The clock is ticking but there is sill time for DALTON to make the necessary repairs to his boat. He must be ready to leave Norfolk, Virginia, USA at 13:00 local time on 22 April having completed a mandatory stopover of 72 hours in the Virginian host port in order for him to be able to carry on in the competition.
The determined New Zealander commented, 'It will snow on the equator before I give up.'
Some 18 days since Bernard STAMM (SUI) arrived in first place on this massive second leg of the VELUX 5 OCEANS, Unai BASURKO (ESP) on Pakea has just 345 miles to go before he enters the Chesapeake Bay and crosses the Norfolk finish line to secure third place.
At present BASURKO is sailing in easterly winds of around 20 knots, generated by a high pressure area way off to his northeast and he is making good progress having covered 296 miles in the last 24 hours. At this pace he is set to finish on Friday afternoon.
Fourth placed Sir Robin KNOX-JOHNSTON (GBR) is now basking in the North Atlantic trade winds, making similarly good progress Pakea further up the course. This morning KNOX-JOHNSTON 's SAGA Insurance is approaching the same latitude as the Caribbean island of Grenada.
KNOX-JOHNSTON is acutely aware that the podium position he attained is Fremantle is under threat. At 15:08 on Wednesday he was 1,558 miles behind BASURKO in a direct line and 1,546 more miles to go to the finish line. The lead in Fremantle was 5 days, 6 hours and 3 minutes, and the gap between the arrivals into Norfolk will be greater.
KNOX-JOHNSTON's watermaker is also unusable and Bernard STAMM he has also been gathering fresh water in his sail to drink. To solo sailors the fresh rainwater is more than adequate to keep them re-hydrated on the final part of the leg especially as the route takes them through the precipitous Doldrums where rain is a daily occurrence.
The first leg of the VELUX 5 OCEANS started on 22 October from Bilbao, Spain. Six international skippers crossed the start line in the Bay of Biscay bound for Fremantle, Western Australia. The leg is expected to take approximately six weeks with the first boat arriving in Australia around the first week in December.
The VELUX 5 OCEANS is the longest race for any individual in any sport. Over the first few days, the fleet will make their way along the northern coast of Spain to Cape Finistère where they will turn south towards the Southern Ocean. However, all of the skippers know that this race is a marathon and not a sprint. During the 30,000 miles sailed in the VELUX 5 OCEANS race, the yachts will encounter some of the most extreme sea and weather conditions on the planet.
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