Sixth-placed Caffari carefully moves on up

Dee Caffari ahead of round the world race  Picture: From: Jo Uffendell
Dee Caffari ahead of round the world race Picture: From: Jo Uffendell
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It didn’t happen the way she would have wanted it to, but Dee Caffari is up to sixth place in the Barcelona World Race.

The Fareham-based yachtswoman has benefited from the misfortune of others on the two-handed, non-stop round-the-world race.

Caffari and her Spanish co-skipper Anna Corbella began their ascent up the leaderboard when Hugo Boss – usually based in Gosport Marina – had to pit-stop in the Falkland Islands to repair a badly-damaged mainsail track.

Seventh place fell to them when another of the Open 60 fleet, Groupe Bel, called it quits, with her keel about to part company with the hull.

And then Mirabaud was dismasted when a depression swept through the middle of the race fleet.

Like race-leader Virbac-Paprec 3, which is struggling in light winds approaching the Equator off the coast of South America, Caffari is also fighting to get clear of an area of variable breeze, having made hay in strong southerlies earlier this week.

‘We should be frustrated at the slow progress and the light and shifty winds but the truth is different to that,’ said Caffari from aboard Gaes Centros Auditivos.

‘We are loving the fact that you can pop on deck without the need for lots of layers and drive in the flat water illuminated by the moon and gaze at the stars.

‘It is beautiful. However, the clear sky and lack of clouds are an indication that we are crossing the high-pressure centre.

‘I hope the variable light winds do not last long and we reach the more stable winds to the west soon.

‘Mind you, watching the sea temperature rise could mean we finally get to enjoy shower time.’

Overall, Virbac will see her 300-mile lead eaten in to by Mapfre as she battles to get through the Doldrums, but the ‘accordion effect’ will come in to play when the rest of the fleet enters the zone of variable breeze.

Mapfre has a sizeable lead over Renault, while Neutrogena and Estrella Damm are in their own fourth-fifth place match race.

Caffari has work to do, but has not given up: ‘The pressure for us is on closing the gap to the boats ahead. We have got a couple of objectives and we need to keep pushing quite hard to meet them. The race is still very much on for us.’