Central Lechera Asturiana has confirmed today that they have retired from the Barcelona World Race because of safety fears if they were to repair and carry on. The damage to the ring frame could be repaired by the team, the onset of Southern winter in the Pacific crossing and especially for a Cape Horn passage would be extremely tough and is considered much too risky.
Ten days ago Central Lechera Asturiana reported a damage to the ring frame which supports the engine box. The first reaction of Juan Merediz and Fran Palacio was to contact their management team and the sponsor to decide what to do. Both agreed that the best course of action was to head to New Zealand.
Meredizand Palacio today stated:”In this difficult moments is when we are most grateful for the support that Central Lechera Asturiana and our team always have given us. It is never easy to make decisions like this. But safety is the first requirement that we put together and the southern winter is upon us. That really is the fact which we cannot get round or ignore.
Andy Meiklejohn and Wouter Verbraak have less than 1400 miles to go on Hugo Boss to and this midday are under 120 miles almost due west of Madeira. They are still sailing upwind in NE’ly breeze but the weather scenario for them and FMC is changing quite significantly. The dominant Azores high pressure is getting weaker and a cold front is pushing in from the west. That is entirely decaying the Portuguese trades and the trade winds all the way down to the Canaries . For Meiklejohn and Verbraak they will likely have another day to in the remnants of the trades then it will be lighter, and so at the moment they will carry on the same course just east of north, but maybe hitch north again if there is an opportunity. And then there is the little low pressure on the Moroccan coast which will give them something to get upwind all the way to Gibraltar but it will not be as easy as it previously looked and they are still four days from the Med.
But the situation for FMC is less clear as the trades decay for them, ending up in a light W’ly. So they can either point for Gibraltar and take what comes to them, or can sail a longer W’ly route for an uncertain long term future and certainly windier, bumpier conditions.
Meantime We Are Water are now starting to make good progress having got to the east and getting into better trade winds, to the point that after tacking to the NW again five or six hours ago they should go a little further today and then finally start to get the lift they want which will finally allow Jaume and Cali to bring the bow up on port tack and head in a much more northerly direction and reel off some good miles towards the Equator.