Volvo Race – MAPFRE goes West for victory?

With just under 350nm to Lisbon, it looks like the MAPFRE’s navigator Joan Vila might come good again.

With the exception of Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag, the fleet remained close together to the east of the front throughout Monday night, experiencing light northeasterly winds as they sailed downwind towards Cape Finisterre.

At 08:00 UTC Monday, MAPFRE began to break away from the fleet, by sailing more west and committing to sailing through the front in order to reach the new northerly winds that were beginning to form.

This investment to the west by MAPFRE was a key moment in the final stage of Leg Zero which put them screaming into the lead three hours later, sailing 50% faster and in more wind than their rivals.

The remainder of the fleet were facing slow upwind conditions associated with the southern extent of the decaying cold front, producing a light westerly airflow.

At 13:00 UTC Monday, MAPFRE were leading the way into Cape Finisterre with 340 miles to the finish.

The wind will settle in the north with fast downwind sailing along the Portuguese coast all the way to Lisbon.