Gurra Krantz's SEB, furthest south of the eight-boat fleet, has taken a slender lead but has the breeze and the speed to build a clear one
Figures polled at 0447 today show that Gurra Krantz’s SEB, furthest south of the eight-boat fleet, has taken a slender lead but has the breeze and the speed to build a clear one. She took a single-mile lead as she dropped south overnight but that move also delivers into enough breeze to make 9.1 knots earlier this morning. The 1100 figures show SEB has slowed to 6.8 knots, still heading southwest.
Another mile back on DTF figures, Kevin Shoebridge’s Tyco was south of the middle of the fleet and making 6.7 knots on the same west-southwest heading as SEB but lighter breeze after dawn have also slowed her, to 5.5 knots. John Kostecki’s illbruck, another single mile back, gybed just west of south late last night and flipped back southwest earlier this morning. She was third but is heading into the better breeze enjoyed by SEB and was making 7.1 knots. She was making 7.6 knots at 1100 this morning – best in the fleet, and could well have taken the lead.
The rest of the fleet is bunched to the north, stuck in a patch of light air and having to sail very high angles too keep the little speed they gain squeeze from the Force 2 northeasterlies they currently have. After leading gloriously out of the Solent, Dalton’s northerly option has not paid and he has slipped to fourth, heading almost due west to make just under 5 knots.
Jez Fanstone’s News Corp is the only boat sailing north of west, trying to get out of the band of light pressure that is hobbling them. They are fifth and making 6.4 knots this morning, having headed south alongside Knut Frostad’s sixth-placed djuice overnight.
Amer Sports Too is up to seventh after trailing the fleet out of the Solent, primarily due to a blown gennaker seconds after the start. This morning she is sailing southwest at 5.3 knots. Bringing up the rear is Assa Abloy, another victim of a blown gennaker in the Solent. She was furthest north earlier this morning making 5.7 knots just south of west.
At midday, 20 hours after the start, there are just four miles separating first from last so there is no clear advantage for any single boat and with over 7,100nm to Cape Town, this leg is barely alight.