BWR: Goodbye Roaring 40s, Hello South Atlantic High

Published on March 2nd, 2015

(March 2, 2015; Day 62) – As Cheminées Poujoulat climbed north out of the latitudes of the Roaring 40s and into a regime change on the east side of the South Atlantic high pressure system, Barcelona World Race leaders Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam are into relatively stable, quick downwind conditions which will allow them to make good miles north, ultimately to connect with the trade winds.

After being dragged well to the east Stamm and Le Cam are now able to make more direct, easy miles north.
This Monday afternoon Cheminées Poujoulat had slowed in the light downwind conditions but the Swiss-French duo will see the wind move to the south east, allowing them a better, faster angle. By Tuesday they will have 20-25kts from the ESE although as the High moves east and south they will have lighter airs by Wednesday. But in the meantime Stamm and Le Cam have had light airs and were only making 6.4kts, racing at the latitude of Buenos Aires and Montevideo.

Guillermo Altadill and José Munoz on Neutrogena have been catching miles today, dropping their deficit to Cheminées Poujoulat back below 1000 miles today, thanks to their good reaching speeds in 20-25kts of NW’ly breeze. But they, too, are due to encounter high pressure, a system building from the Argentinian coast.

The last 24 hours have been good for the Neutrogena duo who have also made 95 miles on GAES Centros Auditivos in the last 24 hours. Spanish duo Anna Corbella and Gerard Marín have been through the lee of the Falkland Islands but are into clear air now, are due east of the islands, and now pacing their arch-rivals Neutrogena albeit now 204 miles behind.

We Are Water’s Bruno Garcia may have spoken today about the complexity of their weather outlook for their 1600 miles to Cape Horn, but the Barcelona brothers have been flying over the lat 24 hours. Riding the top of a low pressure they made 404 miles to this morning, but Spirit of Hungary – Nandor Fa and Conrad Colman – have pipped them with a 415 miles day.

We Are Water are still forecast to be at Cape Horn this weekend, reckoned to be early Saturday morning with One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton later in the day.

Renault Captur have been making steady speeds in the 14.5 to 16.5kts range, suggesting they are managing their rudder problems just now.

And the high day’s run for Spirit of Hungary signifies their best 24 hours yet in the Pacific. Conrad Colman was today delighted to have posted an 18.5kts average overnight.

“Our average speed for the past 10 hours has been 18.4 knots and by the time we fall off the back of this front we will have eaten a quarter of the Pacific in one long weekend! It would be nice to have another boat close by to have a comparison for this excellent progress because typically only the front runners have been able to get averages over 18.”

Doctor on Call.
This Monday Dr Belén Gualis, the Medical Director of the Barcelona World Race and Director and Coordinator of the BWR Ocean Campus Medicine course visited Race HQ and spoke to some of the skippers.

Dr Gaulis was one of the Hospital Quirón Teknon doctors who designed and delivered the Medicine at Sea briefing for the skippers, designed the medical kit which is carried on each of the IMOCA 60s, and developed the BWR Ocean Campus medicine course.

Of their pre-race training for the skippers Doctor Gualis explained: “We make a theoretical and practical in one day. And in that day we resume everything that can happen on a boat. The theory is about basic cardio- vascular medicine, and surgery and how to prepare an injection, bandage and how to suture. That is all very practical. And we have seen that it can be used on the race, like Conrad and Nandor.”

She spoke with Nandor Fa and Conrad Colman on Spirit of Hungary and, on the videoconfernece, was able to inspect Fa’s head laceration which Colman had stitched prior to arriving in Bluff last week. He took the stitches out today.

Of the interventions that the race team doctors have had to help deal with she said:
“We have had a few calls, just for small issues, dermatitis, tendonitis, headaches, flu, all are resolved.”

Speaking of the medical kit which was developed for the race she said:
“The medical kit is very easy to manage. The skippers who have used it, like Conrad and Bruno, have not had any problems. They can use it with no problems, I am happy.”

Planning for a 24/7 race she said:
“At the hospital Teknon we have a team of six doctors who are on call and a 24/7 alert. We have developed a system of videoconferences, email and satellite phone, so that there is a team always ready and prepared to attend to a critical situation. There are intensive care specialists. We make a medical course before the race started just to prepare the sailors to manage with common situations, like a bang on the head, fracture or wounds – taking care of them or suturing. The course is very important.”

Skippers quotes:

Bruno Garcia (ESP) We Are Water:
We are at about 115 to 113 of longitude so we are say 1600 miles from Caoe Horn but the approach is going to be a bit difficult. There will be many lows and we don’t really know what they wil l be doing in these coming days. I think we will be crossing a little bit to he north but the situation will be quite difficult and tactical situation to but probably we will have enough wind.

Conrad Colman (NZL) Spirit of Hungary:

It is nice to be back at sea and going this fast, starting this stage with a bang. Thankfuly we have had an ideal re-start. We were absolutely exhausted. To go from skipper to shore crew and back again is hard. We did not get much sleep and in two and a half days I only got one shower. We were focused on the boat, not creature comforts. And then we had one night which was quite light at the start and then the reaching conditions have been building. we have been going absolutely flat out, going in an easterly direction and so we have been making miles and so it has been the perfect re-start. At the moment we have 32kts from the NW and we are broad reaching and as you will have seen we have just averaged 18.5kts all night which is awesome and our fastest run to date, so we are feeling good. We should eat our way through one quarter of the Pacific in essentially one long weekend. And so it is good work. After that the picture becomes more complicated.

Ranking at 14:00 UTC:
1. Cheminées Poujoulat (Bernard Stamm – Jean Le Cam) 5238 nm Distance to Finish
2. Neutrogena (Guillermo Altadill – Jose Muñoz) 993 nm Distance to Lead
3. GAES Centros Auditivos (Anna Corbella – Gerard Marin) 1207 nm DTL
4. We Are Water (Bruno Garcia – Willy Garcia) 3251 nm DTL
5. One Planet One Ocean / Pharmaton (Aleix Gelabert – Didac Costa) 3404 nm DTL
6. Renault Captur (Jörg Riechers – Sebastien Audigane) 3987 nm DTL
7. Spirit of Hungary (Nandor Fa – Conrad Colman) 5432 nm DTL
Hugo Boss (Alex Thomson – Pepe Ribes) Abandon

TrackerEvent details

Report by event media.

Background: The third edition of the Barcelona World Race is the only double-handed, non-stop, round the world race. Eight IMOCA 60 teams started December 31, 2014, with the intent to cover 23,450 nautical miles in a circumnavigation from Barcelona to Barcelona, putting the capes of Good Hope (South Africa), Leeuwin (Australia) and Horn (Chile) to port and the Antarctic to starboard. The finishes are forecasted for the end of March 2015.

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