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31 May 2005, 01:50 pm
BG SPIRIT Takes A Hard Left
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2004/2005 Global Challenge

BG SPIRIT has taken a hard left towards the rhumb line to place themselves directly between the chasing pack and the finish line. Having built a lead of 238nm over second place VAIO by yesterday afternoon, Andy FORBES (AUS) and his team cashed in some of the mileage won over the fleet recently when they were headed and forced to turn west.
They need not panic just yet though, still reporting a 195nm lead this morning.

They may not be making good ground directly towards Boston, USA in doing so, but by quickly repositioning themselves ahead of the densely packed fleet at a cost of around 40nm, they have gained a degree of tactical security they would have lacked by continuing their course to the northeast.

Amedeo SORRENTINO (ITA) and his team aboard VAIO have protected their 50nm lead over the chasing group placed third to eighth and still occupy second place. However the six strong chasing group is only separated by 7nm in terms of distance to finish, so VAIO has a crowded rear view mirror to contend with.

Fleet standings in this group are still oscillating with ruthless disregard for the sanity of the crews hanging on to the results of the six hourly position reports. To make matters even more tense, the conditions have been changing as often as the leaderboard.

'We went from swimming-pool-flat waters to reaching along under the flanker,' wrote BP Explorer's Naomi CUDMORE this morning. 'Somebody had switched the wind on. Then they changed their minds and turned it off again. The spinnaker was out of its bag, flying, down the companionway and back in its bag in less time than it takes to nip out for as pint of milk.'

'And, as the scheds have shown all too clearly,' she continued, 'if the wind can change so radically over a couple of hundred yards, it is not surprising that the yachts fighting it out behind BG SPIRIT and VAIO are playing musical chairs.'

Dan Wedgwood. Image, A spectacular sunset seen from BP Explorer:© Challenge Business
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