GLOBAL OCEAN RACE – As the Global Ocean Race (GOR) Class40s approach the end of their first week at sea in Leg 4 from Punta del Este, Uruguay, to Charleston, USA, the double-handed teams are racing upwind along the continental shelf of Brazil with the New Zealand-Australian team continuing to extend their lead on Akilaria RC2, Cessna Citation to 56 miles, while the three first generation Akilarias – Financial Crisis, Phesheya-Racing and Sec. Hayai – were spread over 37 miles at 15:00 GMT on Sunday with the Italian-Slovak duo of Marco Nannini and Sergio Frattaruolo squeezing fractionally higher speeds from Financial Crisis but unable to shake-off the South African and Dutch Class40s.
On Sunday afternoon GMT, Conrad Colman and Scott Cavanough with Cessna Citation continued to poll the best averages for almost 24 hours with Cape Frio 90 miles of the port beam and with Nannini and Frattaruolo 56 miles astern and both boats averaging just over seven knots. On board Financial Crisis in second place, there has been no break since the beginning of the leg in Punta del Este: “Half the world is on holiday for a long Easter weekend, but for us it’s been more wind and waves as we sail north-east hoping to soon reach the trade winds,” reported Marco Nannini on Sunday afternoon. “Ahead of us the bottom corner of Brazil with Rio de Janeiro and a tangle of variable light winds to deal with.”
Following the passage of a front, the spell of downwind sailing was short-lived and the teams are now back on the most uncomfortable point of sail: “In the space of half a day we went from sailing downwind to beating upwind again, progress has been very slow since, especially as we are pushing against the unfavourable Brazil Current which runs from north to south decreasing our speed by nearly a knot,” Nannini confirms. “We have another two-to-three days of light variable winds ahead which can bring mixed fortunes to each boat,” he predicts. “Our eyes are firmly set on the easterly trade winds a few days sailing ahead of us,” says Nannini of the band of breeze waiting at around 15S, 700 miles to the north. “Once we manage to feel the gentle flow of their predictable air, we should start making fast progress towards the Equator and the Doldrums; another challenging part of the race.” MORE STORY