Juanpa Cadario: Noticias de la Velux 5 Oceans. La flota se acerca a los Doldrums

Noticias de la Velux 5 Oceans. La flota se acerca a los Doldrums

Foto copyright Velux 5 Oceans

Fuente info scuttlebutt europe

Velux 5 Oceans Fleet Approach the Doldrums

The competition - and the weather - is really starting to hot up as the Velux 5 Oceans fleet press south towards the Equator. After ten days of sailing which have seen the fleet encounter a host of weather conditions from frustrating, light breeze to strong winds and high seas, the five ocean racers have their biggest challenge of the leg so far ahead of them: the Doldrums.

At the head of the fleet, American solo sailor Brad Van Liew continues to stretch his lead over the chasing pack. The latest position report at 12pm UTC put the 42-year-old from Charleston, South Carolina, 86 nautical miles ahead of Polish ocean racer Zbigniew 'Gutek' Gutkowski as the pair blast south past the Cape Verde Islands.

Canadian Derek Hatfield changed course overnight to avoid the islands, and now trails Brad by 314 miles. A passage too close to them could cause problems for the sailors due to the light, unpredictable winds that can be found around the islands. The 57-year-old sailed west for eight hours to clear the islands and also put his Eco 60 yacht Active House on course to cross the Doldrums.

While Brad suffered two knockdowns on Le Pingouin and Gutek was caught out with too much sail up as they both headed through a low pressure system, Derek, who chose a similar course, has so far escaped unscathed.

Gutek has been recovering from a nasty injury to his head caused by the wind generator on Operon Racing. The blades on the wind generator sliced his forehead in several places yesterday forcing the 36-year-old to get out the needle and thread and stitch his wounds back together. To add more misery, Gutek got an electric shock from his hydrogenerator while trying to fix it yesterday. "Is it not enough that I'm already wounded?" he wrote this morning. "An electric shock now? Wonderful."

British skipper Chris Stanmore-Major, who chose a course closer to the coast of northern Africa, was last positioned off the coast of Mauritiana. Despite his fourth place, CSM clocked the highest average speed between the morning and midday reports on Spartan averaging 12 knots.

Christophe Bullens, more than 1,800 nautical miles behind Brad after returning to La Rochelle after the race start last Sunday, has also chosen a more inshore route hugging the Portuguese coastline. His yacht Five Oceans of Smiles too continues to be plagued by electrical problems and his average speed over the last 24 hours was polled at just 3.1 knots.