PANERAI TRANSAT RACE – True to its reputation, the Mediterranean is giving the fleet of the Panerai Transat Classique 2012 a run for its money. Last night, the shifting winds kept the crews on their toes, not least because of some heavy gusts. Sea Lion recorded peaks of 35 and 38 knots (70 kph) while White Dolphin, slightly behind the leaders, had to cope with gusts of 45 knots (85 kph). Thanks undoubtedly to their meticulous preparations, none of the boats has reported any damage.
During the day the leading trio, with Corto out in front, crossed the gate close to Cartagena in strong winds and choppy seas. Once they doubled Cape Palos the wind decreased by 10 knots and this seriously slowed the boats down. Further south, Corto seems to be less affected than The Blue Peter and Sea Lion, and continues to run a remarkable race in terms of tactics.
Still chasing the pack, White Dolphin has understood the situation and is heading southwards in the hope of reducing the gap just that little bit more.According to her skipper, the yacht is being hindered by her new propeller which is affecting her steering and speed. In the coming twenty-four hours the conditions are expected to improve, which will allow the crews to get some well-earned rest, however the wind will be moving into the west and thus become a headwind. The coming wind shifts, either north or south, will have a capital effect on performance, tactics and, of course, the pecking order. A little over 48 hours away, the Straits of Gibraltar are also going to have an important say in the matter.
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