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12 December 2004, 07:58 pm
Spirit Of Sark Extend Lead
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2004/2005 Global Challenge

Spirit of Sark has extended their lead this evening, opting to continue their course to the north while their nearest rivals, BG SPIRIT and VAIO head further west. VAIO overtook BG SPIRIT today, stealing 2nd place but only by 1nm.

In mid-fleet, Team Save the Children head a pack of 6 chasing yachts that are all within 8nm of one another in terms of distance to the leader.

Andy FORBES, skipper of BG SPIRIT wrote today, 'taking advantage of the wind shifts is paramount. Some you win some you lose.' We have seen huge gains and frustrating losses as a direct result, not just of sailing ability although this plays its part of course, but relative fleet positions. Therefore a pack of yachts so close to one another, and aiming for the leaders, will make tactical decisions even more important as the stakes get higher on the way to Waypoint Alpha.

An average of 15 knots of wind was reported today, with the majority of the fleet hard on the wind. Tactical talk was dominated by what will follow the low-pressure system that is passing below the fleet this evening as they vie to be in the most favourable position.

The teams have been heading north to avoid the light winds associated with the centre of the low and reported steadier winds today after a night of fickle and variable airs. The southwesterly winds are forecast to increase in strength over the next 24-hours, which should allow the teams to reach back towards the rhumb line.

The Southern Ocean is renowned for high winds and higher waves, but Sarah ACTON aboard Barclays Adventurer echoed the surprise of many of the Crew Volunteers, faced with frustratingly light winds:

'It is irrational but for every day that we have such slight wind and gentle swell which rises and falls as if the sea were breathing, I am tense with anticipation that we are being toyed with and that the perfect storm film set with walls of tonnes of ocean will be looking for us somewhere!'

Me to You's Mark DOLTON described the weather as 'barmy,' and Jason MACLEOD aboard Spirit of Sark commented that, 'because we've not been drowned out by the howling wind in the last few days our time on the rail on deck has been one of deep and meaningful discussion.' However, many teams have reported one of the main practical benefits of lighter conditions is the ability to wash!

Also today, SAIC La Jolla proudly announced the birth of Vince NEVEL'S baby, Emma! Read all about Vince (pictured above) and Emma in the team daily log.

Event Media (As Amended By ISAF News Editor)
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