The six boats racing in leg four of the Volvo Ocean Race have all passed through the second ice way point and are now headed south towards the icy wastes of Antarctica on the ‘penguin route’ as Bouwe Bekking (movistar) calls it.
A fine battle between the leading three boats is developing as they charge towards Cape Horn. Pirates of the Caribbean (Paul Cayard) has moved into first position and has squeezed a lead of just two miles ahead ABN AMRO ONE (Mike Sanderson), while movistar in third place is only 14 miles behind the Pirates.
Mike Sanderson reported early this morning, “There is 2222 nautical miles to go to the infamous Cape Horn and this is one of the scariest times in the race, because if anything was to go wrong, we are around 4000 km from any major land, and that of course is well out of rescue range. We are all fully aware that if anything was to happen to someone’s boat, and they required rescuing, then the only assistance for a long time would have to come from a fellow competitor.”
For now, the sailing will be fast and tactical as the fleet roars around a massive high pressure, being chased by a huge low. Speeds are still high, although Ericsson Racing Team, the furthest boat to the west has averaged 2 knots slower over the last six hours. ABN AMRO TWO (Sebastien Josse) and Brasil 1 (Torben Grael) are the two most easterly yachts, the Pirates lead the middle group of movistar and ABN AMRO ONE, with Ericsson out to the west.
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