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30 May 2005, 03:12 pm
Ecover Second, Virbac-Paprec Third
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Calais Round Britain Race 2005
Calais, France

Second and third place Ecover and Virbac-Paprec have finished to bring the abrasive Calais Round Britain Race to an end. The race proved as much a test of endurance as speed with four of the seven starters forced into retirement due to damage or the weather.
It was at 11:22:25 hours GMT on Sunday 29 May that the crew of the 60 foot monohull Ecover skippered by Mike GOLDING (GBR), crossed the finish line of the Calais Round Britain Race 2005. The Owen/Clarke design took 6 days, 22 hours and 52 minutes to cover the 1,815 miles of this clockwise rounding of the British Isles from Calais to Calais at an average speed of 10.88 knots. They ended the race 6 hours and 9 minutes slower than winners Sill et Veolia skippered by Roland JOURDAIN (FRA). The two boats had been close for almost the entire race before Sill et Veolia sprinted away at the end as Ecover got parked up on their approach to Calais

Ecover's crew comprised Brian THOMPSON (GBR), Neal Mcdonald (GBR), Laurent MAHY (BEL) and Graham TOURELL (GBR).

After a premature start and a slight problem with an escapee halyard, GOLDING and his crew quickly got themselves back into the action. Some hours after the kick off, Ecover rounded the Boulogne mark in second position just behind Sill et Veolia, her adversary at the start and above all the end of the course. GOLDING and his crew dominated the race, a demonstration of their talent and their mastery, with navigator THOMPSON racing around the British Isles for the seventh time! Frustratingly the British hope was pipped at the post in the final stages of the race overnight as the winds dropped out letting Sill et Veolia slip past into victory, Ecover floundering in a 2.5 current and no wind...A fantastic effort by the British boat.

The 60 foot monohull Virbac-Paprec skippered by Jean Pierre DICK (FRA) crossed the line in Calais at 14:26:02 on Sunday 29 May 2005. The Farr design took 7 days, 1 hour, 56 minutes and 2 seconds at an average speed of 10.68 knots.

Virbac-Paprec's crew saw Nicolas ABIVEN (FRA), Charles CAUDRELIER (FRA), Erwan TABARLY (FRA) and Nicolas BÉRENGER (FRA) joining skipper DICK.

After getting off to a flying start, DICK and his crew began their beat off the headlands of Blanc Nez and Gris Nez, being handicapped by their hydraulic keel ram. After their first night at sea they were in a favourable position however, in third place mid Channel. Unfortunately luck was not on their side however, the crew's spinnaker shredding that same day, losing them precious miles on the leaders. From then on it was a battle to hang onto the head of the fleet and their efforts were justly rewarded on numerous occasions, particularly on the home straight in the North Sea

Sill et Veolia's race in figures

Start from Calais: Sunday 22 May at 1230 GMT
Finish in Calais: Sunday 29 May at 0513 GMT
Course time: 6 days, 16 hours and 43 minutes
Average speed: 11.29 knots

Ecover's race in figures

Start from Calais: Sunday 22 May at 1230 GMT
Finish in Calais: Sunday 29 May at 1122 GMT
Course time: 6 days, 22 hours and 52 minutes
Average speed: 10.88

Virbac-Paprec's race in figures

Start from Calais: Sunday 22 May at 1230 GMT
Finish in Calais: Sunday 29 May at 1426 GMT
Course time: 7 days, 1 hour and 56 minutes
Average speed: 10.68 knots.

Kate Jennings (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Neither Ecover nor Virbac-Paprec could hold back Sill et Veolia's final charge:© Chris Ison
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