Cheminées Poujoulat crossed 146 deg E last night to lead into the Pacific Ocean at 2130hrs UTC but they were not the only boat to be enjoying a key race milestone as GAES Centros Auditivos passed Cape Leeuwin this moning at 0045hrs UTC and Renault Captur should pass Leeuwin this evening,
Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam lead the Barcelona World Race from the Indian Ocean into the Pacific Ocean at 2130hrs UTC Monday night with a lead of over 240 miles ahead of Guillermo Altadill and Jose Munoz on Neutrogena.
Race leaders Cheminées Poujoulat continue with their rapid pace racking up another 470 miles 24 hours run in excellent conditions. The Pacific is proving kind so far to Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam giving continued 25kts NWly winds and relatively flat, smooth seas. They passed between Campbell and Auckland Island yestrday evening.
Racing in 20-25kts of breeze early this morning and the Barcelona World Race leaders Cheminées Poujoulat have been consistently making between 14 and 15kts. Normally in that favourable breeze Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam would be making closer to 18 or 19kts. It is possible either that they are sailing very conservatively given that they have a lead of over 1100 miles and sea conditions are very rough. They are due to speak to BCN Race HQ on the live show so it will be interesting to hear the latest from the leaders. The will cross into Chilean waters, the midpoint of the Pacific tonight.
It seems quite likely that GAES Centros Auditivos and Neutrogena are in AIS contact with one another now. At just 12 miles apart in the middle of the South Pactific, GAES Centros Auditivos looks to have timed their last gybe to track the wake of Neutrogena.
Legend has it that in 1788 the HMS Bounty of Captain Bligh made just 85 miles in 31 days while trying to round Cape Horn. If they round Cape Horn as expected on Tuesday 24th February, Barcelona World Race leaders Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam will have taken 31 days to race from the longitude of Cape of Good Hope to the most feared of all Capes. They passed Good Hope on which they passed on 24th January at 20:20hrs UTC. and those who like the fearful symmetries of IMOCA Round the World Racing might not be too far wrong to stab at a 24th March finish into Barcelona
Race leader Cheminées Poujoulat continues to work the W’lies for as long as they can. They are hanging on to strong SW winds between high pressure moving east off the South American coast and storms moving through the roaring 40s/50s of the South Atlantic. Neutrogena and GAES Centros Auditivos are facing some upwind sailing conditions as they work to leave Cape Horn and get north of Falkland Islands. Further back, We Are Water, One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton, and Renault Captur are negotiating strong winds and very rough sea conditions around a South Pacific storm. Finally, Spirit of Hungary is slowed getting away from New Zealand by a large high pressure separating them from the W’lies further south along the Ice Boundary.
After the limits of the southern oceans imposed by the combination of the weather systems and the safety barrier of the Antarctic Exclusion Zone, the Atlantic is opening up for the top trio of the Barcelona World Race.
The Big South is coming to an end for the Garcia brothers and for Aleix Gelabert and Didac Costa. They are no longer rookies when it comes to the southern oceans and tomorrow the two Spanish duos should relish the moment when they all cross Cape Horn for the first time. They seem to be being offered quite favourable conditions for their penultimate day in the Pacific, NW and N'ly breezes 20-25kts though they have big seas. Both are due to round the rock tomorrow and are just 120 miles apart