Reports from the boats indicate that winds well in excess of 50kts have been experienced by several of the fleet.
Chris Hornell's TP52 Kia Kahareports they had a tough day but are still racing to Noumea.
They recorded 55 knots and were forced to drop the mainsail as it ripped pretty badly in the early hours of the morning. It's now fixed (after some handy craft work) and it's finally up again.
Unfortunately three of the crew are sea sick but otherwise everyone is in good spirits.
Currently she is 314nm from Noumea and sailing at over 11kts.
On board Akatea, lying in third place for line honours, they reported at 1930hrs on June 6, 2012 that: 'All are well on board and the boat is holding up great and it is testament to the very good race prep that was done.
'There has been a fair bit of sea-sickness on board and yesterday they had 66 knots of wind over the deck with heavy seas.
'The wind never got under 38 knots for 24 hours but now they have 20 knots of breeze from a good point of sail.
'Things are getting better and they are toughing it out with a few sea-sick pills.'
The various boat situations according to the latest sked can be viewed by clicking here.
Evolution Sails Sail Noumea 2012 –
Positions at a Glance
1500hrs: In the two yachts have retired, and one marked as retired has advised that she has just suspended racing (assuming that can be done in the context of the racing rules).
Starlight Express has definitely retired, but is acting as an escort Icebreaker to Norfolk Island before returning to Auckland. Carrera, a Marten 49, sustained water damage to its inverter and has lost all power to its computers and has advised that she will also be returning to Auckland.
Icebreaker who was previously marked as having withdrawn, has advised organisers that she is still in the race, but intends to stop at Norfolk Island 'suspend racing' and check her keelbolts before making a decision as to whether she should continue. The issue is believed to be that the nuts on two of her 12 keelboats have turned from their marks. The other 10 are apparently OK. It is difficult to understand how this issue can be corrected in a seaway, notwithstanding the fact that specialist torque wrenches are required.
V5 continues to lead the race and is now 290nm from Noumea and sailing at a speed of over 11kts. She is on a direct course for the finish line.
1100hrs, Predictwind's routing function had recommended a direct course to Noumea for V5, and she should finish Thursday afternoon/night.
Predictwind has V5 aimed directly at Noumea and expected to finish Thursday afternoon/evening - Evolution Sails Sail Noumea 2012 race - PredictWind.com
She is expected to make good time with a finish projected for Thursday June 7, 2012. The issue for V5 and the other lead boats is that winds are expected to lighten substantially from midnight tonight. Two weather feeds used by Predictwind vary markedly on the extent of the lighter winds. One sees the winds easing from midnight, and projects a finish at 2230hrs on Thursday night NZT.
The other feed sees the windstrength remaining for a longer period of time, enabling the yachts to make a faster passage, and finishing mid-afternoon, tomorrow, Thursday.
The reality is that the direction and course recommended by both feeds is near identical - and the wind strength will be what it is - but the direction is also expected to be constant, and they will be on their fastest point of sailing for the final day of the race.
0900: Two more yachts have retired overnight from the Evolution Sails Sail Noumea Race 2012
Yesterday the Kerr 40 Icebreaker reported that she was heading to Norfolk Island to check her keelbolts.
In the latest sked from the remaining 11 yachts in the race, she is listed as having withdrawn.
In the same sked another yacht the ocean racing veteran, Starlight Express is also reported to have withdrawn and to be heading for Auckland.
Another yacht Carerra, a Marten49 reported last night that she had taken water on board which had knocked out electronic navigation equipment and she was proceeded on a manually navigated basis.
Current lead monohull is still David Nathan's canting keel TP52, which has led since the start in Auckland. Although apparently still battling headwinds, and actually sailing away from the finish line in Noumea for a time this morning, she tacked at 0800hrs and is headed for Noumea. She is 324nm from the finish line inside the lagoon at Noumea.
Last night she passed close to Norfolk Island, where there former lead monohull Beau Geste is still sheltering and awaiting a decision as to the next move for the damaged Farr80. V5 is now approximately 70nm NW of Norfolk Island and 55nm ahead of Akatea, a Cookson 50.
Last night, the ORMA60 trimaran, TeamVodafoneSailing, skippered by Simon Hull became the first yacht to finish the Evolution Sails sail Noumea 2012 race. She crossed the finish line off Noumea at 2105hrs on June 5, 2012, setting a new multihull race record.
For the latest sked at 0730hrs on June 6, 2012 click here by Richard Gladwell
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