Thursday, November 17, 2011

Puma Prancing Along On A Wing And A Prayer - Volvo Ocean Race Update

PUMA’s Mar Mostro (Ken Read/USA) led Telefónica (Iker Martínez/ESP) by 55 minutes as they rounded the Brazilian island of Fernando de Noronha at 0405 UTC this morning. CAMPER (Chris Nicholson/AUS) is expected to reach the island this afternoon and Groupama 4 (Franck Cammas/FRA) tomorrow around noon.
King Neptune arrives on Mar Mostro to grant passage across the equator to first timers Rome Kirby and Armory Ross Photo: Amory Ross/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race, 
It's champagne sailing for the leading pair now that sheets are cracked and they are beam reaching. They are averaging excellent speeds of around 15 knots and over the next 24 hours this pair should increase their lead
Photo: Amory Ross/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race,
At 1000 UTC this morning, PUMA’s Mar Mostro held a lead of 13.4 nm over the Spanish boat, while CAMPER had to fight off a troublesome cloud as they exited the Doldrums leaving them with no wind for several hours. Chris Nicholson (AUS) and his merry men are now 136 nm in deficit and Groupama 4 has 434 nm to make .up
King Neptune (Tony Mutter) and Codfish (Ryan Godfrey) Photo: Amory Ross/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race,
However the next couple of days will be a challenge for the leaders and the strategy going forward is going to be tough. Due to the time of year, late spring in the southern hemisphere, the Saint Helena High is further south and will give the leading two navigators a headache as they decide on their strategy for the second half of this 6,500 nm leg.
Kiwi King Neptune hearing about the crimes committed by Adam Miniprio on crossing the equator Photo: Hamish Hooper/Camper ETNZ/Volvo Ocean Race, 
The Saint Helena High will be forced to split in two by a low-pressure cell building to the west and the eastern cell of high pressure will re-establish itself right in the path of the fleet.
Equator inductees caked in three day slop on CAMPER Photo: Hamish Hooper/Camper ETNZ/Volvo Ocean Race, 
The leading duo may get away and continue to reach slightly south of this cell, but for CAMPER and Groupama, the news is bad and they may face yet more upwind sailing in order to reach Cape Town.

Forecasters predict that the traditional route south to find the strong westerlies that give the exhilarating sleigh ride through the roaring forties will not be possible on this leg and the timings of decision-making during the next two days will be crucial.

Leg 1
Report: 17/11/2011 10:01:04 UTC
-ADORRetired from Leg 1
-SNYARetired from Leg 1

Lulu Roseman

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