Barcelona World Race - The strategy for Virbac-Paprec 3, leaders of the race is well-kept. During the official radio contact at midday, Loïck humorously dealt with tactical questions of organization to get out of answering directly!
At the steering station, the French duo are thinking about how they will deal with the anticyclone. Will they sail west or east of it?
This decision is essential to tackle the approach to Gibraltar and to keep their distance from the Spanish who are sailing 237 miles behind Virbac-Paprec 3 in the 15:00 hour ranking. How are you going to approach this famous anti-cyclone. Which side of it will you pass?
'Ah (laughs. Loïck asks Jean-Pierre). What’s your answer, you have got 3 seconds, then this mission will self-destruct. It’s going to be quite difficult, whether we go round it on one side or the other. We are going to stay close to it, going round the anticyclone to try to come out of it as best we can.' Have you started to notice the wind easing off slightly?
'The wind is very uneven since the doldrums. We sailed well during the night. It was relatively neat. We are making headway in a 10-12 knot trade wind on average. The wind is stronger for our Spanish friends behind us. That bungee is springing back again.' With just two weeks to the finish, what frame of mind are you in?
'Approaching the finishes of such long races, you’re in a strange frame of mind. We are impatient for the race to come to an end at last and at the same time we want to get the best out of these last special moments. During the night we had a magnificent moon over a very calm sea. There are some really extraordinarily beautiful moments that you enjoy every second of.' How are you coping with this permanent close contact with Mapfré? Do you think we’ll be on the edge of our seats till the end?
'Yes, so much the better. This notorious anticyclone ahead will inevitably force us to do strange things again. On the last big tack between the Canaries, Madeira and Gibraltar, we will know the exact distance separating us from Mapfré. The Mediterranean entrance does not seem to be favorable at the moment, so a lot can happen yet. We are probably going to spend a fair amount of time finishing this round-the-world.' Are you sailing at 100% of your capacity?
'Everything is working well. The sailors are fine. Look at Jean-Pierre, all he ever does is eat (Loïck shows JP in the middle of a meal). Moreover, regarding food, we’ve got plenty to sell if anyone behind us is interested; particularly me, since JP has finished almost everything. I still have at least two large bags.' Ranking at 15:00:
First - Virbac-Paprec 3, 2,139 miles distance from finish
Second - Mapfre, 236.8 miles from the leader
Third - Renault, 1048.4 miles from the leader www.barcelonaworldrace.org