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6 December 2003, 11:56 am
Doldrums Provide Close Racing
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Le Defi Atlantique
Salvador - La Rochelle

The satellite polling problems have been fixed, so more information will be available in the forthcoming days enabling the skippers to race tactically again and the world to be able to follow this interesting race.

Mike GOLDING is in currently in third place behind Vincent RIOU and Jean Pierre DICK exiting the Doldrums, he had the following to say when he checked in today.

"I've had a monster kip - a grand total of three 40-minute sessions. Bliss! We are out of the Doldrums, but got quite a patch of light air to go through in the next few days. We're almost in the trades, but not quite as there are big light patches. We'll probably see the low pressure in a day and a half's time and we'll probably sail right into it. We wouldn't normally deliberately do that, but it could be the only way to get on the right side of it. It should kick in on Monday, but we will start to feel the wind shift before that. The breeze could be as low as 6 knots. There are 2 distinct routes up the Atlantic - I've been worrying about the one on the west side, where Jean-Pierre and Alex are, but it could be too late for them to get where they want to be, so in theory, we could start gaining some ground maybe. VMI could have a small advantage on the east.."

"PRB and I haven't really been sailing the course, but more racing against each other. It means we can cross check against each other, which helps us make sure we are on the pace, which consequently makes us quicker. I'm really learning loads, which is great for next year. The other Finot's really are very fast."

"We're doing lots of reaching on the course. Looks like a very light downwind finish, so I reckon we'll get in on the 17th or maybe the 18th. This bit of the race now, is really crucial. Nobody will want to get this bit wrong...."

In the meATIME, Nick MOLONEY aboard Team Cowes is still stuck in the Doldrums. Unlike the two-handed TJV race when the Doldrums caused few problems for TEAM COWES, and certainly no periods of being totally becalmed, this crossing is providing conditions that the Doldrums are notorious for...windless holes combined with the dangers of violent squall activity.

Full positions are available on the event website at the address below.
ISAF News Editor (Source:Event Website)
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