All 14 Open 60's have escaped the clutches of the Mediterranean, with Hugo Boss the last to hit the Atlantic

All 14 Barcelona World Race IMOCA Open 60’s are in the Atlantic now after Hugo Boss escaped the clutches of the Mediterranean at around 04:15 this morning.

At the front of the fleet there remains a very slight difference in strategy. 100 miles to the NE of Maderia Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA) and Loick Peyron (FRA) on Virbac-Paprec 3 have their theoretical lead cut to 28.7 miles this morning ahead of Michel Desjoyeaux (FRA) and Francois Gabart on Foncia.

Virbac-Paprec 3 may appear to have shed some 25 miles or so since yesterday morning against their immediate rivals but has been sailing consistently quicker, by around one knot, by sailing a slightly lower angle to the brisk SW’ly wind compared with Foncia who are favouring a slightly higher mode, sailing 10 degrees higher.

Their different ideas are based on the point and time at which they want to get through the cold front and the favourable wind shift which will allow them to head on a much more direct southerly course, later today or tomorrow.

They are bouncing around, punching into a short swell, which will grow through the day, predicted to be up to four metres. Life on a steep angle, in the ‘shaker’ as Michel Desjoyeaux called it this morning, is not easy and the skippers need to hold on tight as they move around.

It is also slightly similar situation behind them where Alex Pella and Pepe Ribes on Estrella Damm have made some 20 miles or so back on third placed Mirabaud’s Dominique Wavre and Michele Paret.

Tightly grouped

And behind them the battle between fifth and ninth is intense, one advantage recently swinging to Jean Le Cam (FRA) and Bruno Garcia (ESP) on President as their slightly more southerly position and good upwind speed sees them up to seventh, computed to be ahead of sister-ship GAES this morning but the girls are further north and moving just slightly quicker.

Iker Martinez and Jabi Fernandez on Mapfre have also gained a place since yesterday, now sixth and only 1.5 miles behind Boris Herrmann (GER) and Ryam Breymaier (USA)’s Neutrogena. Presently this tussle is contained within a lateral separation of thirty miles, but just 10 miles west to east.

A much bigger and more obvious difference in thinking is displayed behind by Spanish rivals We Are Water and Central Lechera Asturiana. The fleet’s oldest IMOCA 60, We Are Water is still holding a respectable 10th place with Jaume Mumbru and Cali Sanmarti and going for the northerly option while Central Lechera stick to a southerly trajectory.

Tono Piris and Pachi Rivero are the second quickest boat in the fleet this morning and their immedate target will be to get Renault ZE Sailing team to tenth as soon as possible.

To see the fleet positions, load the tracker directly HERE.