30 April 2012|
Final miles to Charleston for the GOR leaders
At 15:00 GMT on Monday, the Global Ocean Race (GOR) fleet leaders Conrad Colman and Scott Cavanough on Cessna Citation were gradually picking up speed with less than 100 miles to the finish line in Charleston as the main trio of Class40s dig into the Gulf Stream.
Leading the pursuing pack in second place, Marco Nannini and Sergio Frattaruolo on Financial Crisis held a 62-mile lead over the South African duo on Phesheya-Racing – a gain of around 20 miles since Sunday afternoon - and were averaging the best speed in the fleet at 10.5 knots on Monday. “We’re pleased with how things have gone in the past two days after the tactical move to cover Phesheya,” confirmed Nannini on Monday morning. “We now feel a little more in control of our destiny,” he adds.
However, with weather files predicting a loss of wind, the remaining 215 miles could present a fresh set of tactical options: “The wind is progressively decreasing, so we hope the finale won’t be too much of a light winds struggle,” says Nannini. At 15:00 GMT on Wednesday, Nannini and Frattaruolo were 106 miles NE of Grand Bahama and 200 miles off the east coast of Florida. “We're heading north-west, a little left of the direct route, in anticipation of the rotation of the wind and hoping to find the favourable flow of the Gulf Stream to help us run fast along the American coast,” he explains.
Meanwhile, on Phesheya-Racing, Nick Leggatt and Phillippa Hutton-Squire had slowed to just under seven knots on Monday afternoon with their speed averages dropping gradually from over ten knots earlier in the morning. “We’ve caught up 125 miles on Cessna and 131 on Financial Crisis,” reported Hutton-Squire on Monday morning, but the pressure from Van Vuuren and Beusker in fourth place is relentless. “We’ve lost 165 miles to Sec Hayai due to their incredible speeds and they have shadowed us like our reflection on the water.”