Educación sin Fronteras is the last boat in the Barcelona World Race fleet remaining in the Southern Ocean, but not for long, as they close in quickly on Cape Horn. Skippers Albert Bargués and Servane Escoffier have been sailing very fast towards the Cape and should pass the famed landmark in about 24 hours.
'Now, we are in 25 to 28 knots,' said Servane when contacted today. 'It's been very strong the last 48 hours or so with the boat nose-diving over the waves. Our top speed was 30.8 knots!! Quite amazing and quite scary as well.'
For the race leaders, the same light, fickle conditions continue, with both Paprec-Virbac 2 and Hugo Boss struggling to make progress towards the equator. The race leader has managed to make good just 170 miles over the past 24 hours. Hugo Boss has been slightly better, but Alex Thomson won't be overly excited by a 178 mile day.
'It's a bit better for us today, we have a bit more wind than we were supposed to have,' said Alex Thomson. 'But the general trend is light and crappy for us and downwind and trying to get across the front to the other side where Paprec is. Although Damian and Jean-Pierre are in light conditions, they can see the light at the end of the tunnel, whereas for us, we have to get across the front first before we can see the light.'
Behind, the gap is still closing between Temenos II and Mutua Madrileña as Dominique Wavre, in third place, looks to sail further east, taking some short term pain for what he is hoping is a longer term gain for Temenos II.
'We are heading more east, trying to go around the high pressure system,' Dominique explained. 'It's quite complicated to know what happens afterwards, the winds are going to be light and the forecasts aren't the most accurate in these conditions.'
'Ha.we are like a dog without a leash,' laughed an enthusiastic Javier Sansó. 'We're really motivated and have pushed the boat when we needed to. When we're fast, we are happy and the contrary is also true. Everything depends on our speed.'
In Quotes - Alex Thomson, Hugo Boss: 'We had that depression the other day and it was pretty horrible. You go from being ok and not too hard to just full on, particularly when the breeze is picking up so quickly and getting so aggressive. That night we had 50 knots was horrible. The sea conditions were nasty and the boat falling off waves and into enormous troughs. It was some of the biggest downwind sailing I've ever had. That's pretty hard. In the lighter conditions we've had the past couple of days you have to work really hard to keep the boat going and moving in the right conditions. It would just be nice to get into the Souith Atlantic trades and stick the autopilot on and go upwind. I can't believe I'm looking forward to going upwind but I am!' Day 72 - January 21, 14:00 GMT - Position report with distance to leader
1. PAPREC-VIRBAC 2 - Jean Pierre DICK / Damian FOXALL - 4203 to finish
2. HUGO BOSS - Alex THOMSON / Andrew CAPE - 533
3. TEMENOS II - Dominique Wavre / Michele PARET- 1935
4. MUTUA MADRILENA - Javier SANSO / Pachi RIVERO - 2005
5. EDUCACION SIN FRONTERAS - Servane ESCOFFIER / Albert BARGUES - 2988