Current conditions clearly favour the chasing pack, rather than the leaders
With regard to Virbac-Paprec 3, MAPFRE and the Doldrums, everything seems to point to a catch up over the next two or two and a half days for the Spanish pursuers. The scenario definitely favours the chasers rather than the leader. The Doldrums belt is wide and active, and the strong north-easterly winds are still well to the north of Virbac-Paprec 3 which confirms they have a relatively long way to get to them.
Tonight Virbac-Paprec 3 will be stalled by light winds while MAPFRE will be in decent breeze, so gains should continue. However, by tomorrow morning MAPFRE will be entering the light winds zone and slowing down.
Compression seems to be the watchword for the chasing trio as well. The transition frontal zone between the extending high pressure and the low moving to the SE arrives tomorrow morning for Renault ZE Sailing Team off Feira Santana. They will have only very light, unsettled winds.
Meanwhile it will be better for Neutrogena and Estrella Damm who will keep the moderate downwind conditions to the west of the low and be able to roll down nicely with them, expecting to catch miles on Renault Z.E Sailing Team.
In general one of the problems is that the trade winds are largely absent west of 25W but if you go out to the east to find them then the Doldrums passage to the east is even more complex and difficult. The girls are likely to keep going east and then go north when the high moves over them, so the best thing is stay with best boatspeed and then short upwind slog for a while as the low pressure is taking shape.
Hugo Boss to make technical stop
Alex Thomson Racing Team have confirmed that the IMOCA Open 60 HUGO BOSS will make a full technical stop in the Falkland Islands.
Members of the shore team are reported to be en route to the capital city Stanley. Meantime Andy Meiklejohn and Wouter Verbraak have been in a holding pattern 50 miles off the east coast of the islands riding out the conditions and are expected to wait until the support team are in situ before they make their approach.
The duo have reported that they worked round the clock for more than 48 hours trying to effect the necessary repairs, but need additional materials to be able to set a decent sail plan.
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