If the final miles in the Mediterranean look mildly frustrating but neverthless straighforward for Jorg Riechers and Sébastien Audigane as they close in on sixth place in the Barcelona World Raceon Renault Captur, so the last 1600 miles which stand between Nandor Fa and Conrad Colman and seventh place will be sailed with extra care as the Humgarian-Kiwi duo report today that a second keel bolt is damaged.
Subsequent to replacing two bolts in Bluff, NZ during their technical stop, in the middle of March Fa and Colman reported to Race Direction that they had lost a further keel bolt. The situation has been monitored very closely by the duo and by Race Direction.
Now, this morning Fa reported: “Today I discovered that the second keel bolt of the front pair on the right has been broken for a while. Now there is no bolt remaining on the right side, only the port (left) side. On that side we have both of them. Now the keel is canted to the maximum, so I think it's safe.”
Breezes are due to remain fair for the duo's passage to Gibraltar where they should arrive Friday.
Fa concluded: “I’m over the first shock and I do what I can to look after the boat. Naturally, for me the boat comes first. We are progressing as well as we can, and as safely as we can.”
For Riechers and Audigane it should now only be a question of time and a measure of prudence before they complete their round the world race. They have no major weather hurdles in their way, even if the meteo GRIB files are not really aligning to gift them a favourable final 500 miles.
Renault Captur came through the Straits of Gibraltar during the small hours of this Sunday morning, returning into the Mediterranean at 0250hrs UTC. The tacked only 1.5 miles off the Spanish shore just to the west of Estepona early this morning and today faced the choice of working lighter breezes closer to the coast or stepping more offshore into the brisk headwinds which were forecast to top more than 20kts. Tonight they should be well clear of the Alboran Sea and up to Cabo de Gata.
There is a good chance the arriving duo will cross wakes with the race winning Cheminées Poujoulat which left yesterday on their homewards delivery. Remarkably, after 98 days at sea racing round the world, Didac Costa co-skipper of fourth placed One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton stepped on to Cheminées Poujoulat to help Jean Le Cam with the delivery back to France!
Renault Captur should get into more favourable E'ly winds after Cabo de la Nao and Ibiza to enjoy a swift passage to the finish line.
Spirit of Hungary were 400 miles west of the Canary Islands today with a W'ly airstream which looks like it will hold with them right to the Straits of Gibraltar, finally allowing them some good, straight line sailing back towards the Mediterranean. Their situation is closely monitored by Barcelona World Race Direction and the relevant MRCCs
Rankings Sunday 12th April at 1400hrs UTC
1 Cheminées Poujoulat (B. Stamm – J. Le Cam) – finished 25/03/2015 at 17:50:25 UTC in 84d 05h 50min 25s
2 Neutrogena (G Altadill – J Muñoz) finished 30/03/2015 at 23:47:00 UTC in 89d 11h 47min
3 GAES Centros Auditivos (A Corbella – G Marín) finished 01/04/2015 at 17:09:28 UTC in 91d 05h 9min 28s
4 One Planet One Ocean & Pharmaton (A Gelabert – D Costa) finished 08/04/2015 at 21: 12:09 in 98d 09h 12min 09sec
5 We Are Water (B Garcia – W Garcia) finished 09/04/15 at 15:06:28 UTC in 99d 3h 6min 28
6 Renault Captur (J Riechers – S Audigane) + 470 miles to Barcelona
7 Spirit of Hungary (N Fa – C Colman) + 1150 miles to leader
ABD Hugo Boss (A. Thomson – P. Ribes)