Velux 5 Oceans skipper Canadian ocean racer Derek Hatfield, has moved one step closer to shooting up the leader board after winning the ocean sprint four timed run.
The expert solo sailor, a veteran of the 2002 Velux 5 Oceans (then known as the Around Alone) as well as the 2008 Vendée Globe, shot through the speed gates set between the latitudes 5°S and 5°N in two days, 13 hours and 43 minutes to claim the full three bonus points.
Derek’s win ends race rival Brad Van Liew’s dominance in the timed runs. As well as winning all three previous legs, Brad had posted the fastest times on each of the timed runs. But his winning streak has now come to an end after setting a time of three days and 29 minutes on Le Pingouin, just under 11 hours more than Derek’s time on Active House. Derek’s time was just seven hours slower than the time set by Brad through the identical speed gates on ocean sprint one from Cape Town to La Rochelle.
Derek, currently third in the overall leaderboard, is now just two points behind Polish ocean racer Zbigniew ‘Gutek’ Gutkowski. The Velux 5 Oceans could be set for a thrilling climax - if the positions were to stay as they are currently, with Derek finishing second and Gutek in fourth, the pair would go into the final ocean sprint tied on points with all to play for.
British skipper Chris Stanmore-Major posted the second fastest time through the speed gates of two days, 16 hours and 55 minutes to claim two bonus points. Gutek passed the 5°S speed gate last week starting his timed run, but was forced to turn round and head to port on Friday after sustaining damage to the forestay on Operon Racing.
Gutek arrived safely in the Brazilian port of Forteleza yesterday. Today he was making arrangements for repairs to his broken forestay as well as to the bowsprit which failed last week. Gutek will also have his ribs checked over by a doctor after hurting them in a fall. He is aiming to set sail again by Wednesday.
Derek averaged an impressive 9.72 knots through the speed gates, which included the dreaded Doldrums. CSM’s average speed was 9.24 knots while Brad’s was 8.28 knots. Positions at 1200 UTC: Skipper / distance to finish (nm) / distance to leader (nm) / distance covered in last 24 hours (nm) / average speed in last 24 hours (kts)
Brad Van Liew, Le Pingouin: 1918.7 / 0 / 289.6 / 12.1
Derek Hatfield, Active House: 2077.2 / 158.5 / 324.2 / 13.5
Chris Stanmore-Major, Spartan: 2280.3 / 361.7 / 322.1 / 13.4
Zbigniew Gutkowski, Operon Racing: 3205 / 1286.3 / 0 / 0 www.velux5oceans.com