890 mile chase for Hugo Boss in Bacelona Race

by PR 
Hugo Boss in Wellington ©Chris Cameron / DPPI / Barcelona World Race

Alex Thomson (GBR) and his co-skipper Andrew Cape (AUS) on Hugo Boss, rejoined the Barcelona World Race off Wellington, New Zealand, at 05.00 GMT on 29 December, resuming in second place behind leader Paprec Virbac 2 but now with an 890nm deficit on the leader.

Under race regulations they were obliged to remain in port for a minimum of 48 hours as a penalty for seeking outside assistance from its shore team to repair their rudders.

Skipper Alex Thomson commented: 'The pit-stop has allowed us to repair the rudders and deal with a number of other small problems that had cropped up on the boat after sailing halfway around the world. The rudder blades had been moving within their cassettes causing the cassettes themselves to split. The excess movement in the system also caused the bearings on the transom at the back of the boat to wear out.'

In addition, the rudders are ‘kick-up’ rudders, designed to hinge upwards if they hit a submerged object. However, they had a tendency to kick up of their own accord, leaving the boat without steerage and causing the boat to crash gybe, which could result in a dismasting had Hugo Boss continued sailing.

Meanwhile, race leaders Paprec Virbac 2, who despite suffering damage to their rudder yesterday has still been the fastest boat overnight, averaging 15 knots. The franco-irish pair is headed south west towards the new ice gate which has been re-situated after Francis Joyon sent in reports of spotting icebergs at the previous location.

Ice Gate C Is now at 52º S and still over 1000 miles from the race leaders, and the next scoring gate; a real milestone in the race is the famous Cape Horn – a distance of 3500 miles.

North westerly winds force 6 and 7 have been quite stable since last night and Temenos II has also been registering very healthy speeds and is now 560 miles of Cape Farewell (north tip of the South Island New Zealand).

Mutua Madrileña battling with a high pressure system dropped 36 miles to the race leaders, as did Educación sin Fronteras with force 3 and 4 for most of the night.

Barcelona World Race - positions at 08:00 29 December 2007

1 Paprec Virbac 2 10,387 nm
2 Hugo Boss + 890 nm
3 Temenos 2 + 1556 nm
4 Mutua Madrileña + 2018 nm
5 Educación Sin Fronteras + 3050 nm