ALICANTE – At 1300 UTC today (0600 PDT, 1.5 hours ago) Vestas still had a nice 20 mile lead over now second place Mapfre as the fleet closes in on Porto Santo island, which they leave to starboard to begin the leg NE to the finish at Lisbon. Akzo has slipped to third apparently after hitting something over night. They had to back down to get something off the rudder, but as skipper Simeon Tienpont said, "At least it [the rudder] is still there. Phew!"
With 800+ nautical miles still to go of the 1450nm Leg 1 to Lisbon, the breeze has become very light, a big letdown from the 30 knots they had in the Straight of Gibraltar yesterday. Read the latest report from Peter Rusch, VOR Media Team here.
The race tracker is now updated only every six hours so the teams cannot use it to gather real-time info on their competitors. The screenshot above is from 0600 PDT / 0900 EDT / 1300 UTC. It will update in 4.5 hours – 1200 PDT. The race tracker will go live again when the teams are within 24 hours of the finish, likely sometime Friday afternoon CET.
As we suggested yesterday morning, there will be a few stops and starts for the fleet, and probably a few lead changes, as the wind changes over the course of the race that is expected to finish Saturday afternoon.
Speaking of 30 knots of breeze as they came out of the Med, check out this superb 1:36 heli video of the top teams as the went past Gibraltar Monday, courtesy of the Volvo Ocean Race YouTube channel....