The Official
Website of the
Sailing Federation
1 November 2004, 02:02 pm
Last Few Days Of Leg One
No ALT tag specified
© Challenge Business

2004/2005 Global Challenge
Portsmouth (GBR) - Buenos Aires (ARG)

Samsung looks like they could have made a tactical error and opened the door to allow VAIO, BG SPIRIT, BP Explorer and possibly Spirit of Sark - 2nd, 4th and 5th places respectively - to creep their way through.

Samsung have taken a bold offshore gamble, which may or may not put them in a favourable weather system. As always, time will tell.

For most of the teams, they will have raced their last weekend at sea in the final few days of leg one with Barclays Adventurer consolidating their lead, 23 miles now holding them from their closest competitor, VAIO.

There's just the equivalent of the Fastnet Race to go and one meteorological hurdle before the final dash for the finish of leg 1, which holds the crew back from a heroes welcomes in BA and their first cold beer! Namely yet another (the third) secondary low-pressure system forming off the South American coast.

This is unusual as there are normally trade wind conditions for at least a good portion of this leg. However this is not the case at present and has not given the crews the steady winds they may have planned for. It will take boat speed out of the equation, instead putting the emphasis on tactical positions in the race corridor. The skippers and navigators have been tested more than usual - requiring a mental stamina and the ability to hold their nerve with the decisions they make.

The weather has caught many of the crews out as Alex Medhurst aboard VAIO explains: "We are really working on our speed at the moment to try and catch Samsung and Barclays following our little detour thanks to the unexpected depression. There appears to another depression in the area so we are doing a lot of cloud watching trying to anticipate the wind strength and direction".

Team Stelmar and Imagine It. Done have been swapping places like YoYos over the weekend, although Team Stelmar's move inshore looks like it has cost them vital miles overnight.

The first leg of this race has been quite remarkable when one considers that the yachts have diverged more than once in the race. Typically in yacht racing there should be one clear winner with this occurrence but in this race the yachts have converged with neither pack seeming to have lost any ground - incredible! You may remember the east V west struggle earlier on in the race as the two groups charged around the Canary Islands. Having taken quite different paths, most came back together as a fleet and positions continued to swap.

Once again the yachts are converging back and the distance between them all is still exceptionally close on this first and most challenging leg. However as the distance to the finish is reduced so the stakes become higher!

There have also been some interesting sights for the crews to witness as Helen Blackburn board Pindar explains: "Last night we had an amazing experience as we sailed through the oil fields off Cabo Frio. As I came up on deck for my watch at midnight I was not prepared for the sight, as we were surrounded by blazing oil rigs. Even though there is a significant safety zone to be left around each rig they still look magnificent in the darkness. The largest rigs looked like large blocks of flats in the water".

The ETA for the first yachts due into BA is around Thursday/ Friday of this week.

Positions Distance to finish

Barclays Adventurer 610
VAIO 633
Samsung 658
BP Explorer 692
Spirit of Sark 729
SAIC La Jolla 782
Imagine It. Done 879
Team Stelmar 891
Me to You 902
Pindar 995
Team Save the Children 1,313

Rachel Anning (As Amended By ISAF News Editor)
Share this page
World Sailing TV
Latest News
News Archive
© 2015 Copyright ISAF/ISAF UK Ltd. All Rights Reserved Privacy & Cookies delivered by Sotic powered by OpenText WSM