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1 July 2005, 12:39 pm
Exhilarating Downwind Ride Continues
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2004/2005 Global Challenge

Team Stelmar, have consolidated their lead overnight, now holding a 20 mile advantage over second place Imagine It. Done. They are currently averaging 11.5 knots and have again made the most impressive daily run of 276 miles.
With the strong breeze persisting through the night, the fleet have continued to enjoy some exciting downwind racing. However, with the increase in wind strength, most of the teams have now dropped their spinnakers, opting instead to sail under poled-out headsails.

As BP Explorer's Naomi CUDMORE writes, 'we are back from our edgy kite ride through the night and safe in the realm of poled-out No.1 again - the flanker preserved to fight another day.'

The fleet have begun to spread out as they try to position themselves for the final run into La Rochelle, France, just over 700 miles away. A northerly group comprising VAIO, Pindar and BG SPIRIT currently lie 40 miles to the north of the main pack, whilst SAIC La Jolla is around 70 miles south of nearest competitor Imagine It. Done.

'There is a deafening roar as the water is flying around, there is spray flying in my face and I can feel the vibrations of the white water under the hull between my feet as the speed shows 22 knots, 22.1 and finally 22.2 before it started to subside again.

'I can't quite believe that I have managed to steer 45 tonnes of steel at over 22 knots, surfing down a wave in the North Atlantic,' writes Kate BROCK after an exhilarating night's sailing on Imagine It. Done.

Event Media. Image, Imagine It Done, surfing the Atlantic:© Event Media
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