Barcelona World Race - Virbac-Paprec 3 became the second boat to use 'ghost' mode when they elected not to reappear on this morning's 0400hrs UTC rankings. Thus Jean-Pierre Dick and Loick Peyron take full advantage of the overnight 'blackout' between 1900hrs and 0400hrs and now will not reappear until Wednesday's 1400hrs UTC ranking.
Last night the French duo were in fifth place, calculated to be two miles or so ahead of sixth placed Foncia. This morning Alex Pella and Pepe Ribes on Estrella Damm still hold a decent lead of 124 miles, losing some 13 miles or so to second placed Groupe Bel, but that is likely to be just a taste of things to come for the Spanish duo. They have slowed to just 5-6 knots this morning and are lining up to fight their way through the unsettled, variable winds of a high pressure cell, one of four anticlyclonic systems on today's weather map between 20 and 40.5S.
Ribes and Pella appear to have done a good job of lining up to cross the axis and the narrowest point but in about 60 miles seem set to start the worst period of very light, variable breeze which will last around 100 miles. Estrella Damm are a full 500 miles to the east of Foncia this morning.
Second placed Groupe Bel, Kito de Pavant and Seb Audigane, still have better breeze than the boat in front making 11knots, while MAPFRE's middle course has seen them losing to the chasing pack, especially Dominique Wavre and Michele Paret who were 14 miles behind last night and are just 8.3 miles (in latitude) behind. MAPFRE look like they will start to cross the high are a wider point but this high pressure looks to be developing and moving east anyway.
The west flank of the course still sees Michel Desjoyeaux and Francois Gabart eating up the fast motorway miles. They are about 200 miles off the coast, 380 miles ENE of Rio de Janeiro this morning and were holding their steady 16 knots average that has been fairly consistent over the last 48 hours, although they did have a slow spell early last night.
Dee Caffari and Anna Corbella on GAES Centros Auditivos have made good progress from the east of the course, benefitting from fast sailing in solid trade winds, this morning gaining to be 1.7 miles ahead of Foncia and 15 miles up on their main recent rivals Renault ZE Sailing Team.
Caffari reported last night: ' Good progress south today in warm and wet conditions. The sky has been blisteringly hot with the odd cloud and the spray has been continual making everything feel sticky from being caked in salt. The boat is holding up well and Anna and I are taking advantage of this straight line sailing and making good use of indulging in our E-books as we read to switch off and rest. The weather for the next couple of days will see wind speeds drop slightly and then we need to keep a careful eye on the weather ahead to see if we can hook into something to propel us into the motorway around the bottom!'
In tenth Hugo Boss has a slow last evening and first part to their night, dropping back to be 131 miles behind Renault ZE Sailing Team. Website