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15 July 2005, 04:57 pm
BG SPIRIT Under Threat From Chasing Pack
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2004/2005 Global Challenge

Fleet positions have remained constant since this morning's poll as the teams head towards the Eddystone Light, which forms a waypoint which the fleet must leave to starboard. BG SPIRIT is still out in front but the yachts in the immediate chasing pack - SAIC La Jolla, Barclays Adventurer and VAIO - have all made gains on Andy FORBES (AUS) and his team over the last six hours.

SAIC La Jolla is now just one mile behind BG SPIRIT and currently maintaining a slightly higher six hour speed which could see Eero LEHTINEN (FIN) and his team encroach further on the leader's advantage.

'The race for podium positions will be tough until the very end,' reports SAIC La Jolla skipper LEHTINEN this afternoon. 'We are now optimizing VMG towards Eddystone. Lighter winds and downwind sailing waiting tonight and tomorrow, I bet it's gonna be a thriller. We go for a win as long as there is a chance.'

Meanwhile, Imagine It. Done. still leads the yachts placed fifth to eleventh - and with just nine miles separating the seven teams, they are all working hard to seek advantage over each other.

'In past legs, half a mile would not matter too much in the first few days of a leg,' notes Spirit of Sark skipper Duggie GILLESPIE (GBR). 'Today it means everything. For us on Spirit of Sark it means either second place overall in the Global Challenge or a big fall right off the podium.'

'The winds have now filled in from a westerly direction but any localized changes, and there are many, could make or break us. At the moment keeping a check on the emotions aboard as we gain 0.1 of a mile and then lose it due to such localised effects, is the main aim in order to achieve our goal.'

All the teams in this group, notably Pindar, have recorded strong six hour speeds of around 9.5 knots. If the breeze persists for them, they could begin to close the distance on the leading pack who have slowed marginally since this morning.

Event Media. Image, BG SPIRIT and Spirit of Sark battle at the start of leg seven:© onEdition
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