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2 June 2005, 02:40 pm
Gale-force Conditions For The Fleet
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2004/2005 Global Challenge

Stuart JACKSON (GBR) and his team on Barclays Adventurer put in a sterling performance last night through some very heavy weather; the team made the best 24 hour run clocking up 228 miles and averaged an impressive 9.5 knots through some pretty nasty conditions. This has seen them move up to third place, now holding a 20 mile lead over fourth place SAIC La Jolla.

Barclays Adventurer crew-member Richard GEORGE comments: 'The weather is reviving memories of Southern Ocean sailing: big seas, 50 knot winds, multiple sail changes, a wet foredeck and life at an angle for the first time on this leg. But there are differences: the water is warm and the air mild.'

Likewise, Alina FROST on SAIC La Jolla writes: 'Well yesterday morning we finally got some real wind, 50 knots plus. It's been quite a ride with us having to reduce sail to the minimum, lots of water over the decks and bouncing off waves, however, none of us are complaining as it is much better, certainly at this stage, than sitting on the low side starring at a glassy sea going nowhere.'

Both SAIC La Jolla and Barclays Adventurer appear to have managed to break away from the main pack headed up by fifth place BP Explorer, where some incredibly close racing continues.

Team Stelmar has moved back up the leaderboard over the last 24 hours to sixth place; relegating Imagine It. Done and Spirit of Sark to seventh and eighth place respectively. However, with the teams separated by only a mile or two; positions are likely to change again.

Meanwhile 11th place Team Save the Children, now with less than a 1,000 miles to go, have been benefiting from stronger winds allowing them to make good progress to Boston, as crew-member Sarah RAYMOND reports: 'Well as always with the weather, and as you hear so often in these logs, what a difference a day makes! The wind has steadily built throughout the day to transform into gusting 40 knots of wind and fairly large seas.'

Challenge Business Sailing Manager Cal TOMLINSON assesses the situation: 'The fleet went through a severe depression last night with winds initially from the south west of up to 40 knots and then a calm spell as the centre of the low passed over the fleet. They then got severe winds, gusting up to 50 knots, from the north east as they entered the opposite sector of the low pressure cell.'

'Completely exempt from the effects of this intense low - was Pindar at one end of the fleet and of course BG SPIRIT at the other end. For the remainder of the race, the only obstacle for BG SPIRIT is a fickle wind zone caused by a small high pressure cell directly over Boston. But light winds from the SE should fill in within the next 24 hours. The rest of the fleet can look forward to some medium downwind conditions from the south to south east for the next two to three days.'

Event Media. Image, Barclays Adventurer:© Challenge Business
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