PUMA’s Mar Mostro is powering at breakneck speeds almost double those of the fleet and fast closing the more than 200 nautical mile gap with leg leaders CAMPER.
Ken Read’s PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG team appear to be reaping the benefit of their radical northerly route that has seen them about 150 nm nearer Japan in the north than the rest of the fleet.
An increasing boat speed in excess of 20 knots has enabled PUMA to close the gap between leaders CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand from more than 270 nm last night, to around 208 nm at 0700 UTC on Saturday morning.
But, weighing heavily on the minds of the crew is the possibility that the northern play will not pay, Media Crew Member Amory Ross reported from on board Mar Mostro today.
“We’ve already suffered the familiar weight of going it alone, and while we never once wrote ourselves off, and are very much poised to pounce on the guys to our south, the threat of losing big still looms large,’’ he said.
“In that sense, looking at the position chart can be intimidating, but we very well know now how quickly deficits can be erased with the right conditions and a little bit of patience.’’
CAMPER skipper Chris Nicholson and navigator Will Oxley are spending hours on end at the nav-station deciphering the weather reports and picking what they hope will be a winning track to their homeport.
But at 0700 UTC the entire fleet was making gains on CAMPER, including second placed Groupama sailing team who picked up 16 nm in three hours to trail by just 23 nm.
Team Sanya remain in podium contention in third place just over three nm behind Groupama, while Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing are in fourth and Team Telefónica are about 65 nm behind the leaders in fifth place.
- 4 Mar 2012Tensions build in east versus west duel
- 29 Feb 2012Relentless pace begins to take its toll
- 26 Feb 2012PUMA swagger on as CAMPER face threats
- 21 Feb 2012Tactical minefield could force radical options
- 3 Feb 2012Telefónica on course for third leg win
- 26 Jan 2012CAMPER take lead on big day for Nicholson