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5 June 2001, 06:33 pm
They|re On Their Way
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The Race

Team Adventure, entered the Mediterranean Saturday afternoon, and tonight by Sunday was sailing at 14 knots 16 miles south of Cartegena, Spain.
Skipper Cam Lewis reported that he was about 280 miles from Barcelona. At daybreak yesterday, Team Adventure was roaring past Cadiz on the southwest corner of Spain after a fast and furious passage from La Coruna. Spirits were soaring along with the boat speed.

The weather had improved so much since stage one of this delivery and qualification passage from Cherbourg that finally Team Adventure was able to find her stride and tick off the miles. Co-navigator Larry Rosenfeld was so enthusiastic about the speed that he suggested bypassing Gibraltar in an attempt to set a new 24 hour distance record. Fortunately cooler heads prevailed, knowing that in the next two months there will be many opportunities to set records. Team Adventure's short-term objective is to get to Barcelona and the start of The Race, and with that in mind they turned the corner and headed for the Straits of Gibraltar. Shortly after lunch the mega-catamaran steamed through one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world and without incident entered the Mediterranean.

A very upbeat Cam checked in on Saturday via his Globestar phone. "We have ideal sailing conditions and have had a very exciting day gybing downwind in 16 to 20 knots of wind," he reported. "We are on course averaging a shade under 20 knots. Our next rendezvous will be a fly-by of Palma de Mallorca."

Further east in the Mediterranean, two of the big cats for the Race came together for the first time on Saturday. Loick Peyron's maxi catamaran Innovation Explorer went head-to-head with Club Med, co-skippered by Grant Dalton and Frank Proffit. The two giant catamarans came face to face for the very first time off Antibes in the Mediterranean. "There won't be an official race", announced Innovation Explorer's skipper Loick Peyron but for all that, the crews couldn't resist a long beat, racing along side by side against the backdrop of the Massif de l'Esterel cliffs.

The northeasterly that was blowing in the morning eased off after midday, gradually giving way to the stiffening local mistral wind which increased rapidly from 8 to 15 knots. This provided a great opportunity for these giant cats to show what they can do. As they thundered along side by side, the two cats simultaneously lifted a hull as they turned towards Barcelona.

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