by Oliver Dewar
Global Ocean Race 2011-12 (GOR) four double-handed Class40s are sailing downwind, after two days of bashing upwind parallel to the Brazilian coast, following the passage of a front on Thursday night with speed averages climbing.
Erik van Vuuren gets an upwind soaking on Class40 Sec. Hayai - Global Ocean Race 2011-12
As the wind veered round from north to south-west, the Class40s took a more northerly route again and are currently 170 miles east of Florianópolis.
As the front moved through, the lead of Conrad Colman and Scott Cavanough on Cessna Citation over the Italian-Slovak team of Marco Nannini and Sergio Frattaruolo on Financial Crisis shrank to four miles as Nannini and Frattaruolo furthest west found the new breeze first, but the New Zealand-Australian frontrunners have since pulled away again building a lead of just under 20 miles at 15:00 GMT on Friday.
Both Cessna Citation and Financial Crisis have extended their lead over Nico Budel and Erik van Vuuren on Sec. Hayai and the South African duo of Nick Leggatt and Phillippa Hutton-Squire with Phesheya-Racing, but the current focus for the fleet is an unavoidable, swelling area of light wind forecast to engulf the boats in the next 24-30 hours.
Prior to the front, Nico Budel’s co-skipper, Erik van Vuuren described conditions on board the Dutch Class40 Sec. Hayai: 'What a change, we started with two days of very little wind and a lot of changes in the wind direction and now we’re beating upwind with this ‘little monster’ and sometimes we’re going more through the waves than over them,' he reported on Thursday. 'We’ve filled the ballast tanks to allow ourselves a few more square meters of sails and I’m convinced that the Sec.Hayai enjoys the ride as I think I sometimes even hear her growl!'
Holding third place 21 miles behind Nannini and Frattaruolo on Financial Crisis at 15:00 GMT on Friday and extending their lead over Phesheya-Racing by around 40 miles in the past 24 hours, Budel and his new co-skipper are bonding well: 'We’re working together, increasing boat speed, putting in a reef for the eighth time today, cooking and sleeping restlessly,' continues van Vuuren. 'I’m so privileged to be doing this,' he adds with characteristic enthusiasm.
GOR Leg 4 leaderboard at 15:00 GMT 06/04/12:
1. Cessna Citation DTF 4955 10.5kts
2. Financial Crisis DTL 19.8 9.5kts
3. Sec. Hayai DTL 40 8.5kts
4. Phesheya-Racing DTL 81 6.4kts
Global Ocean Race website