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18 May 2002, 08:59 am
Amer Sports Too Races Weather To Make Start of Leg 8
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Volvo Ocean Race
Southampton

Lisa McDonald and the crew of Amer Sports Too are racing the weather as they plan their arrival in La Rochelle for the start of leg eight of the Volvo Ocean Race, following their dismasting off Newfoundland.
The dismasting happened during the last leg of the race from Annapolis, USA, to La Rochelle, France.

They have already been delayed 24 hours, by the late arrival of the yacht, which was shipped from Halifax, Canada, to Liverpool, England, and then placed onboard another ship to make the voyage from Liverpool to Southampton on England's south coast.

The weather forecasts are going from bad to worse, 20-35 knots of wind from the south and west are forecast for the weekend, promising Amer Sports Too an on-the-wind sail to France.

The ship carrying Amer Sports Too to Southampton has finally docked after having to wait 24 hours whilst another ship was unloaded before it could berth. After being re-launched today, Lisa McDonald and her crew will motor the yacht round to Camper & Nicholson's yard in Gosport, at the western end of the Solent, where the new rig will be stepped.

Lisa said that riggers and spar-makers were working on the mast yesterday and that the standing rigging will be x-rayed today and the new mast will be measured and then stepped".

"Our deadline is to have the mast in the boat and tuned by 8pm Friday. We plan to sail for La Rochelle on Saturday, hopefully before the weather gets really nasty. The forecast for Monday is for the wind to gust over 40 knots.

"As it is, we will be on the wind for most of the 550 miles to LA Rochelle. We expect to be there on May 22."

There are plans for a big welcome to celebrate Amer Sports Too's arrival in La Rochelle on Wednesday, which will give the team just two days to make final adjustments prior to the restart of the event on Saturday at 5pm local time.

Volvo Ocean Race Media/ISAF Secretariat
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