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18 May 2001, 09:46 am
All Change In Lighter Winds
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Mondial Assistance Challenge

Positions keep changing among the leading boats of the Mondial Assistance Challenge.
Foncia-Kingfisher of Alain Gautier has jumped into lead again. Groupama of Franck Cammas dropped to third and Yvan Bourgnon's Bayer is back in second. Belgian boat Belgacom of Jean-Luc Nélias is still in fourth and Thierry Duprey's Gitana IX lies 192 miles behind the leader.

The race is very tactical but also very slow. The 60-foot multi-hulls still only covered 240 miles at a 10 knots average speed over the last 24hours and still have 630 miles to go to Gibraltar. If they do not accelerate, they might only get there on Sunday night. Therefore the ETA in Tarragone should be on Monday, May the 21st.
"As long as we follow the depression that lies between us and Gibraltar, I do not believe that anyone can really escape. Therefore, there should be any dramatic change in the positions over the next 24 hours.

The sea is as calm as a lake. Little squalls kill the light synoptical northeasterly wind. The wind is very fickle", reported this morning Groupama's navigator Marcel Van Triest.

Groupama remains the most northern boat of the fleet and 70 miles in the South lies Belgacom.
Foncia-Kingfisher and Bayer lie in between on the straight route
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