Team ABN AMRO One is still in the lead, but movistar is gaining slowly 11/04/06

Since 0400 GMT movistar (Bouwe Bekking) has gained one nautical mile on the leader ABN AMRO ONE (Mike Sanderson) but remains 37 miles behind. However, Pirates of the Caribbean (Paul Cayard) and Brasil 1 (Torben Grael) carry on their fierce sea battle.

As the breeze slowly lifts on the fleet and looks likely to lighten as the teams near the Caribbean, Mike Sanderson onboard ABN AMRO ONE has taken a hit which has cost him eight nautical miles in 12 hours. He explained last night how this was a necessary move, but caused a dilemma onboard for himself and Stan Honey, his navigator. “Suddenly we were actually outside the acceptable trade off in trigonometry. So what should have been an opportunity to gain was going to be a loss. So here we were stuck with this dilemma. Do we take a given loss now or a potential loss in the future? Or do we roll the dice a little and see if a better opportunity to get west presents itself?

“Anyway we decided to take the hit now and up with the Code 0 Gennaker we went. Down we came and for now that is a little worry over and done with. A little frustrating as it means that we spent six hours in what should have been conditions where we should have gained on the fleet, actually making small losses on everyone.”

The lifting breeze may actually help the Pirates, as Paul Cayard has been complaining that the sail they use for this wind direction doesn’t seem to be as fast as the Brazilians. Will this lift now allow the Pirates to overtake them? They have made up eight miles in the last six hours, with only one mile separation at this sked.

It’s not good news for ABN AMRO TWO (Sebastien Josse) and Ericsson Racing Team (John Kostecki) though, who have lost eleven and four nautical miles respectively on the fleet over the past six hours, which should not please the frustrated crews.