Distance between Paprec-Virbac and Hugo Boss increases, but lead set to slow in next few days

It has been a good 24-hours for the lead boat in the Barcelona World Race as Paprec-Virbac 2 gybed overnight and began heading more towards Gibraltar at good speed. As a result, skippers Jean-Pierre Dick and Damian Foxall have piled on the miles, adding over 150 miles to their lead over the last 24 hours.

But trouble looms ahead as the weather forecast is for lighter headwinds for much of the rest of the way to Gibraltar and even beyond into the Mediterranean. This means the impressive mileage is going to slow, and second placed Hugo Boss is likely to make a deep cut into the lead over the coming three or four days. Latest projections have Paprec-Virbac reaching Gibraltar on the 8 February. That would make their finish in Barcelona likely to be this Monday.

Just north of the doldrums a tense battle is being fought between Temenos II and Mutua Madrilena. “There are still a lot of miles to race and the weather situation is not very clear, which is maybe good for us,” said Javier Sanso today, cautioning that for the moment – due to relatively stable trade wind conditions – he doesn’t expect much movement for the next 48 hours. The gap between the boats is just 95 miles.

Race Positions on 5/2/08:

1. Paprec-Virbac 2 – Jean Pierre Dick / Damian Foxall – 1407 To Finish
2. Hugo Boss – Alex Thomson / Andrew Cape – 523
3. Temenos 2 – Dominique Wavre / Michele Paret- 1391
4. Mutua Madrilena – Javier Sanso / Pachi Rivero – 1480
5. Educacion Sin Fronteras – Servane Escoffier / Albert Bargues – 2811