Fuente info GOR
3 November 2011
White knuckles and weary sailors for the final 500 miles
At 09:00 GMT on Thursday, under 500 miles of the double-handed, Class40 Global Ocean Race (GOR) remains for Marco Nannini and Paul Peggs leading the second wave of boats towards the Leg 1 finish line in Cape Town with Financial Crisis. However, a fight to the finish for third place is fully underway with Conrad Colman and Hugo Ramon in fourth on Cessna Citation positioned furthest north, piling on the pressure averaging over 12 knots early on Thursday and 14 knots for 12 hours producing sustained speeds in excess of 20 knots. On Financial Crisis, the Italian-British duo continue pushing their first generation Akilaria Class40 to the limit, averaging over 13 knots until the forecast shift of breeze to the south-west arrived with the expected loss of speed as Nannini and Peggs changed from reaching to running downwind.
With the gap between the frontrunners closing by 41 miles in the past 24 hours, Cessna Citation currently has the advantage, remaining in reaching conditions to the north, closer to the latitude of Cape Town and still thundering north-east towards the finish line with averages over 13 knots. While Colman and Ramon should remain reaching until Friday morning, Nannini and Peggs have a 92-mile lead over Cessna Citation and although their speeds have dropped to just below ten knot averages, the duo will keep sailing hard and avoid breakages in the succession of forthcoming gybes to ensure they keep ahead of Colman and Ramon.
For the New Zealand-Spanish duo on Cessna Citation, the past week has been exhausting: “We've maintained our three-hours-on, three-ours-off schedule, but with the ramped up intensity, I'm beat,” admits Conrad Colman. The two single-handed Mini 6.50 sailors have adopted a punishing approach for the final sprint to the finish. “We’ve opted to capitalize on our strengths as solo sailors and each of us takes turns at running the boat separately, but stocking up on sleep in the frequent rest periods so we can keep this charging beast balanced on a knife edge.” With the recent speed averages delivered by Cessna Citation, the edge is very sharp: “Since turning south we haven't taken our foot of the loud pedal and have kept the same configuration of full main, staysail, big spinnaker and white knuckles,” he continues.
Despite the risks of carrying maximum canvas, Colman and Ramon aren’t pulling back: “Last night, when we had gusts of nearly 30 knots, it was a real handful and we wiped out frequently, but we figure it’s better to sprint at risk of stubbing your toe, rather than jog it in safely.”
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Etiquetas: Regatas internacionales