ABN AMRO Two threatens ABN AMRO One's lead in VOR Leg 2 finish 20/1/06

The wind has dropped significantly for the leaders of the VOR approaching the finish of Leg 2 in Melbourne.

ABN AMRO One is now just 152 miles away from the line but in just 8kts of wind Mike Sanderson and team are currently experiencing one of the most stressful points of the race so far. Their teammates on ABN AMRO Two are now just 54 miles astern which creates a real threat to Sanderson and team who could see their lead diminish over the next few hours.

Sanderson commented: “At this stage of the race in to Cape Town we were faced with a scary forecast and so that took a lot of the fun out of it. Once again we have wind speeds on our expected forecast down as low as 1.5 knots, and even though we have got a 50-mile lead on ABN AMRO TWO, the fat lady hasn’t sung on this leg yet… In fact relatively speaking she hasn’t probably even got out of bed yet on the day of the Opera.

“Port Philip Bay is famous for it’s sea breezes, and even though we will be approaching land at the evening the most we can hope for is a ‘land Drainage’ effect where the land cools down quickly at night and basically instead of a sea breeze that blows onshore, drainage would be offshore and will be hard in on the coast. Then we need to hope to be lucky with the tides at the entrance to Port Philip as it can be up to four knots there.”

Similarly Team AMRO Two are slightly concerned about the rapid progress of third-placed movistar team who are now 100 mile off their transom. Although movistar is being nursed to the finish line with a defective keel ram the Spanish team are monopolizing on the light airs and sailing a tactical race to the finish line. They are currently making 12.6kts as opposed to AMRO Two who’s down to 9.

Simon Fisher, navigator commented: “We are certainly looking over our shoulder at movistar right now. I find myself regularly running their [movistar’s] optimum route to reassure myself that we are still in the right place. I’m sure this is going on in front of us too, with the ‘grown-ups’ looking over their shoulder at the nipper’s boat. Here’s hoping we can give them a run for their money in the fickle conditions to come.”

“It’s all about keeping a cool head and not doing any strange things,” wrote Bouwe Bekking (movistar), currently in third place with a nice buffer between them and the pirates racing The Black Pearl.

The current estimated time of finish for the ABN AMRO One and Two is 21:00 today and 01:02 tomorrow respectively.