22 April 2012|
A long hard week for the GOR fleet
After 20 days at sea in Leg 4 from Punta del Este to Charleston, the Global Ocean Race (GOR) Class40s have all crossed the halfway point of the 5,700 miles voyage from Uruguay to the USA and the past seven days have been a mixture of frustration and relief as the fleet finally broke into the North-East Trade Winds.
Early in Week 3 (16-22 April) the GOR fleet streamed across the Celox Sailing Scoring Gate at the eastern extremity of Brazil led by Cessna Citation and turned north-west, running parallel to the coast towards the Equator. Conrad Colman and Scott Cavanough crossed 0 degrees on Monday, returning to the Northern Hemisphere after nearly seven months of racing and were first to find the North-Easterly Trade Winds having side-stepped the Doldrums.
As the main pack of the GOR fleet encountered adverse currents, squalls and randomly shifting wind off Brazil, Nico Budel and Erik van Vuuren pulled into Fortaleza on the Brazilian coast as Budel made the hard decision to return to the Netherlands for urgent business dealings, but Dutch yachtswoman, Yvonne Beuskers, joined the boat and Sec. Hayai restated racing late on Wednesday evening. With the Dutch teamís pit stop, the overall fleet spread increased and as the four boats reach north in the trade winds the distance between Cessna Citation and Sec. Hayai is 780 miles with the leaders approaching the latitude of Guadeloupe in the Caribbeanís Leeward Islands and the Dutch team 340 miles off French Guiana.
However, the best speeds over Saturday and Sunday have been polled by Financial Crisis in second place with Marco Nannini and Sergio Frattaruolo and third-placed Phesheya-Racing as they sail parallel to the coast of Guyana and Suriname.