Winds have kicked in and speeds are building for the crews of the Portimão Global Ocean Race

Wind and speeds are building for the chasing pack of the Portimão Global Ocean Race. Another small area of low pressure has spun off the Brazilian coast and it is bringing prefect sailing conditions to the Brits aboard Team Mowgli, and the crew of Desafio Cabo de Hornos (CHI). The system is just starting to affect the leading solo sailor, Michel Kleinjans aboard Roaring Forty.

Unfortunately for Kleinjans the two Class 40s positioned to the west of him picked up the breeze first and both boats have knocked 20 miles off his lead. At the 21:20 UTC poll yesterday evening the gap between the two Class 40s and Roaring Forty was down to just 38 miles, down from more than a hundred a week ago.

The sunny skies and good breeze had Jeremy Salvesen (Team Mowgli) in good spirits: “Well, we have finally found real wind at last and are now trucking along at 11 to 12-plus knots (top speed today 14.55 knots) in 16-plus knots of wind.”

“We have a low pressure system in front of us and if we are lucky we should be able to hitch a ride pretty much all the way to Cape Town, although it still means going a long, long way south in order to get round the stationery high pressure system in the middle of the Atlantic. The cat and mouse game with the red-hot chili peppers has continued for the last 24 hours with each of us holding second position on a number of occasions. If it has been exciting for our supporters, it has been the life-blood of our daily routine here on Mowgli.”

On board Desafio Cabo de Hornos the mood was similar. Skipper Felipe Cubillos sent the following report: “For two days now we have been sailing close to the British. I am sure we both anxiously await each position report. The latest report at 18:00 UTC had them ahead by 0.4 miles. That is just 740 meters! After three weeks of sailing this is just incredible.”

At the 21:20 UTC position report (4 October) Desafio Cabo de Hornos had regained the lead and on a distance-to-go basis were just over a mile ahead. For all practical purposes they are dead even.