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25 November 2006, 05:00 pm
Incredible 24 Hours
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VELUX 5 OCEANS 2006-2007

Saturday November 25 sees the skippers, teams and followers of the VELUX 5 OCEANS digesting the extraordinary events of the past 48 hours. Alex THOMSON (GBR) took the devastating decision to abandon Hugo Boss in the Southern Ocean. The young skipper was then rescued by Mike GOLDING (GBR) before he suffered the cruel blow of a broken mast.
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GOLDING is now working with THOMSON to get his boat to Cape Town as quickly as possible. The drama and action at sea are a testament to the experienced sailors and the IMOCA class.

Away from the drama below South Africa, Bernard STAMM (SUI) on Cheminees Poujoulat continues to hold a commanding lead of 887 miles over Kojiro SHIRAISHI (JPN) on Spirit Of Yukoh. The defending champion had a tiring night of very strong and changeable wind conditions, with gusts peaking at 40-50 knots. The Swiss skipper got little sleep as he forced to make numerous sail changes throughout the night. SHIRAISHI, the Japanese hero, has reported plunging temperatures and has even made a snowman on deck as he takes second place in the race.

Back in the fleet, Sir Robin KNOX-JOHNSTON (GBR) on Saga Insurance continues to be plagued by problems with his auto pilot systems as he begins to turn west away from Brazil and head towards South Africa. The experienced British skipper and sailing legend is therefore being conservative with sail selection and not wishing to push the boat too hard. Unai BASURKO (ESP) on Pakea, despite having reported port rudder problems, continues to chase down Graham DALTON (NZL) onboard A Southern Man AGD) close the gap in his bid to move out of last place.

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.

Tim Kelly (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Mike GOLDING and Alex THOMSON onboard Ecover:© Mike Golding
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