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20 June 2005, 09:42 am
VAIO Leads At Start Of Leg Six
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2004/2005 Global Challenge

Leg six of the Global Challenge is underway with the fleet leaving Boston, USA yesterday. VAIO has taken the early lead on the 3,000nm leg to La Rochelle, France.

VAIO now leads second place BP Explorer by a mile at the front of the fleet. BG SPIRIT is another mile back in third whilst SAIC La Jolla and Spirit of Sark are neck-and-neck another mile behind. Another mile behind them, Samsung, Team Stelmar and Me To You are all showing the same distance to the finish as well.

The start gun was fired yesterday at 1700 hours GMT to officially mark the start of leg six; a 3,000nm race expected to last between 13 and 17 days.

Team Stelmar approached the start too soon at the far end of the line and despite attempts to reduce boat speed, they had the tide with them and were carried over three seconds early. They had to perform two 720 degree penalty turns after they exited the Boston Harbor Precautionary Area.

As a result, BP Explorer was the first team to cross the line legally and soon overtook Team Stelmar, who looked eager to get a good start. They were penalized three points by the International Jury at the Protest Hearing in Boston and subsequently knocked off the top of the overall table so they will be particularly keen to stay ahead of first overall, BG SPIRIT and Spirit of Sark, who they now share second place overall with.

BP Explorer was followed by Samsung, then SAIC La Jolla, Me to You and Imagine It. Done. then Pindar.

Barclays Adventurer chose to take the middle ground, crossing the start line in clean air and made good speed over the line. It looked as though they would take an early advantage as a result but took a 'knock' and were headed. They moved inshore to try and keep the speed up and still may well gain by choosing a course clear of the main pack.

Event Media (As Amended By ISAF). Image, BP Explorer and Samsung at the start of leg six:© onEdition
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