Hugo Boss attempt a shortcut to the Med

Temenos II sail towards a rain squall

Barcelona World race leader Paprec-Virbac 2 is being forced to take the long road home, with a large high pressure system blocking the direct route to Gibraltar. For the chasing Hugo Boss this could be a chance to cut inside and gain some miles before reaching the Mediterranean.

The high pressure system blocking the direct route to Gibraltar is forcing the Franco-Irish pairing to sail more miles to the north, in an effort to sail clear of the system. This could provide an opportunity for Hugo Boss to cut inside and gain some miles before reaching the Mediterranean.

“The routing shows that we’ll be able to cut the corner,” confirmed Hugo Boss skipper Alex Thomson. “We definitely shouldn’t have to sail as many miles as them, which is a bit unlucky for those guys. The forecast is changing slightly every 12 hours, so we’ll have to wait and see…but we should catch up some miles over the next couple of days.”

For Paprec-Virbac 2, the situation is frustrating, but not critical as they skipper Jean-Pierre acknowledges they’ll probably spend some of their 500-mile lead over Hugo Boss over the next couple of days.

“The question is when are we going to turn right for Gibraltar,” Jean-Pierre said. “We are working on it now. But for sure, we will encounter some upwind conditions to Gibraltar. We are happy at sea, we have nice conditions now but it will be very good to be back for a shower and a good meal and to see our friends in Barcelona.”

The real battle remains that between Temenos II and Mutua Madrileña. Skippers from both boats proclaimed their motivation to come out on top of this today, with the gap between the two under 90 miles again today.

“If you look at our tracks, we're like the shadow of Temenos II,” said Javier Sansó today. “We don't have a chance to attack them,” he complained. “We can't go windward, we can't go west. So for now, we try to conserve the miles and later on we'll do something. We're not happy in fourth. We want third and we're going to fight until the finish gun.”

“But we’re very motivated too,” warned Michèle Paret from the third place boat. “We’re certainly not going to give up.”

That sentiment was echoed on board the fifth placed Educación sin Fronteras where Albert Bargués and Servanne Escoffier are making miles to the north.

“We are okay,” was the reassurance from Servanne today. “We’re sailing upwind, in about 12 knots of wind, on port tack, waiting for a windshift to tack on. Yes, the race seems a little bit long especially after the emotional moment at Cape Horn where you think you are almost finished but then you see you still have 7 000 miles left to go. But now, it’s just over 4 000, so we’re getting there.”

Day 86 – February 4, 18:00 GMT - Position report with DTL

1 Paprec Virbac 2 - Jean Pierre DICK / Damian FOXALL - 1,374
2 Hugo Boss - Alex THOMSON / Andrew CAPE + 544
3 Temenos ll - Dominique Wavre / Michele PARET + 1394
4 Mutua Madrileña - Javier SANSO / Pachi RIVERO + 1488
5 Educación Sin Fronteras - Servane ESCOFFIER / Albert BARGUES + 2808

Abandoned - DELTA DORE - Jérémie BEYOU / Sidney GAVIGNET
Abandoned - PRB - Vincent Riou / Sebastien JOSSE