Global Ocean Race - Chasing duo prepare for yet another gale

GOR Race Viewer at 15:00 GMT 8/6/12 - Global Ocean Race 2011-12
Global Ocean Race 2011-12 (GOR) remaining two class40s are on the twentieth day of racing in leg five from Charleston, USA to France.

As the two leading GOR Class40s, Cessna Citation and Financial Crisis, ripped through the Bay of Biscay and across the Les Sables d’Olonne finish line and into the shelter of Port Olona, Phesheya-Racing in third place and Sec. Hayai in fourth have been climbing north-east passed Cape Finisterre in strong westerly winds and with under 500 miles remaining for the chasing duo of boats, the North Atlantic has yet another gale in store.

As Marco Nannini and Sergio Frattaruolo tore across the finish line in slightly under 40 knots of wind on Thursday early evening with Financial Crisis, Phillippa Hutton-Squire and Nick Leggatt were 430 miles to the SW of Les Sables d’Olonne with Phesheya-Racing on the outer limits of the Bay of Biscay: 'We had winds up to 30 knots in the squalls and the waves were from all directions and sloppy,' Hutton-Squire reported early on Friday morning. 'As the day went on, the wind eased off and the sea sorted itself out,' she adds. 'And in the next 24 hours they predict a gale… well how unusual!'

Weather files indicate that the south-westerly wind will begin to build towards midnight GMT on Friday with the Dutch duo of Nico and Frans Budel on Sec. Hayai further to the south-west feeling the gale first as the storm rolls east towards mainland Europe. 'Either this is just Biscay and that’s what they always predict here, or it’s true,' Hutton-Squire wonders.

However, following the initial storm, there was a reward for the South African duo. 'At sunset a few common Dolphins came to play around the boat,' continues Hutton-Squire. 'They leapt right out of the water as I stood by the mast watching them and it is for moments like this that sailing across the oceans makes it all worthwhile!'

At 15:00 GMT on Friday, Phesheya-Racing had gybed south-east ahead of the south-westerlies arriving making eight-knot averages with 268 miles remaining to the finish in Les Sables d’Olonne, while the Budels are 170 miles north-west of Cape Finisterre trailing the South Africans by 187 miles.

GOR leaderboard at 15:00 GMT 8/6/12:
1. Cessna Citation 17d 22h 50m 14s (162 points)
2. Financial Crisis 19d 01h 19m 48s (132 points)
3. Phesheya-Racing DTF 268 8kts
4. Sec. Hayai DTF 455 5.3kts

Global Ocean Race website