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9 March 2005, 12:12 pm
Gap Opens At The Head Of The Fleet
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2004/2005 Global Challenge

BP Explorer has overtaken Imagine It. Done. and pulled out a ten mile lead at the front of the race. Barclays Adventurer lies in third another three miles back.

BP Explorer's skipper, David MELVILLE (GBR), ever mindful of the fluctuating leaderboard explained: 'We have managed to edge north over the past 24 hours, meeting the aim of avoiding lighter winds to the south, but not quite managing to cover the bulk of the fleet. Now in the lead we have one eye on the chasing pack, and one eye on the approaching low pressure system and its stronger northerly winds.'

In fourth place there is a battle going on between Spirit of Sark and BG SPIRIT. Spirit of Sark's Duggie GILLESPIE (GBR) informed the Race Office: 'Going north is the theme with south west winds which are expected to turn northerly later. Lucky to avoid a ridge of no wind yesterday as it moved further south.'

Geoff HAND (GBR) on eleventh-placed (out of twelve) VAIO yesterday let slip that his team's southerly position was, in actual fact, a cunning ploy - all part of a strategy they were playing out on board. Today, skipper Amedeo SORRENTINO (ITA) explained: 'Slowly proceeding north to avoid the centre of the low pressure system but maintaining our position as the most southerly boat in the fleet. We are waiting for the right wind shift to fill the gap between ourselves and the leading boats.'

South or north is the big question aboard Imagine It. Done. Skipper Dee CAFFARI (GBR) is undecided: 'We are kind of stuck at the moment; we do not want to head further north however the wind shift has not come in that will make a south tack the right direction. This is frustrating because those boats to the south will have a better angle for longer than us. Later in the day we will have the wind fill in and swing round to the north west. This will be across the fleet and everyone will make good progress for the next twelve hours along the route then the next weather system will arrive, quite a deep low that will move us all around again.'

Rachel Anning (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Spirit of Sark:© Challenge Business
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