Bernard Stamm and Alex Thomson make most of winds to the south of 5-Oceans course 17/11/06

Data from the Velux 5 Oceans Race at 0900 this morning on day 27 of the race shows that the most southerly boats – leader Bernard Stamm on Cheminees Poujoulat and Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss in fourth place – are currently making the best progress as they track down the South Atlantic with consistent speeds of 13-14 knots.

These two are currently enjoying stronger favourable winds while Mike Golding on Ecover and Kojiro Shiraishi on Spirit of Yukoh are still trying manoeuvre themselves away from high pressure system that has slowly been rolling over them for the last 48 hours.

Chatting from the boat yesterday Golding expressed his anxiety commenting to his race team: “The high pressure is right across my path and moving east, my wind has moved from SE to NE and I am sailing with Code 0 (a large lightweight gennaker). A large lumpy swell is preventing me making target speeds and the wind is now cutting out completely from time to time. Basically I have so little speed that I cannot shift my position on the racecourse to help myself and I need this system to move away as predicted or, if possible faster. If it moved to the east faster then as well as releasing me so that Alex [Thomson] doesn’t pop out too far ahead to the south of me , it will perhaps more importantly for the race overall, slow Bernard down.”

At the 0532 sched Stamm was just under 900 miles away from the first mandatory waypoint (located 600 miles west-south-west of the Cape of Good Hope). All skippers must pass this point to the north forcing them not to dive too deep into the Southern Ocean where they risk encountering icebergs.