Barcelona World Race leader Virbac-Paprec 3 have just passed the easternmost end of the second Australian safety barrier and may start to dig a little more south as they set up for the low pressure behind them which should start to give them more of a boost.
The leader's speeds have been moderated by light pressure, reduced to less than 12 knots at times during the night which means that Jean-Pierre Dick and Loïck Peyron have lost 45 miles to MAPFRE since yesterday evening’s 1900hrs UTC position report. Virbac-Paprec 3 are 2300 miles to the Cook Straits.
MAPFRE have been quickest of the leaders overnight and Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez have cut the lead of Virbac-Paprec 3 to 590 miles this morning. They are also slightly quicker than Estrella Damm as the duel diverges with MAPFRE going 20 miles to the north of the course of their Spanish rivals who seem keen to stay as south as they can. They have 400 miles to Cape Leeuwin.
With 430 miles to the first Australian barrier is Renault Z.E Sailing Team are still a little isolated from the group in front but are making a decent 14-16kts of boat speed this morning in 15kts of SW’ly wind.
The situation has been a frustrating one for Mirabaud and Neutrogena who have been slowed on the edge of high pressure, but they have their next low system arriving later this morning which will bring NW’lies. Neutrogena are very slightly better positioned for the new breeze, being more east, but they are now 50 miles behind Dominique Wavre and Michèle Paret.
The Hugo Boss versus the GAES Girls battle has an ominous look to it. Maybe the questions of the day is not so much if Wouter Verbraak and Andy Meiklejohn will pass Dee Caffari and Anna Corbella, but when? And will it be the white side or the dark side of the Boss which the girls see? Their courses are separated by just two miles this morning and Hugo Boss was 27 miles behind on the early morning ranking. GAES Centros Auditivos have 450 miles to go to the Amsterdam gate.
With 320 miles to go to the Crozet gate Forum Maratim Catala are well into the low pressure which was predicted for the three boats at the back of the fleet, seeing 40-45 kts this morning, much the same as We Are Water and Central Lechera Asturiana.