The leading pack have all slowed to under 4.5 knots overnight
IMOCA 60 skippers sign up to do a round the world race on the promise of hurtling around the globe at 20-knots plus, so maintaining a racing mindset whilst languishing at four knots takes a certain kind of determination.
For Renault Z.E, Estrella Damm and Neutrogena, the ‘pre-Doldrums’ are proving tricky, with all boats slowed to under 4.5 knots average pace overnight. As Alex Pella and Pepe Ribes (ESP) emailed from Estrella Damm this morning: “Today it’s going to be calm, and go calmer, we have 48 hours as a pre-Doldrum, as a practice for the Doldrums. By day you can see your face in the sea, and at night you can count all the stars in the water.”
The effect on the positions is that Renault Z.E. has lost around 40 miles on the leaders overnight, whilst Neutrogena and Estrella Damm are once again less than six miles apart, with the Spanish team holding the advantage.
At the front Virbac-Paprec 3 are currently showing as 216 miles ahead of MAPFRE, but have taken a more westerly course, with the actual distance between the boats (rather than distance based on a theoretical rhumbline) over 350 miles.
GAES Centros Auditivos continue their power reach north, topping 16.6 knots this morning. However the boat with the fastest average overnight is none other than Hugo Boss, whose return to the fleet has seen the repaired boat making almost 15 knots overnight on a straight north-easterly track away from the Falklands, and pulling away from nearest rivals Forum Maritim Catala to put over 100 miles between them.
Meanwhile We Are Water are facing another deep south storm as they attempt to exit the Pacific Ocean, which in this morning’s email they describe as “their Tourmalet”, or the equivalent of the cyclists’ brutal mountain climb.
To track the fleet, click here.