Barcelona World Race update from Gaes Centros Auditivos.
British yachtswoman Dee Caffari and her Spanish co skipper Anna Corbella have been experiencing extreme sailing conditions and have also been struggling without a fleet broadband connection for the last few days. The fleet broadband allows the all-female duo to download crucial weather data and other important information that combined enable them to make key strategic decisions.
Gaes Project manager, Harry Spedding, said: 'A few days ago the fleet broadband connection started to show problems, Dee was struggling to get a full weather download without losing the signal. We have been working closely with suppliers and Dee has emailed back the connection logs that are stored on the computer. Currently the strongest likelihood is that this is simply bad luck. A combination of their position in the Pacific Ocean combined with the heel angle of the boat, and the elevation and azimuth* of the satellite has led to there being an exceptionally bad connection. We have a few tests to run to ensure there are no other reasons for this problem occurring.
'Whilst the girls are unable to connect to the Inmarsat they are seriously handicapped with their decision making. Weather models and navigation software are now so good that it helps the skippers to not only choose their route, plan sail changes and selection but also when to rest and when to push hard. With gales forecast at Cape Horn in the next week it will be important for the girls to be able to receive the necessary data in order to plan their strategy for the rounding of the Cape.'
The stressful conditions seem to have abated for the girls with Caffari reporting this morning: 'We now have some respite with lighter winds that are finally allowing some downwind sailing. The more comfortable living is allowing us to sponge the water from inside the boat ready for the next high winds. Rest and recuperation and some enjoyable sailing rather than stressful sailing are on order for the weekend. We even saw some blue sky today which is a real treat and has helped lift spirits onboard.'
Caffari then quipped: 'Anna has made a remarkable achievement. She has brought back to life her ebook. It was completely dead, clearly not enjoying the cold damp conditions but somehow she has nursed it back to life so I am hoping her skills will do the same for the fleet broadband too.'
As a result of the conditions and lack of information, the Gaes girls have lost further miles to Andy Meiklejohn & Wouter Verbraak on Hugo Boss and at the 0900hrs ranking were 245 miles behind their closest race rivals. At the front of the fleet Virbac-Paprec 3 continue to hold poll position comfortably with Mapfre and Renault Z E in second and third respectively.
Ranking on 04/03/2011 at 10:01:07 GMT: Click here
Barcelona World Race website
Gaes Centros Auditivos website
Anna Corbella´s website
Dee Caffari´s website