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14 January 2003, 03:59 pm
Morning Glory Leads
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Morning Glory at Over 20 Knots

SAP Cape to Rio 2003
Cape Town (RSA) - Rio (BRA)

Pre-race monohull favourite Morning Glory seems to have found some nice winds in the mid-Atlantic and managed to cover 273.8 miles at an average of 11.41 knots.


With this performance, Dr Hasso Plattner's maxi has taken over the lead in the race for handicap honours.

In a satellite phone conversation Dr Plattner reported excellent sailing conditions with a sea swell of approximately three feet and 16 knots of wind. "We've done a good distance yesterday and are currently surfing at about fourteen knots, but the high pressure system is now directly between us and Trinidade."

In reply to a question regarding their race strategy, Plattner mentioned that to detour around the high would be too time-consuming. "We'll maintain our more southerly route and go a little bit more south to test the wind and see if we can find some breeze. We'll just have to fight our way through the high and then re-evaluate our crossing time," said a relaxed Plattner. "The boat is behaving beautifully and the food is excellent, so spirits are high on board at the moment."

The Swedish racing machine Nicator is still leading the race to get to Rio first and logged 271 miles during the past 24 hours. She is now only 87 miles ahead of Morning Glory with the Brazilian catamaran Adrenalina Pura in hot pursuit. Adrenalina is now lying only thirty hours behind Morning Glory.

Australian entry Helsal II has slowed down and is averaging about seven knots, but maintains her second place on handicap. Gawie Fagan on board the 9-metre Suidoos 2 is still showing remarkable progress and continues to find good breeze at the front of the fleet. As the rest of the fleet struggles to find pockets of wind, Suidoos has leapt up into third handicap position. Johannesburg-based Baleka, skippered by Alex Schon, has moved into fourth place and John Martin's MTU Fascination of Power dropped down into fifth place.

The Rally fleet continues to battle with light airs and most yachts are logging small distances. Nauty 40's reported a bake-off with fresh bread and muffins and a good day's fishing, but not much sailing. "We were motoring for a little bit and is now trying to find a refueling tanker somewhere. Our skipper broke a tooth and refused to use the superglue trick. He has opted for the toolbox to find a different and less sticky solution to this problem," said Judy Sanderson.
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