Starting the working week
This morning the leading duo of Cheminées Poujoulat and Neutrogena were divided by just 16.8 miles on the 0500 position update, although with a wider longitudinal separation than yesterday, of around 40 miles. Neutrogena has been posting fractionally faster speeds (around 14.8 knots at 0500am this morning) to chip around 4 miles from first-placed Cheminées Poujoulat’s advantage overnight.
This front-running pair are currently benefitting from solid north-westerlies of around 25 knots, giving them 14-15 knot boat speeds, which they can expect to enjoy for another day or so before the winds become stronger, building to 35-38 knots before they hook into south-westerlies as they near the true South. So for the leaders today should be a day of relatively straightforward fast sailing, with eyes on the front they will be crossing in the next two days. They are expected to reach 40 degrees South, and the beginnings of the Antarctic Exclusion Zone, on Wednesday.
Third-placed GAES Centros Auditivos remains steady in their relative position to the leaders overnight, and are likely to experience a similar exit around the St Helena High pressure zone to the leaders.
For Renault in fourth, however, their more easterly route (around 320 miles east of fifth placed We Are Water, and the leaders’ tracks) at around 27°W sees them experiencing very different conditions, with lighter, and very unstable westerlies of no more than 10 knots. The fourth placed boat has shed around 60 miles to the leaders overnight.
We Are Water are still making ground to the south in north-easterly trade winds this morning, while One Planet One Ocean Pharmaton have similar conditions but have chosen a more westerly track, closer to the South American coast.
Spirit of Hungary is currently at the latitude of Recife, and around 300 miles off Brazil, making 12 knots good speed in pleasant sailing conditions with south-westerly trade winds of 12-15 knots.