Closing in on New Zealand

With less than 300 miles to run to the finish in Auckland, the racing is as close as ever…

At the 0700 UTC position report on Monday morning, the leading boats had about 275 miles to run to the finish line in Auckland.

Leg 6 to Auckland, day 14 on board AkzoNobel

The presumed leader, team AkzoNobel, is in Stealth Mode.

The leader on the tracker, Scallywag, emerged from Stealth Mode overnight and holds about a 10 mile lead over Turn the Tide on Plastic as they close in on Cape Reinga and the North Point of New Zealand.

The challenge for the leaders is that they are already starting to feel the impact of a high pressure system sitting to the northeast of New Zealand. Wind speeds are dropping, with a corresponding effect on boatspeed. And that means a compression in the fleet is likely.

Good news for those at the back – MAPFRE, Dongfeng, and all the way back to Team Brunel, who now trail by over 170 miles.

“I have to admit it is pretty painful to see every position report, loss after loss, not funny to be on the receiving end,” writes Brunel skipper Bouwe Bekking.

“We can just hope that the center of high pressure system will become totally stationary at the top of NZL and the others park up. So we keep pushing, knowing that the weather has often been doing very different things on this leg than the forecast.”