Archive | Barcelona World Race

Guillermo Altadill and José Muñoz finish second

Posted on 31 March 2015 by Reporter

[Source: Barcelona World Race] Ghosting across the line in the inky blackness of a Mediterranean spring night, finally slicing through the finish line set on the very waters where some 40 odd years ago he cut his teeth as a young, aspiring sailor harbouring great dreams, at 01:47:00hrs local time Guillermo Altadill and his talented, ever reliable Chilean co-skipper Jose Muñoz secured second place in this third edition of the Barcelona World Race, the round the world race for two crew which left the Catalan capital on December 31st 2014.
After pressing the eventual race winners hard until New Zealand, where Altadill and Muñoz had to take the tough decision to make a 24 hours pit-stop to repair their engine generator, they finish 5d 5h 56 min 36 secs behind Cheminées Poujoulat’sBernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam.

The Spanish-Chilean partnership, which was only competing in their second major IMOCA race as a duo, finished the theroretical 23,321 Nms course in 89 days 11hrs 47mins at an average of 10.86kts.

30/03/2015, Barcelona (ESP), Barcelona World Race 2014-15, Neutrogena (Guillermo Altadill, José Muñoz) arrival in 2nd place.

30/03/2015, Barcelona (ESP), Barcelona World Race 2014-15, Neutrogena (Guillermo Altadill, José Muñoz) arrival in 2nd place. Photo Gilles Martin-Raget

Altadill and Muñoz were honoured on the finish pontoon, at the base of Barcelona’s iconic Columbus statue, by recently crowned winners Bernard Stamm (SUI) and Jean Le Cam (FRA) and Hugo Boss skipper Alex Thomson (GBR) who lead the early stages of the race until their mast tumbled down.

By making their technical stop into Bluff, South Island New Zealand, the duo are reckoned to have lost 930 miles, or close to the 90 hours which was Altadill’s prediction as they as they diverted om 11th February. Afterwards, until their return to the North Atlantic, they maintained a very similar margin behind Cheminées Poujoulat. But despite their losses Altadill still paid a rich tribute to the winners, saying ‘they sailed an awesome race, did not mak e mistakes and probably would have won anyway even if we had not had to stop.”

Their actual distance sailed is 27,788.34 miles at a computed average of 12.94 kts. By comparison Cheminées Poujoulat sailed 27,953.43 Nms at an average of 13,8 kts.

The duo
Barcelona’s Altadill, 52, who has one of the most storied, varied and successful careers in global ocean racing becomes the first Catalan ever to stand on the podium of the Barcelona World Race. As well as his ocean racing career, Altadill has served as a successful coach in Spanish Olympic sailing, coaching the gold medal winning Tornado crew in 1996. He sailed in the 2007 America’s Cup with Team Germany.

Barcelona World Race 2014-15 / Photo Gilles Martin-Raget

Barcelona World Race 2014-15 / Photo Gilles Martin-Raget

Completing his seventh circumnavigation, he already has two round the world race podiums to date in the Volvo and Whitbread races and won The Race, the maxi multihull race around the world, in 2000-1 on Club Med with skipper Grant Dalton.

Chilean José Muñoz, 42, is one of South America’s best known ocean racers, and in finishing second today has made a very successful step up from the Class 40 Portimao Global Ocean Race. With his close friend, mentor and co-skipper on Felippe Cubillos on Desafío Cabo de Hornos (Class 40), he took second place in the 2008-9 two handed race, with stops, around the world. Off Cape Horn on 28th February past, Muñoz paid a very warm tribute to the inspirational Cubillos who died in a plane crash in 2010.

After second place in the Transat Jacques Vabre, second in the New York-Barcelona Race and second today, Altadill finishes third overall on the podium of the IMOCA Ocean Masters World Championship, behind Jean Le Cam and Bernard Stamm.

BWR1415Fin02_1857 (1)

For Altadill, this is one of the high points of his career, finishing runner up in the two-handed round the world race which was originally conceived to promote his home city. He was one of the pioneering skippers to take the start line in the inaugural edition in 2008-9 but rudder problems meant he and American double Olympic medal winning co-skipper Jonathan McKee were the first duo to have to retire from the race, before they had even reached the Indian Ocean. Success today completes a measure of unfinished business for Altadill. They raced the final 26 days of the course with almost no communication tools after losing their antennae as a result of a crash gybe.

