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26 February 2007, 12:23 pm
Finish Line On The Chart For STAMM
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VELUX 5 OCEANS 2006-2007

On a leg that must seem to have gone on forever, this being the start of the seventh week at seas for the boats, finally the waypoint Bernard STAMM (SUI) is looking at on his computer-driven navigation system is the leg 2 finish port of Norfolk, Virginia, USA. This morning's position update shows this to be 1,770 miles away for the Swiss skipper and his Open 60 Cheminees Poujoulat.
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After a painless Doldrums crossing and now into the brisk northeasterly trade winds, STAMM has been eating up the miles over the weekend having put almost 800 miles more on his lead over second placed Kojiro SHIRAISHI (JPN) on Spirit of Yukoh, whom he now leads by a massive 2,755 miles. This morning STAMM is at the same latitude as the Grenadine Islands in the Caribbean and has covered 368 miles in the last 24. However this is set to reduce as he must cross an area of light winds between two systems once he is to the north of the Caribbean. Once he is through this then STAMM should be back up to speed once again, sailing in strong southeasterly winds generated by a high pressure system to his northeast. This should make for a fast passage north to Norfolk, where he should arrive this coming weekend.

Last night STAMM sent this, 'The situation between Norfolk and me is still not clear, so I prefer to take a less extreme course to be able to change my options if necessary. For the moment I'm doing a course a little bit closer to the rhumb line, that allows me to go closer to Bermuda if a low pressure comes out of the land. The trade winds are not strong enough to let the ship make a good speed - it is a lot of trimming, changing sails between the reacher and the gennaker and steering. The Sat C is not working again. I rechecked the connection, but I think it is a bad contact between the wires. I have to take the plug apart, but I'll do it with the day light.'

About The Race

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.

For a complete list of all the news about the VELUX 5 OCEANS 2006-2007 CLICK HERE.

VELUX 5 OCEANS (As Amended by ISAF), Image, Cheminees Poujoulat is closing in on the leg 2 finish line:© onEdition
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