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16 March 2005, 04:44 pm
Barclays Adventurer Back In Third
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2004/2005 Global Challenge

Barclays Adventurer has regained the third position Team Stelmar stole from them on Sunday afternoon, and is now 38nm from leader BP Explorer. David MEVILLE (GBR) and his crew have been at the head of the race for eight consecutive days now but are well aware anything could happen in the next three weeks of racing.

Pindar has dropped from fifth to seventh, swapping places with Spirit of Sark who enjoyed the opposite news today - jumping from seventh to fifth.

Early yesterday evening, Team Stelmar, Samsung, BG SPIRIT, Me to You and VAIO opted for a course slightly further south than those to the north who maintained their heading west-southwest.

As a result, they all lost out overnight while those who held their course such as Imagine It. Done. and Barclays Adventurer made gains on BP Explorer. This morning the fleet has winds of around 20-28 knots from the west-northwest, gradually starting to build as the approaching low stamps its authority on the area.

They are sailing hard on the wind, fighting to make ground westward, no doubt a bumpy ride while they wait for the low to pass south of their position. Once the centre of the low moves eastward, the wind will back to the southwest and also build in strength.

While this shift is not expected in the next 24 hours, teams will most likely continue sailing hard on the wind rather than head south, in anticipation of the shift to the southwest that will allow them to head north towards Waypoint Bravo.

Up at the top, BP Explorer skipper MELVILLE is obviously happy having led the fleet for over a week, but is realistic about the distance left to sail: 'There's a long way to go... we'd like to get round the waypoint because once that turning point comes things will become a bit more significant. With a long race you can't get too excited about being at the front when there's nearly three weeks to go, you have to maintain a sense of discipline and perspective about it all... people can jump up [the leaderboard - Ed] in a moment. But it is a very positive situation we're looking at, at the moment.'

However, looking at the overall race, MELVILLE is happy with the current situation, especially considering BG SPIRIT, the current overall leaders, are in eighth place 80nm behind them. If the race were to finish now BP Explorer would move from second to first place overall as MELVILLE is well aware: 'I'd like to lobby hard to get the race abandoned at Kerguelen [Islands just south of Waypoint Bravo - Ed] … because it would pretty much be our dream result the way things are at the moment... with Spirit of Sark and BG SPIRIT being so far back! We need to get some points back off BG SPIRIT... and actually it wouldn't matter if other boats beat us as long as we maintained a good distance between us and BG SPIRIT... it's the overall game we're most interested in.'

Dan Wedgwood (As Amended By ISAF). Image, BP Explorer:© onEdition
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