Years of light wind sailing experience are paying off for the Gauteng crew of Baleka in the SAP Cape to Rio 2003 ocean race.
The Fast 42 with a crew of six of South Africa's top inland keelboat and dinghy sailors moved into the top spot in the handicap honours race today after covering 155.3 miles during the 24 hours reporting period.
With this performance, skippers Alex Schon and Wolf Seitz has pushed Gawie Fagan's Suidoos 2 down to second position on the log.
Another Fast 42, Investec, remains in third place with Julie III, the small Miura skippered by Robin Green, moves into fourth position on handicap.
It is suspected that Auto Atlantic Thunderchild's position of yesterday might have been wrong and she's slipped down the handicap ratings, but is still in a very credible fifth place.
Hasso Plattner on Morning Glory covered 229.6 miles, but remains some way down the rankings.
Mark Gillman on board the communications vessel Dalys Insurance recieved a visit from the sea king Neptune, traditional when novice ocean sailors cross the Greenwich Meridian.
The maxi is currently in seventh position on handicap.
The new generation trimaran Nicator is still maintaining her good coverage and sailed 237.3 miles in comparison to the 176.8 miles done by her multi-hull rival, the Brazilian catamaran Adrenalina Pura. With the rounding of Ilha de Trindade looming, the tactics and route strategies of these two superfast multi-hulls are now under close scrutiny.
With the notorious fickle conditions around the islands of Trinidade and Martin Vaz, the next two days will be instrumental in deciding the final victor across the finishing line.
Experts are beginning to believe that 2003 will not be a record year. During the 2000 race, Zephyrus had covered 2221 miles by reporting time on day 8 and had just 355 miles to go to Isle de Trinidade. Nicator currently has at the same stage of the race still 838 miles to go while Adrenalina Pura has 894 and Morning Glory has 1155 to go before the rounding to Rio.