Two of the 32 starters in the SAP Cape to Rio 2003 are tied up alongside at the Iate Clube do Rio de Janeiro, Morning Glory having moved to Marina Gloria. First was the Swedish entry Nicator, followed by Brazil's Adrenalina Pura and Germany's Morning Glory.
The next boat expected to arrive will be the 30-foot Suidoos II, skippered by veteran Gawie Fagan. After 25 days of tough sailing, 30-foot Suidoos II has some 100 miles to cover before reaching Rio. This boat is not only the smallest of the fleet competing in the SAP Cape to Rio 2003, but also boasts the oldest competitor onboard - 77-year-old skipper, Gawie Fagan. Fagan led the handicap stakes for a some while and has been bouncing between 3rd and 4th over the last week or so. It is hoped that she'll finish on Wednesday night.
Further back, and chasing hard to cross the finish line sooner rather than later, are the Australian pocket maxi, Helsall II, Daly's Insurance and Thunderchild. Not far behind them is the race within a race between the 42-footers, between Baleka, Investec, and the Dutch crew onboard Madiba Racing. In the handicap race Gauteng entry Baleka continues to lead the fleet on handicap, Investec maintains second spot with Fagan's Suidoos 2 still in third place.
The Dutch entry Madiba Racing Team holds onto their fourth spot on the rankings. A tussle to the end is developing between the three big yachts, Auto Atlantic Thunderchild, Dalys Insurance and the Australian maxi Helsal II. All three made good mileages in the past 24 hours and recorded average boats speeds of between 9.98 and 10.76 knots. With just over 300 miles remaining to Rio, the challenge of this race-within-a-race has become nail-bitingly close. Helsal II has a touch over 300 miles to go, while Thunderchild and Daly's continue their game of cat and mouse.
There is the probability that several of the slower boats will miss the cut-off in a week´s time. Hopefully they will be in Rio in time for the prize giving and the much fantasized about cold beer, hot food and soft beds.