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3 December 2004, 10:10 am
BG Spirit Edges Ahead
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2004/2005 Global Challenge

The first ten yachts are still only separated by 32nm but BG SPIRIT has squeezed a 7nm advantage at the top over 2nd place Spirit of Sark in tricky light airs.

It has been a frustrating 24-hours for the crews - not only have the conditions been lighter than expected, but fickle and unpredictable winds have brought endless sail changes and rapid changes in wind speeds. This afternoon, however, life on board seems to have returned to normal as boat speeds rise and frustrations wane.

Eero LEHTINEN got straight to the point when describing recent events on SAIC La Jolla: 'A night and morning of hell! Wind from everywhere and nowhere.' However, this afternoon he reported: 'It's all going very well again, finally, we are up to speed again after a very frustrating night and morning.' Unfortunately, they lost two places on the leader board today, slipping from 6th this morning to 8th.

Dee CAFFARI, skipper of Imagine It. Done also reported, 'fickle winds that effect everything we do' and explained that 'the boats are still all really close together, so everything you choose to do has a massive effect, a massive impact!' Looking forward, Dee is well aware of the dangerous combination of light airs and close quarter sailing in a one-design yacht race:

'It's just about keeping the boat moving at all costs now.'

Imagine It. Done have held their position today in 10th, despite losing ground on the fleet leader.

Team Stelmar's skipper Clive COSBY described a light patch that 'slowed the whole fleet down' this afternoon, but seemed happy to have left it behind. 'We've had a lot of sail changes in the last 24-hours,' explained Clive, 'but now we are back on course, doing about 10 knots straight down the line towards the Le Maire Straits.'

'There's a few guys out west who have done that little bit better over the last 24-hours,' continued Clive, 'but we've just stuck on down the middle - there's about 5, 6 or 7 of us just playing the averages and being sensible at this early stage … We're heading on down to Cape Horn and ready to turn right into the Southern Ocean.'

Team Stelmar will all be happy this afternoon after gaining a place on the leader board - moving up from 7th this morning to 6th, and currently only 5nm behind 5th place VAIO. Samsung lost a place as they head back to the fleet from their easterly position, and Me to You slipped from 7th to 9th.

Team Save the Children, in 11th place, are having problems with their wind instruments, which are not providing all the correct information. Bearing in mind that they are very complex electronic instruments, Andrew Roberts, Global Challenge Project Director, said this afternoon that 'so far the B & G Instruments have been extremely reliable.'

The technical team are working with B & G towards a solution and relaying information to and from the yacht. All involved are hoping that the problems are not associated with the lightning strike at the end of the 1st leg in the River Plate. We will, of course, provide more information as we receive it.

Event Media (As Amended By ISAF News Editor)
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