Illbruck has extended her lead to 18 miles over second placed Assa Abloy on the straight drag race south towards Isla Fernando de Noronha
Illbruck has extended her lead to 18 miles over second placed Assa Abloy on the straight drag race south towards Isla Fernando de Noronha, 315 miles away. And if she keeps up her pace at 10 knots, she should cross the Equator within the next eight or nine hours.
“We are sailing in a weak south-east trade (wind) regime. Most of the action on board concentrates on making the boat going fast. Still some clouds give a break to the monotony of what otherwise would be a straight course,” reported Illbruck’s navigator Juan Vila earlier this morning.
Frustration is setting in onboard Amer Sports One where broken fittings are beginning to have an effect on the overall speed of the boat. “Tyco is in sight ahead of us but we have been unable to make any impression on them which is somewhat frustrating,” explained Grant Dalton, “We are wounded by the failure of our masthead locks and unable to use our code 0 (zero) in anything other than really light air. And guess what, we have entered a part of the world where it is all code 0 weather so we have to watch these guys move off.”
For the three trailing yachts, it seems the Doldrums may lash out again. “Looks like we’re are in for take two – Doldrums passage number two is coming up,” explained seventh placed SEB skipper Gunnar Krantz. “They moved down to approx five degrees north and we have to negotiate them a second time, together with djuice and possibly Amer Sports Too.”
This being the case, the gap between the ‘two fleets’ is likely to increase as the leaders pull away in the south-east Trade Winds. “Our goal, said Krantz, “is to hold djuice behind us through this passage and then try to eat the miles out of Amer Sports Too.
The burden of being last is also starting to show on djuice. “Although I must say we handle our position pretty well, we can all feel the strain of not being able to fight up there with the other boats. Our sense of humour and ability to laugh at our position helps a little bit, but we can’t always hide behind that,” said djuice watch leader Espen Guttormsen.
Position Report Day 18, 0400hrs GMT
5 5 AONE