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Onboard Mar Mostro to Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg
Onboard Mar Mostro to Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg © Amory Ross / Puma Ocean Racing / Volvo Ocean Race

At today's 1000 UTC position update Spanish skipper Iker Martínez on Team Telefónica, still led the charge south with American Ken Read's PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG nipping at her heels 16 nautical just miles behind.

"Le timing est déterminant : si vous ratez le bus, vous restez dans les calmes de Sainte-Hélène."





However it could be a risky game the two leading teams are playing. The Saint Helena High is blocking the quickest route to Cape Town and on the southern side lies a westerly cold front which the teams are all hoping to take advantage of.

For much of today, the high-speed drag race south will continue on a port tack reach, but in the next 24 hours, as the leading pair approach the Saint Helena High, navigation and strategy will be focused on barometric pressure -- the means by which the navigators will identify their boats' positions relative to the centre of the high.   

The risk is to sail too close and get sucked into the windless zone, balanced against shaving the corner and sailing less miles to the finish. The judgement is critical and one false move will be catastrophic.  

On the south side of the high is a cold front, which Telefónica and PUMA’s Mar Mostro will reach around midday on Wednesday. Wind speeds here could be up to 25 knots, gusting 30, which are perfect for the Volvo Open 70. “The boat just lights up and takes off,” says CAMPER's Stuart Bannatyne.

Onboard Telefónica, Neal McDonald reports lots of wind and already a cooler water temperature.  “I think our navigator Andrew Cape has found us great spot,” he says, referring to the positioning of the blue boat.

Arriving at the cold front later than the rest of the fleet will be Franck Cammas' Groupama 4. The team could potentially need to gybe south to escape the new high building from the west and sail away from the direction of the finish in order to find the westerly breeze.  This will mean sailing even more miles for the team who already trail the leaders by 346 nautical miles.


Source Volvo Ocean Race


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