Distances between boats are shrinking due to a combination of factors - not least boat speed

Distances between the leaders of the Barcelona World Race are compresssed by a combination of factors this morning, not least boat speed. The two lead boats are now sailing their more westerly track towards Recife, Brazil. Foncia (Michel Desjoyeaux and Francois Gabart) has benefited from its position – more to the west of Virbac-Paprec 3 (Jean-Pierre Dick and Loick Peyron) and closer to Brazil – and so look set to ‘pit’ first some four or five hours ahead of race leader on standings.

In around 13-17 knots of SE’ly breeze they have some 200 miles to sail.

Estrella Damm (Pepe Ribes and Alex Pella) are leaders elect. They are some 20 miles behind Foncia and Virbac-Paprec 3 but their gains come from being closer to the rhumb line. They seem to be opting for the westerly routing, closer to the Brasilian coast, and are around 170 miles west of the direct route to the waypoint (middle of the Atlantic gate).

MAPFRE’s (Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez) drop is as much because they have been on a track which diverges more sharply from the direct route. They are looking for the most western routing just now. MAPFRE was the fourth boat to cross the Equaitor, but they have had less wind since then and been going slower.

Mirabaud crossed into the south at 21:30 UTC last night with Groupe Bel at 23:30.

Some twenty five miles south of the Equator this morning, these two IMOCA Open 60’s have found their Doldrums with very, very little breeze for periods, sailing very slowly.

For Ryan Breymaier and Boris Herrmann on Neutrogena, all of their Gibraltar frustrations come to the surface again as they have had an exceptionally slow night, making only 22 miles and averaging just three knots. Their night has been at a cost against the group they are with, losing some 30 miles.

The duel between the GAES girls and Renault XE Sailing Team duo continues apace, but with Dee Caffari and Anna Corbella now on the same course as their FNOB counteparts – just nine miles behind. At 05:30 UTC they have around 140 miles to sail to the Equator.

The group behind them are still holding the NE’ly trade winds, Hugo Boss are the night’s speed kings with the best speed overnight lying in 10th place.

To track the fleet, visit http://tracking.barcelonaworldrace.org