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Day 225

North-South Divide

With 1,300 miles to go to Les Sables d’Olonne, the result of the GGR may be decided now with strategic choices around the Azores, en route to the Bay of Biscay less than 1,000 miles away. To the north, Abhilash is still downwind in a low-pressure system which will intensify during the week bringing more downwind sailing in fresh – even very fresh – winds. He just broke a spinnaker pole.

To the south, it’s not so good for Kirsten and Simon (CH) who are upwind in decreasing northerly winds. They are being caught by a large area of calm before the wind returns tomorrow afternoon with the front. Simon told us that he had received an erroneous forecast from the Portuguese weather service which led him to change his course to the east.

The result is a virtual draw at midday (7 miles to Kirsten’s advantage) and a commanding position for Abhilash. As a reminder, Abhilash received a 12-hour time compensation in November for his participation in Tapio’s rescue, and Kirsten received 35 hours and 30 litres of diesel. These compensations are not taken into account in the tracker rankings.

Behind, Cpt Gugg is still struggling in the NE, losing 40 miles on the lead. He still has to serve a 4.5 hour penalty in a penalty box for his incursion into the Pacific exclusion zone. With 127 miles sailed in 24 hours, Jeremy (CH) is keeping up the pace with the leaders even though he is 2,300 miles behind, 5° south and 300 miles from the Equator. This weekend they will all be in the Northern Hemisphere!


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