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Neutrogena closes Barcelona

Posted on 29 March 2015 by Reporter

[Source: Barcelona World Race] Altadill, 52, has enjoyed many round the world race finishes over a career spanning nearly 30 years. But finishing in to his own home city, through the waters where he grew up sailing – and indeed coached at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics as part of the Spanish Olympic team – will surely rank as one of the sweetest memories of his life.

Altadill was one of the pioneers in the first edition, announced in July 2007 as a skipper of Estrella Damm, but he and co-skipper Jonathan McKee had to retire into Cape Town with technical problems. And he was part of a partnership that did not make it to the start line for the second edition. The Catalan-Chilean duo will harbour some regrets that they had to let Cheminées Poujoulat away when they had to pitstop Neutrogena in to Bluff, South Island New Zealand on 11th February, a diversion which maybe only cost them the statutory 24 off the race course, but their unavoidable loss amounted to close to 1000 miles.

Until New Zealand the Neutrogena duo had proven themselves as the only boat which could pace the eventual winners, Cheminées Poujoulat. And even after they returned to pursue Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam, they held the delta, retaining the same high pace until the South Atlantic opened up so nicely for the race winners.
Chilean Munoz will complete his second racing circumnavigation, only his second major IMOCA 60 race after partnering Altadill in last year’s New York-Barcelona transatlantic.

Altadill sounded relaxed and contented when he spoke very briefly to Race Direction this afternoon, confirming that they had been slowed in light airs but they were expecting to work the afternoon sea breeze off Alicante. At midday UTC they were 80 miles offshore and had just had two very slow hours. He confirmed their projected ETA at between 1100hrs and 1400hrs UTC Monday. He said they are expecting a transition zone later in the afternoon or evening at the latitude of Ibiza. Their biggest sticking point may be a usual calm zone off Tarragona at the edge of the Ebro valley where the drainage NW’ly can fight the gradient breeze and leave a big, quiet area.

GAES Centros Auditivos were struggling in very light airs as Anna Corbella and Gerard Marin were closing in to the Straits of Gibraltar. The Catalan duo were making just two or three knots of boat speed but should break in to the Mediterranean later this afternoon.

One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton and We Are Water are still engaged in their upwind match race. One hundred and 20 miles to the west, Bruno and Willy Garcia have been sailing a course seven degrees higher than their rivals Aleix Gelabert and Didac Costa who are still over 100 miles ahead in terms of DTF. But that progressive convergence of the courses, with the Garcias one knot quicker this afternoon, represent something of a comeback for the Barcelona brothers.

Renault Captur are in the NE’ly trade winds making a steady 9kts upwind in 12kts of breeze.

Spirit of Hungary are finally making a good N’ly course in the SE’ly trade winds which are quite light for them still but they do seem to have better prospects for the moment, although the Doldrums do look a little voracious for them. Nandor Fa and Conrad Colman are 800 miles to the Equator now.

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Cheminées Poujoulat winners of the Barcelona World Race 2014-2015

Posted on 25 March 2015 by Reporter

[Source: Barcelona World Race] Cheminées Poujoulat, co-skippered by Bernard Stamm, 51, (Switzerland) and Jean Le Cam, 55 (France), sailed to victory today, winning the third edition of the Barcelona World Race, the non stop, round the world race for two crew, crossing the finish line at 17:50:25hrs UTC in light winds, 10-15kts SE and smooth seas. The Swiss-French IMOCA 60 completed theoretical course 23.321,76 nautical miles (43.191,9 Kilometres) of the theoretical course non stop (stops are penalized in this race) at an average of 11.53kts.

The elapsed time for Stamm and Le Cam, since the start from Barcelona on 31st December 2014 at midday UTC, is 84 days, 5 hours, 50 minutes and 25 seconds. The actual distance over ground covered by them is 27950 miles, at an average speed of 13.82 knots.

Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam have established the reference time for the race, which followed a different course for this edition: from Barcelona to Barcelona, passing all three great capes Good Hope, Leeuwin and Horn, leaving Antarctica to starboard. But for the first time the course went direct under New Zealand rather than diverting north to pass through the Cook Straits between North and South Island. This reduced the course distance by about 1280 miles compared with previous editions.

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Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam: two established ocean racing stars with long, established track records is a happy man this evening. Just before Christmas 2013, in fact during the night between 23rd and 24th December, he had to be rescued after his IMOCA 60 completely split in two in force 9 winds and 10 metre waves when he was delivering his boat back to Brest from Brasil after racing in the Transat Jacques Vabre. Stamm made global headlines, describing later how he knew that in order to survive he had to take to the icy waters of the Western Approaches 170 miles from the Scilly Isles to ‘swim for my life’

A year later he started this round the world race, and now, today Stamm has achieved his third victory in a round the world race, the first one non stop and two handed. The 51 year old Swiss had already won the Around Alone 2002/03 solo; and again in 2006/07, under the most recent name of Velux 5 Oceans.

25/03/2015, Barcelona World Race 2014-Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam (Cheminées Poujoulat) arrival. Photo Gilles Martin-Raget / Barcelona World Race

25/03/2015, Barcelona World Race 2014-Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam (Cheminées Poujoulat) arrival. Photo Gilles Martin-Raget / Barcelona World Race

Theirs has proven a remarkable part nership of close equals, a pair who have delivered victory thanks to their many, many years experiences, good and bad. They had never sailed together as a duo before this race, but had both achieved notable successes, racing two handed. Le Cam wins the 2013-2014 IMOCA Ocean Masters World Championship, Stamm is runner up.

In turn, in his fifth round the world race , French legend Jean Le Cam, 55, known by some in his native France as “Le Roi Jean” (King Jean), adds his first ever outright victory in a round the world race to an extensive ocean racing record which stretches back 31 years, including second in the solo Vendée Globe in 2004-5 behind Vincent Riou.

In fact after winning 2013′s Transat Jacques Vabre to Brazil with Riou,Le Cam has now won the two biggest IMOCA two-handed races back to back.

A winning boat. An IMOCA legend
They have made a very similar time including two Gibraltar Straits crossings and two Mediterranean legs. In the Barcelona World Race 2010/2011, this IMOCA 60 was second with Spain’s Íker Martínez and Xabi Fernandez as co-skippers. It made the start of Vendée Globe 2012/2013 with Jérémie Beyou. The boat has been modified several times to adjust to the rules evolution and improve its performance in big waves. With two victories and a second place in round the world races, this boat is established as a legend of he IMOCA class.

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The final 500 for Cheminees Poujoulat

Posted on 23 March 2015 by Reporter

[Source: Barcelona World Race] Jean Le Cam and Bernard Stamm on board Cheminées Poujoulat have become the first team to return to the Mediterranean in the Barcelona World Race, crossing the longitude of Gibraltar this morning at 08.30 (UTC). The leaders kept a course close to the North African shore, before a rapid transit through the Straits in a 20-knot southerly.

Cheminées Poujoulat now has fewer than 500 miles to cover before their arrival at the finish in Barcelona, and they are currently expected to arrive at lunchtime on Wednesday, March 25. They are currently heading north-east, on the Spanish side of the Alboran Sea, and can expect a period of upwind sailing in 5-10 knot winds over the next 24 hours due to a high pressure system south of Spain.

Second-placed Neutrogena is now on an east-bound course. Having reached the limits of the north-easterly trade winds yesterday afternoon, Guillermo Altadill and Jose Munoz made the turn for Europe ye sterday evening and are now sailing in more northerly breezes of 15-20 knots. Around 125 miles to the south-west, GAES Centros Auditivos has shadowed their manoeuvre in third and is now also heading east.

Equatorial battle

In the duel to cross into the Northern Hemisphere, it was One Planet One Ocean and Pharmaton who arrived at the Equator in fourth place. Aleix Gelabert and Didac Costa crossed the 0° Latitude this afternoon at 14.20 (UTC), six days and 18 hours after third placed GAES Centros Auditivos.

