28 April 2012|
Drastic covering tactics as the chasing trio close-up
It has been a painful 24 hours for Marco Nannini and Sergio Frattarruolo in second place on Financial Crisis in the double-handed Global Ocean Race (GOR) as the two chasing Class40s, Phesheya-Racing and Sec. Hayai, eat heavily into their lead and Cessna Citation extends quickly away to the north and the finish line in Charleston.
For the Italian-Slovak duo on Financial Crisis it was a very black Friday: “The whole day we negotiated the passage of many rain clouds which played havoc with the wind,” reported Nannini on Saturday morning. “On average, we had a lot less wind than predicted by the forecast and after each downpour we hoped things would stabilise,” he says, but fortune would not favour Financial Crisis and Nannini and Frattarruolo stumbled from squall to windhole in an endless cycle of torture. “Even more annoyingly, we found an average of 1.5 knots of adverse current,” he adds.
The net result is a 100-mile mile loss by Nannini and Frattarruolo to the South Africans on Phesheya-Racing since midday on Friday. “The miles have evaporated faster than the cold sweat over my forehead at the thought of being overtaken after all this hard work,” says Nannini. At 12:00 GMT on Saturday, Financial Crisis was just 42 miles ahead of the South African Class40 as Nannini’s covering move to the west became the only action available: “The goal is to go and cover Phesheya whilst hopefully also getting out of the adverse current,” he explains. “I'm not sure this is the fastest way to Charleston, but once we are in front of them and pretty much in the same winds, they will have a much tougher time overtaking us,” he predicts.
Meanwhile, fleet leaders Conrad Colman and Scott Cavanough were flying north on the Akilkaria RC2 Cessna Citation. “Last night was spectacular with sustained periods at 18 knots and a whole position sched where our slowest speed was 11 knots,” reported Colman late on Friday night.