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15 March 2005, 12:45 pm
Doha 2006 Powers On
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Oryx Quest 2005

Doha 2006 has further extended their lead over Daedalus opening up the gap to an impressive 3,640 nautical miles at the 0800 GMT poll on Tuesday morning. The Qatari catamaran is shredding the planet, sailing the South Atlantic in 500 mile-a-day chunks.
At this morning's poll Doha 2006 was sailing at 24.95 knots on a course that will take them directly over Schwabenland Seamount.

The deep ocean suddenly rises from a depth of 4,300 metres, to just 1,575 metres as a pinnacle rises from the ocean floor in a prehistoric geological formation. As Brian THOMPSON (GBR) and his crew pass over the three mile wide top of the seamount it is unlikely that they will notice anything other than a sudden sounding registering on their fathometer.

They are in an area littered with seamounts, and if they carry on with their present course they will be sailing into waters unmistakably African despite being 1,000 miles southwest of the continent. Ahead lies Shaka Ridge, named after the famous Zulu chief, and Shona RIDGE, as well as a number of seamounts named after African tribes. Doha 2006 is being forced to sail well below South Africa to avoid slowing in an area of high pressure that extends into the Roaring Forties. At a time when they should be turning north heading for Madagascar, Doha 2006 is still sailing on a heading of 114 degrees.

While Doha 2006 is enjoying a fast ride south, Tony BULLIMORE (GBR) and his crew on Daedalus are enjoying a fast ride north. At the 1000 GMT poll they were 45 miles due west of the Falkland Islands sailing at 15 knots.

During Monday night Daedalus sailed past Isla de Los Estados leaving the rugged island to the west. Unlike Doha 2006 and Cheyenne, who both caught a fair tide through the Strait of Le Maire, the fierce current was not in their favour and BULLIMORE and his navigator Nick LEGGATT (RSA) opted instead to sail to the east of the island. They passed just nine miles east of the tip of Tierra del Fuego. They now face a hard slog north through waters that crippled Cheyenne and dished up Doha 2006 some of the worst weather of the trip.

Brian Hancock (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Crew On Daedalus:© Quest International Sports
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