Movistar's lead threatened as big winds roll in

The two Dutch boats, ABN AMRO ONE (Mike Sanderson) and ABN AMRO TWO (Sebastien Josse) along with Pirates of the Caribbean (Paul Cayard) finally made their turn to the east around 0930 GMT this morning and are now in the westerly breeze they have been longing for. ING Real Estate Brunel is still heading south, but 91nautical miles behind movistar (Bouwe Bekking) who still holds lead.

Movistar now has less breeze and the time of reckoning is near. The southerly group has taken over 20 miles out of her lead and are sailing three knots quicker, feeling the benefit of the new breeze. Will movistar have made enough gain to the east to outpace this group?

Volvo Ocean Race meteorologist, Chris Bedford, explains: “The westerly winds are solid and look like they will gradually increase over the next 24 hours. This will probably be too much for movistar, especially as both the Dutch boats will revel in the strong following breeze to come. By later tomorrow, a strong depression is expected to pass south of the fleet. Winds will increase to 30 knots or more, and the southerly yachts will benefit most and movistar’s lead will be at serious risk to the southerly boats.”

Meanwhile, Ericsson (Neal McDonald) one of the two yachts suffering damage, has arrived in Mossel Bay in South Africa and officially suspended racing at 0020 GMT. The team’s hydraulics expert is currently examining the damaged keel rams. Brasil 1 is expected to arrive in Port Elizabeth around 1800 local time this afternoon.

1 Movistar Position 41 08.80S/ 024 24.77E

2 ABN1 Position 42 57.47S/ 023 13.24E 00037 miles from leader

3 Pirates Position 42 54.35S/ 023 12.40E 00038 miles from leader

4 ABN2 Position 43 01.72S/ 023 01.77E 00045 miles from leader

5 ING Position 41 22.57S/ 022 18.76E 00091 miles from leader

6 Brasil 1 Position 34 50.12S/ 025 15.64E 00091 miles from leader

7 Ericsson Position 34 10.61S/ 022 08.73E 00245 miles from leader