Speaking this morning Gelabert said he’d welcomed the close competition with We Are Water in this stage of the race: “These days we have been pushing a little bit. We are trying to go out of the Doldrums as fast as possible. I presume that We Are Water are doing the same because everyone thinks it is very important to get out of the Doldrums as soon as possible. We are happy to have We Are Water close to us because then we are pushing a little bit more, and going fast to Barcelona is our final goal.”

He and Costa have been pleased with their performance and report no problems on board, commenting: “We will keep pushing to try to maintain the fourth place, which we are going to have to do because We Are Water are going to push also, it’s going to be really difficult to be further ahead of them. But the boat is in good condition, we don’t have any issue with anything, so we can go 100% for the moment, and we will try to go as fast as possible as we always do.

“We know that we are faster than We Are Water but only because we have different weather conditions and we have been lucky with this, and our decisions have been very good. In theory their boat is a little bit faster so we try to go as fast as possible and if we make better times than them then perfect, but if not then we know that’s normal and just to keep going.”

About 170 miles to the west, We Are Water are experiencing a tortuous Doldrums, averaging just 1.5 knots boat speed and VMG since this morning’s position report. The Garcia brothers are expected to cross the Equator around two hours after Gelabert and Costa, but may benefit from stronger breezes to the west this afternoon.

Sixth placed Renault Captur is predicted to cross the Equator in one week’s time. At this afternoon’s 1400hrs position report they were the fastest in fleet, heading north-east at over 11 knots in 15-20 knot northerlies, around 170 miles off the coast of Brazil.

Things that go bump

Spirit of Hungary encountered a confused sea state and 40 knot gusts as they passed a cold front off Uruguay, about 500 miles east of Montevideo. As the boat slammed in the irregular waves, Conrad Colman fell head-first and suffered severe bruising to his face and a suspected dislocated shoulder. He reports: “I landed on my lef t shoulder and my head leaving the former dislocated and a large egg on my forehead. I screamed for Nandor who rushed from his bunk to help me sit up, only for my head to turn and I was forced to lay back in confused agony. Having previously dislodged my right shoulder and had it surgically repaired in 2012, I only hope that I can avoid that fate again with my new injury. I have good range of movement but significant pain and a significant sense of weakness in the joint.

“Thankfully we have pretty clement conditions lined up for the next few days but Nandor will have to do the manoeuvres solo as I am only capable of easing sheets, not winding the winches for now.”

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Heading: Home!

Posted on 18 March 2015 by Reporter

[Source: Barcelona World Race] The Azores high pressure system has proven to be a road block for Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam. Their passage northwards at the head of the Barcelona World Race fleet, saw them running out of breeze and so their tack eastwards, towards the Straits of Gibraltar, was made early this morning. And as the Swiss-French duo progress east towards the Moroccan coast, passing south of Madeira, they will reconnect with the better NE’ly trade winds.

Cheminées Poujoulat has 1100 miles to sail until the welcome of the pillars of Hercules the iconic gates to the Mediterranean formed by the Rock of Gibraltar on the European coast and Jebel Musa (852m high) in Morocco’s Rif mountains.

The Swiss-French duo are due to pass back through the gates the evening of Sunday 22nd March. It will remain upwind all the way to the Moroccan coast but they should be progressively lifted as the trade wind backs a little more N’ly as they get closer to the coast. Today they were about 500 miles WNW of the Canary Islands. After tacking this morning their angle looked pretty horrible, pointing almost directly towards the islands, certainly south of east, but that has improved with speed today, making between nine and ten knots. Their lead remains static at just over 900 miles – or three to four days – ahead of Neutrogena.

GAES Centros Auditivos, (Gerard Marin, Anna Corbella). Gilles Martin-Raget

GAES Centros Auditivos, (Gerard Marin, Anna Corbella). Gilles Martin-Raget

The battle for second and third retains a frustrating status quo for Anna Corbella and Gérard Marin. They lost one mile to the leaders since the same time yesterday and three miles to Neutrogena. Each day in the NE’ly trade winds, 105 miles behind Neutrogena,GAES Centros Auditivos are still devoid of options. They can on ly follow the best course of the boat in front, still fighting for each metre, but it does not stop Corbella from thinking of her first run on the Catalan beaches with her golden retriever and Marín will be eagerly anticipating being reunited with his daughter who was only four months old when he left on this three month race around the world. Pre-start the duo said they would be happy with a podium finish, but having been so close to Neutrogena – they will finish frustrated not to get close enough to have a go at passing in the Mediterranean.

