As race leaders pass the Moroccan coast, Central Lechera Asturiana departs New Zealand to rejoin the race in ninth place

As Virbac-Paprec 3 were passing Casablanca, Morocco, in the dark on their relentless upwind beat towards Gibraltar last night, Central Lechera Asturiana were rejoining the Barcelona World Race – leaving Wellington after a 27 day break to repair their snapped mast.

Converging back to the Moroccan coast Virbac-Paprec 3 are 170 miles to Gibraltar this morning passing the latitude of Rabat and having passed Casablanca just before midnight last night. Jean-Pierre Dick and Loïck Peyron will stay close to the shore again to tack and take the small veering wind shift to the right which will allow them to head up the coast on course for the entrance to the Gibraltar Strait.

They are making around 8-9 knots in 25kts of NE’ly breeze and ETA Gibraltar is between 23:00 and 01:00 UTC tonight or tomorrow morning.

MAPFRE are 290 miles behind the leaders, at the latitude of Agadir, and Iker and Xabi are in 20kts of E’ly breeze making north, having pulled back some 45 miles on the leaders overnight. And the Spanish duo remain slightly quicker.

Renault Z.E Sailing Team are actually now at more or less the same latitude as MAPFRE but are 950 miles to the west. Pachi Rivero and Toño Piris have 1350 miles to Gibraltar, Iker and Xabi 460miles.

Renault Z.E Sailing Team are through the high pressure ridge and are making just a fraction under 10 knots now sailing downwind in a light S’ly breeze and continue to make a NE’ly course. According to current models they should now benefit from downwind or reaching conditions until Gibraltar.

Estrella Damm, 146 miles behind, are more or less in the ridge and so have a variable 9 knots of wind making around 9kts boat speed.

Neutrogena are still on a course which is 30 degrees higher than Estrella Damm, 180 miles to the east of Estrella Damm’s track and still look set to route south of Madeira.

GAES Centros Auditivos are 730 miles, or 2.5 days at current speeds, behind Neutrogena and Dee Caffari and Anna Corbella continue to make good speeds upwind.

Four hundred miles off the Brazil coast, the song remains the same for Hugo Boss which are still in their light easterly breezes making north towards the equator which is 900 miles away. Fòrum Marítim Català are making steady progress some 480 miles behind but still Gerard Marin and Ludovic Aglaor are in a very changeable weather picture, going from light E’ly to N’ly then a spell with very little wind, W’ly and then SW’ly.

After arriving in Wellington on 3 March, breaking their mast in the Tasman on 25 February, Central Lechera Asturiana left Wellington last night and resumed racing at between 23:00 and 23:30 UTC.

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