Team ABN AMRO One has taken the VOR lead from movistar and now leads by 25 miles 10/4/06
Although Team movistar managed to retain her lead to the cross the first waypoint of VOR Leg 5 just ahead of ABN AMRO One on Friday night she is now 25 miles astern.
Bouwe Bekking and team had fantastic start to the race and took control for nearly five days, however the ever-threatening Kouyoumdjian-designed ABN AMRO One, with Mike Sanderson at helm, demonstrated her extreme speed in the building north-easterly Trade winds and by last Thursday started to significantly threaten movistar’s lead. Crossing the Fernando de Noronha waypoint in the lead, means Team movistar have taken 3.5 points.
By Saturday Sanderson and team aboard ABN AMRO One had not only broken through movistar’s lead but had crossed the Equator with a 13-mile advantage. Monopolising on her position AMRO One then went on to sail trouble-free route through the doldrums and, in an increasing breeze, now leads the fleet by 25 miles. Movistar is still in second but Brasil is now hunting her down. Torben Grael and team have spent the night working their way up the fleet from fifth place yesterday to third. Pirates of the Caribbean is now fourth.
ABN AMRO Two have taken the biggest loss during the past few days and, having been just eight miles adrift at the end of last week, they are now 149 miles behind their teammates.
The outlook for the next new days shows that as the fleet continues to head north they’ll be in the north-easterly trade winds for approximately two days helped along by the equatorial current. Although the fleet appears to have slotted into a bit of a drag race once again, it will be interesting to see the strategies for navigating the Bermuda high that lies between the trade winds and the e