2013 – 72 Hour Recap from The Expert
May 14, 2012
With the lead group in the fleet approaching Barnegat Bay (which happens to be the turning mark on the next leg), it appears that the leg victory is still very much up for grabs. Mare #115 took the inshore option this morning but it seemed to take a while for the sea breeze to kick up along the shoreline. This has allowed Campagne de France #101 to again take the lead, but they now have gybed towards the shoreline to cover and it appears that Mare has better speed and it’s going to be a close cross.
In the middle of this remains Bodacious Dream #118 who is poised to grab victory and is within 8 miles of the other two. Gryphon Solo #106 is the most eastern boat of the top grouping and has recently gybed to consolidate towards this group as well. The breeze offshore seems a little lighter as Gryphon Solo is sailing a few knots slower than Mare is to the west. In general, right now the inside boats all seem to be just a slight bit quicker than the boats further offshore.
The main pack is finally starting to separate a little lead by four boats, #105 EOLE GENERATION GDF SUEZ, Icarus #116, Transport Coherence #17 and Initiatives #30. These four boats have gained a few miles on the middle pair of Dragon #54 and Sevenstar Yacht Transport #20. These two are still fairly far east relative to the pack and remain a little vulnerable if the breeze holds stronger on the inshore. I would not be surprised to see either of them gybe to maintain their position between the chasers and the finish in NYC but either way i would expect the final positions to not be determined until the boats are within 10 miles of the finish. Even then it will be tricky as the tide will be ebbing until late this evening making final sprint into the harbor even more difficult for the leaders and might provide the chasers with an opportunity to gain.
It’s going to be an exciting final 60 miles for the leaders and this leg is very much up in the air.