Tuesday the Horn and Invercargill
After at least four mast climbs between them, Nandor Fa and Conrad Colman have made the hard decision last night (UTC) to bring Spirit of Hungary to Invercargill, South Island NZ, for a minimum downtime techncial pit stop to remove and then repair or replace a damaged, jammed halyard lock car on their mast.
They are lying in seventh place in the Barcelona World Race around the world. By pitstopping they seem set to forego an opportunity to catch or pass Renault Captur which had pit-stopped into Wellington and which left the dock at 0500hrs UTC this morning.
The duo were 550 miles from Invercargill at 0600hrs UTC this morning and so should be expected to arrive in about 35 hours, so Tuesday mid afternoon UTC. Fa and Colman have a favourable winds forecast for all but the last 50 miles into their stop, averaging 25 kts of SWly.
The Hungarian-Kiwi duo have been battling for more than two days to fix or remove the damaged slider. Both skippers have made attempts to remove it or replace it to allow the mainsail to be hoisted and lowered properly. It is understood friends and family of New Zealander Colman will be on the dock to support them and they do not anticipate the pit-stop taking any longer than the mandatory minimum of 24 hours.
Local reports suggest the pit-stop of Renault Captur is in good hands and went well, they left the dock at 0500hrs this morning heading back out to the race course. They exceeded the mandatory 24 hours minimum, taking around 30 hours for their repairs. The forecast does look quite favourable for a departure today, offering them downind and reaching conditions, 24-36 hours of 15-20kts NE'ly winds.
We Are Water, in fourth and One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton in fifth, are still embedded into a high pressure system which is moving NE with them. And that situation does seem set to continue for much of this week. Aleix Gelabert and Didac Costa have the better breeze angle - able to sail more directly - whiles in front of them We Are Water, Bruno and Willy Garcia are having to gybe because they are more downwind. Hence Gelabert and Costa have been able to catch more miles and are now 230 miles behind.
Neutrogena have stepped 40 miles further clear of GAES Centros Auditivos overnight and remain slightly quicker. They have about five knots more breeze than Anna Corbella and Gerard Marín and so are going quicker. Guillermo Altadill and José Munoz are in the cold front with better conditions, while GAES Centros Auditivos are now a little behind it with less and more unsettled winds. Because of a high off the west of Chile their routing takes them much more north for their approach to Cape Horn where they are due between 27th and 28th February.
Leaders Cheminées Poujoulat continue to make excellent progress towards Cape Horn wich about 640 miles to sail. They have SSE'ly winds - slightly awkwardly. They will reach Cape Horn in 25-30kts of SW'ly which will carry Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam past in good conditions and allow them to pass directly close to Staten Island.