At the front of the Barcelona World Race, Paprec Virbac 2 rounded Cape Horn at 06:00 UTC.
Paprec Virbac 2 and the chasing Hugo Boss made great speed overnight, averaging 17-18 knots of boat speed. At 06:20 UTC exactly, Paprec Virbac 2 crossed gate 6 of the Barcelona World Race - Cape Horn, just over 1,000 miles ahead of their nearest rivals. Paprec Virbac 2's elapsed time between gate 5 (Cook Strait) and gate 6 was 14 days, 17 hours and 48 minutes, at an average speed of 12.60 knots.
As they closed in on Cape Horn yesterday, Paprec Virbac 2 co-skipper Damian FOXALL (IRL) reported from onboard.
"We're nearing the end of a major part of the 'round the world',"
FOXALL said. "It's the Southern Ocean and this is the last day we're going to be down here, so we're making the most of it. It's nice and sunny outside and we're sailing straight at the mark so life is good."
Looking ahead he said, the team would still be pushing, albeit not taking any risks, as they move into the South Atlantic. "Our advantage is not quite enough not to go into super conservative mode but enough to temper tactics and sail choice,"
Behind, Hugo Boss has stabilised its position, remaining just a shade over 1000 miles in arrears. The second place team has better wind now and is moving at good speed following a stretch on Tuesday when skipper Alex THOMSON (GBR) and Andrew CAPE (AUS) had to drop their mainsail to make a repair. Now back up at full speed and closed the gap to the leaders slightly overnight.
"At this stage, we're probably going to need some help with the weather to catch up,"
THOMSON told special guest Jonathan MCKEE (Estrella Damm co-skipper) on the video conference yesterday. MCKEE agreed, saying it was important for Hugo to stay as close as possible to keep the pressure on and be in a position 'to pounce'!
For Temenos II, Wednesday was an excellent day. Dominique WAVRE (SUI) and Michèle PARET (FRA) have been the fastest boat over the 24 hour period from Tuesday to Wednesday afternoon, chalking up nearly 350 miles and adding to their slim lead over Mutua Madrileña.
Educación sin Fronteras is moving well in nice conditions, but Servane ESCOFFIER (FRA) isn't happy with the speed. "We're doing 12-14 knots under spinnaker, but it seems slow, we're not sure what's wrong. We've been checking for seaweed and kelp on the rudders and keel, but so far, nothing."
All of the boats were offered congratulations by Estrella Damm co-skipper MCKEE today as he dropped by the Barcelona World Race headquarters for the video conference. FOXALL in particular was pleased to hear from a fellow sailor and sounded genuinely touched by MCKEE's best wishes.
Barcelona World Race - www.barcelonaworldrace.org