The three boats now in the North Atlantic were granted a brisk, business-like passage through the Doldrums, but that does not look to be the case for We Are Water and One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton. The band of calms and unsettled winds – 600 miles ahead – is widening all the time and it looks increasingly like it will slow this match race which this afternoon is just 30 miles apart.

High light of the day for the Renault Captur duo has been a shower and a shave, a tonic for their physical and mental fortitude given that they are close to the Uruguay and Brazilian coast trying to piece together a jigsaw of downwind and reaching lanes to get north while the route to the east is barred by the Saint Helena high. And Spirit of Hungary are making good speeds but start to have a high pressure ridge in front of them.

Rankings Wednesday 18th March at 1400hrs UTC
1 Cheminées Poujoulat (B Stamm – J Le Cam) at 1605 miles to finish
2 Neutrogena (G Altadill – J Muñoz) + 906 miles to leader
3 GAES Centros Auditivos (A Corbella – G Marin) + 1011 miles to leader
4 We Are Water (B Garcia – W Garcia) + 2137 miles to leader
5 One Planet One Ocean & Pharmaton (A Gelabert – D Costa) + 2154 miles to leader
6 Renault Captur (J Riechers – S Audigane) + 3340 miles to leader
7 Spirit of Hungary (N Fa – C Colman) + 4654 miles to leader
ABD : Hugo Boss (A. Thomson – P. Ribes)

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Duels for Duos. Setting the Red Line

Posted on 12 March 2015 by Reporter

[Source: Barcelona World Race] Cheminées Poujoulat’s lead at the head of the Barcelona World Race is being eroded the rate of over 100 miles a day by the ever tenacious duo of Guillermo Altadill and José Munoz on Neutrogena. Spirit of Hungary are less than 1000 miles to Cape Horn.

But with a lead of 1165 miles and 2589 miles to sail to the finish in Barcelona, right now Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam are not going to be biting their nails unduly. The advance of Neutrogena is only one stress among others.
The leading duo have constantly spoken out against complacency, letting their guard down. They know that misfortune has visited skippers in the closing stages of many of the recent IMOCA 60 Round the World Races. They know that after more than 21,500 miles of hard racing the boats are at least as tired as their skippers. And the concept of……. ‘well, we have made it this far, so chances are we should make to the finish’ holds no substance.’ Indeed the regular, almost metronomic slamming upwind in the NE’ly trades at best works your dental fillings loose, and worst exposes the small weaknesses to become big problems. As ever, setting the red line, how hard to press, is probably more relevant now for the t op three boats as it is at any time in the race.
The last cut is the deepest?

Jean-Pierre Dick lost the four tonne bulb off his keel of Virbac-Paprec 3 with just over 2000 miles to go during the last Vendée Globe and lost third to Alex Thomson. Spain’s Javier Sanso lost his keel 360 miles south of the Azores whilst on course to complete that same race and had to retire. In the previous edition in Feburary 2009 Marc Guillemot dropped his entire keel at 960 miles to the finish in Les Sables d’Olonne. Days earlier Roland Jourdain lost second place in that edition, chasing victor Michel Desjoyeaux, when his keel fell off Véolia 600 miles from the Azores.

Estrella Damm, during the last Barcelona World Race had their strongest winds, and boat breaking conditions when Pepe Ribes and Alex Pella were returning back through the Straits of Gibraltar.

It is never, ever over until the finish line is crossed.

Guillermo Altadill, the well travelled Spanish skipper on Neutrogena is clearly continuing to press the Farr IMOCA 60 as hard he and Munoz dare. They have opened distance on third placed GAES Centros Auditivos again today to be 233 miles ahead of Anna Corbella and Gerard Marín this afternoon.

