GUTEK STEALS LEAD AFTER SIX DAYS AT SEA IN VELUX 5 OCEANS SPRINT TWO
Unusual weather conditions playing havoc with Eco 60 fleet
Polish ocean racer Zbigniew Gutkowski has stolen the lead six days into the second sprint of the VELUX 5 OCEANS round the world yacht race. The 36-year-old, known as Gutek, overtook race leader Brad Van Liew as the VELUX 5 OCEANS fleet continue to punch their way south east through a massive high pressure system in the Southern Ocean.
The weather conditions facing the fleet are uncharacteristic of the Southern Ocean, which is feared and revered for its howling winds and mountainous sea swells. Instead, the VELUX 5 OCEANS skippers have been dogged by light headwinds and glassy calm seas punctuated by unpredictable squalls.
“These conditions are a bit irritating,” said Gutek, currently the most southerly skipper at 44 degrees south. “The wind keeps changing its direction by up to 50 degrees and there are big gusts. I am very tired, but managed to grab a little sleep. Until yesterday I didn't sleep at all because the conditions were forcing me to be very vigilant.”
Sailing Operon Racing, Gutek was the fastest of all of the fleet in the last 24 hours, averaging 8.1 knots, compared to Brad’s average on Le Pingouin of 6.1 knots. At the last position report Gutek had a lead of 25.6 nautical miles over Brad, with Canadian Derek Hatfield and Active House in third place 24.4 nautical miles behind.
Ocean sprint two positions at 0600 UTC:
Skipper / distance to finish (nm) / distance to leader (nm) / distance covered in last 24 hours (nm) / average speed in last 24 hours (kts)
Zbigniew Gutkowski, Operon Racing: 6159.3 / 0 / 193.8/ 8.1
Brad Van Liew, Le Pingouin: 6184.9 / 25.6 / 147 / 6.1
Derek Hatfield, Active House: 6219.3 / 60 / 155.6 / 6.5
Chris Stanmore-Major, Spartan: 6470.9 / 311.6 / 96.8 / 4
Christophe Bullens, Five Oceans of Smiles too: 6861.9 / 702.5/ 38 / 1.6