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||10/03/2006|
DTF: Distance To Finish
DTL: Distance To Leader
DTLC: Distance To Leader Change; the difference between the distance from the boat to the leader taken at the time of the last six hour poll, and the distance from the boat to the leader at the previous poll
CMG: Course Made Good; the average course steered over the period of the past six hours up to the time of the last poll
SMG: Speed Made Good
VMG: Velocity Made Good; the average velocity of the boat towards the finish over the entire leg
ETA: Estimated Time of Arrival
(Up to and including Leg Three)
|1||ABN AMRO ONE||NED||Mike SANDERSON (NZL)||38.5|
|2||ABN AMRO TWO||NED||Sebastien JOSSE (FRA)||28|
|3||movistar||ESP||Bouwe BEKKING (NED)||25|
|5||Pirates of the Caribbean||USA||Paul CAYARD (USA)||21.5|
|4||Brasil 1||BRA||Torben GRAEL (BRA)||20|
|6||Ericsson Racing Team||SWE||Neal MCDONALD (GBR)||16.5|
|7||ING Real Estate Brunel||AUS||Grant WHARINGTON (AUS)||11.5|
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