Since yesterday Neutrogena have added more than 40 miles to their advance ahead of their pursuers, as well as clawing back 278 miles on the leaders. But, in comparison to Stamm and Le Cam,Altadill and Munoz are reaching, making easier miles in E’ly trades, whilst the leaders are slamming, almost upwind in moderate NE’ly trades. Cheminées Poujoulat will pass the Cape Verdes tomorrow and likely have another two or three tacks to make before Gibraltar which they should reach on 21st March. Stamm and Le Cam have been especially quick in the South Atlantic, sailing between Cape Horn and the Eq uator in just 12 days, 19 hours and 57 minutes.

Duelling Duos

And within that race for the top five places two duels endure. Neutrogena v GAES Centros Auditivos has ebbed and flowed since Altadill and Munoz restarted from New Zealand on 13th February. Corbella and Marín got as close as five miles astern in the Pacific, but in the Atlantic, Neutrogena have stepped away steadily. But they have a Doldrums ‘lite’ experience ahead, a relatively straightforwards transition expected.
If the duel for second and third is maybe opening out, the battle for fourth and fifth remains close. This morning there was just seven miles – terms of distance to finish – between We Are Water in fourth and One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton in fifth. Aleix Gelabert and Didac Costa continue to defy predictions with the former Kingfisher and this evening there is 23 miles between them and the Garcia brothers on We Are Water which has been faster th is afternoon

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Deliverance is Obvious A Good Day

Posted on 25 February 2015 by Reporter

[Source: Barcelona World Race] The deliverance from the Pacific will have been notable for Cheminées Poujoulat. After passing Cape Horn at 0100hrs this Thursday morning in 20-25kts of WSW’ly winds, passing 14 miles south of the rock, Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam have accelerated into much flatter waters. Now they enjoy the twin benefits of the wind veered more to the west and the protection of Tierra del Fuego which has reduced the swell completely. And so as the Barcelona World Race leaders make towards the Straits de Lemaire which they should pass around 0900hrs UTC they are making 18kts in smooth seas. Today should feel like a good day, as they sprint north, set to pass west of the Falklands tonight.

Neutrogena and GAES Centros Auditivos are now separated by about 60 miles straight line, Anna Corbella and Gerard Marín now to the south and going slower, 7.5kts compared with Guillermo Altadill and Jose Munoz’s 9.5 kts. And the delta between the two is set to grow significantly, and shrink again. First Neutrogena seem set to have a big advantga in wind strength and direction 25-30kts this morning for Altadill and Munoz while GAES will only have it moderate, then Neutrogena will have it calmer. They are still expected to rach Cape Horn Saturday with Altadill and Munoz about 10-12 hours ahead.

We Are Water and One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton are still locked into the high pressure…..the one and only, self same high pressure system they have had for some days now. The breeze is 15-20kts from the W for We Are Water, hence they continue to gybe downwind, while One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton have NW’ly and so just follow the AEZ, more or less straight line other than one gybe. The big change is that One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton are going to get headwinds.

And that is the case especially for Renault Captur which has it good today but will soon start to get headwinds as the low pressure moves south and will be sailing in headwinds until Friday evening, according to current meteo files.

And Spirit of Hungary are docked in Bluff, South Island NZ, starting their pitstop at 2250hrs UTC last night

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Renault Captur reroute to New Zealand for pitstop

Posted on 18 February 2015 by Reporter

[Source: Barcelona World Race] Renault Captur turn back to pitstop in New Zealand. Following damage to their starboard rudder which became obvious between Sunday 15th and Monday 16th February Jorg Riechers and Sébastien Audigane on Renault Captur have made the decision to reroute to New Zealand to undertake a technical pit stop to try and make a more effective repair.

The duo, racing in fourth place in the Barcelona World Race, were 585 miles SE of the southerly tip of South Island NZ at 0500hrs UTC.

They believe it will take them between two and three days, sailing in mainly favourable SW and S’ly breezes which look set to become lighter as they close to New Zealand, to reach a suitable landfall.

Riechers and Audigane have attempted two repairs to the rudder blade so far but the boat has proven uncontrollable at higher speeds. Further information will be issued shortly.

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