PRB reclaims Barcelona World Race lead

PRB Passing Canary Islands ©Oliver Bossecker
PRB has reclaimed the lead in the Barcelona World Race over Paprec-Virbac 2 overnight. Since the doldrums, the two boats have been alternating holding the lead, with neither able to stretch away from the other.

'We're only about 50 miles apart, we're to the east,' said Seb Josse from on board PRB this afternoon. 'But we pretty much have the same speed, the same weather system as they have.'

Neither is expecting to escape the other over the coming days. Rather, both boats are focused on staying close, hoping to catch the same weather system once they arrive further south in the Roaring Forties.

'Today we are fighting back to come back with PRB to continue the fight,' confirmed Paprec-Virbac 2 skipper Jean-Pierre Dick. 'We have never been more than a few miles from the other...it's good for the race but for us it's very tiring.'

And indeed, he sounded exhausted on the radio conference call today.

'It's not too easy to sleep,' he admitted. 'The most difficult thing is to find the time to sleep, because there's always something to do. But when you find the bed, it's not hard to sleep - not at all. But it can be hard to wake up...you feel you are in another world sometimes...it's very strange...because you are in such a state of being tired.'

Behind the top pair, positions have been more or less static over the past 24 hours. Which is not to say it's been easy for anyone. The Southeast trades provide relatively stable conditions, but each of the teams is preparing for the southern ocean now, ensuring their boat is ready to handle anything nature throws at them.

Day 21 - December 1, 16:00 GMT - Position report with distance to leader

1. PRB - Vincent Riou / Sebastien JOSSE - 0.0
2. PAPREC-VIRBAC 2 - Jean Pierre DICK / Damian FOXALL - 9
3. VEOLIA ENVIRONNEMENT - Roland JOURDAIN / Jean Luc NELIAS - 191
4. HUGO BOSS - Alex THOMSON / Andrew CAPE - 309
5. DELTA DORE - Jérémie BEYOU / Sidney GAVIGNET - 330
6. TEMENOS 2 - Dominique Wavre / Michele PARET- 424
7. MUTUA MADRILENA - Javier SANSO / Pachi RIVERO - 474
8. ESTRELLA DAMM - Guillermo ALTADILL / Jonathan MCKEE - 638
9. EDUCACION SIN FRONTERAS - Servane ESCOFFIER / Albert BARGUES - 907

Roland 'Bilou' Jourdain, Veolia Environnement: 'Of course we would prefer to be 200 miles ahead but compared to where we were two weeks ago it's not so bad. The objective is not to be too far from them at the beginning of the Roaring Forties. The worst would be to let the leaders go and get on a low pressure system and we miss the train.'

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