German entry Beluga Racer becomes third boat to lead Portimão Global Race since 12 Oct start

There is yet another lead change in the Portimão Global Ocean Race. Boris Herrmann (pictured) and Felix Oehme on the German entry Beluga Racer have overtaken the Chilean boat Desafio Cabo de Hornos to take the lead for the first time since the October 12 start.

Herrmann and Oehme have sailed a tactically superb course and their patience and perseverance have finally paid off. At the 06:20 UTC poll this morning Beluga Racer held a seven-mile lead over Desafio Cabo de Hornos.

Beluga Racer’s tactical advantage started two days ago as they approached the Canary Islands. Choosing to sail between the high islands of Tenerife and Gran Canaria, Beluga Racer got a boost as the wind funnelled through the narrow gap. The venturi effect increased their wind speed as they sailed downwind with full sails set. Desafio Cabo de Hornos had transited the Canaries further east between Gran Canaria and Feurteventura.

Yesterday morning both boats looked to be enjoying perfect sailing conditions. However overnight Felipe Cubillos on Desafio Cabo de Hornos was forced to gybe away from the African coast. It was this gybe, on a less favorable course, that cost him his lead.

The westernmost boat in the fleet Kazimir Partners was sailing at nine knots, while to the east their British rivals on Team Mowgli were enjoying speeds close to 11. Unfortunately for Jeremy Salvesen and David Thomson it looks like they will have to gybe away from the African coast later today.

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