Race 13 Day 5: Ocean Sprint in sight as fickle winds continue to hamper progress

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With the ridge of  high pressure showing no signs of dispersing, it’s been another frustrating 24 hours for the fleet. However, with the Ocean Sprint in touching distance who will overcome the challenging conditions and sprint to victory to claim a further two bonus points in Race 13  - the Grange Hotels Trophy?

With just 25 miles currently separating the top half of the fleet, GREAT Britain has narrowly stolen the lead after escaping the dreaded wind hole and climbing an impressive three places up the leaderboard. Skipper of the UK entry, Simon Talbot, describes the last 24 hours:

“You may remember that we spent much of yesterday in close quarters racing with OneDLL which culminated overnight in us both ending up in a wind hole. Now thankfully we managed to escape the wind hole after a few hours but then spent the rest of the night and this morning in little more than 4 to 5 knots of breeze so we have had our work cut out to keep the boat moving.”

Meanwhile, Team Garmin and Jamaica Get All Right, which elected to tack east of the rhumb line, continue to battle to make gains of the rest of the fleet. Having won the last Ocean Sprint, the crew on Jamaica Get All Right have their sights firmly on the prize as skipper Pete Stirling explains:

“The forecast is for the wind to slowly build from the south west and that should hopefully see the end of the ultra-light wind sailing conditions for this race. The Ocean Sprint start line is just 70 miles ahead of us and by this time tomorrow we should be well and truly in sprint mode with good wind and boat speed. We won the last Ocean Sprint on the race from San Francisco to Panama and will be doing our very best to get the double.”

The Ocean Sprint lies between the lines of latitudes 30N and 32N, and the fastest yacht to cross the gate will be awarded two bonus points.

Meanwhile, the African sponsored entry, skippered by Rich Gould, is suffering the frustrating conditions of the dreaded wind hole, as Rich details the painfully slow progress of his team which currently lies in last place:

“Well what can I say about today?  Not a lot if truth be told, in the last 12 hours we have only covered 18 miles!

“The wind has been light to non existent all day which has kept progress at a painfully slow minimum.  The ridge of high pressure that is upon us does not seem to be showing any signs of moving off any time soon and the fully powered up double figure speeds of 36 hours ago now seem like nothing but a distant memory.”

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