Paprec-Virbac at speed in Ice Field open lead

Third iceberg sighting of the day, south-west of Paprec-Virbac 2

Paprec-Virbac 2 continue their perilous path down in the furious fifties amongst the ice; a pretty hairy start to the year with icebergs and growlers dotting the horizon, the Franco Irish team are sailing at 16-17 knots bordering a high pressure area with a southerly wind of approximately 15 knots.

Although sea conditions are calm sailing in such an area requires extreme attention and at 01.30 GMT Jean Pierre sent a message in which he expresses his hopes to have passed through the densely packed ice field; at least temperatures are now up to 10º.

The leaders are currently about 2290 miles from Cape Horn, and at the 0600 GMT position report had gained 120 miles on Hugo Boss from their southerly – albeit riskier option.

Hugo Boss further north at 45º south has north westerly wind and also maintaining good speeds although a longer sailing route has meant them dropping miles to the front runners.

Temenos II has finally arrived in Wellington at 18:45 GMT last night after a very slow approach through the Cook Strait. They now await the diagnosis of their keel situation to establish their future in the competition.

Mutua Madrileña is just 110 miles from Farewell Point, is still trapped by a high pressure system and averaging 8-9 knots in north easterly winds over New Zealand.

Educación sin Fronteras has kept westerly winds force 4 with an average boat speed of 10 knots, and now is only 620 miles behind Javier Sansó and Pachi Rivero.

Barcelona World Race - Positions at 10:00 - 2 January 2008

1 Paprec Virbac 2 9,152 nm
2 Hugo Boss + 853 nm
3 Temenos 2 + 2146 nm
4 Mutua Madrileña + 2360 nm
5 Educación Sin Fronteras + 2967 nm