The leading five yachts in the Volvo Ocean Race will cross the equator within the next 20 hours
The leading five yachts in the Volvo Ocean Race will cross the equator within the next 20 hours. Having picked up the south-east trade winds the fleet is now heading for the waypoint of Ilha de Fernando Noronha, off Brazil.
The overall positions remain the same as 0400hrs GMT, although Illbruck’s lead over Assa Abloy has been reduced from 13 to seven miles.
The only possible upset over the next two days, weather wise, will be if the current south-east breeze shifts and heads the fleet, forcing them to put in a costly tack to clear the island. The brave crews may decide to bear off a few degrees, gaining speed in the short term but losing more miles should the shift come through.
The southerly sprint between Noronha and Ilha Trindade 1010 miles away will provide the first real comparisons of pure boat speed between the Bruce Farr designs of Illbruck, Assa Abloy, Tyco and News Corp against Amer Sports One from the drawing board of Mani Frers.
However, damaged sail wardrobes could tarnish the results after some spinnakers, such as the vital downwind Code 3 on Amer Sports One, which did not survive the sudden squalls in the doldrums. The onboard sailmakers are working overtime down below to stick and stitch sails back into a useable shape and strength.
Position Report Leg One Day 17, 1000hrs GMT