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15 December 2003, 04:52 pm
UPDATE - Still Close - Golding Into First
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Le Defi Atlantique
Salvador de Bahia (BRA) - La Rochelle

All change in the leaderboard in the Defi Atlantique as the boats begin their crossing of the Bay of Biscay to the La Rochelle finish line where they are due on Wednesday morning.
Mike GOLDING on Ecover has caught and overtaken both Alex THOMSON and Vincent RIOU and now leads again, while Sebastien JOSSE on VMI is now up to second - a remarkable change around after 3,800 miles of racing.

Golding is currently the furthest east and making the most of upwind conditions, pointing directly at the finish mark. Sebastien Josse, Alex Thomson and Vincent Riou are all further west than Ecover, with Riou being the furthest south nearest the Spanish coast

Golding described his night, "I've been pushing to the left as the breeze was getting lighter. VMI has been thinking the same about cutting the corner to get round the other guys. It got lighter in the night and went down to 3-4 knots of breeze, but I managed to keep the boat moving at 6 knots. I basically crossed into the new breeze as quickly as possible...then got some sleep and the boat was ticking along at 5-6 knots. I slept for about 45 minutes and woke up with boat on its side as the breeze had kicked in, so went on deck to get everything moving normally. I could see a light, which I presumed to be Alex (Thomson), so gave him a call on the Irridium phone. We had a chat about what a crazy race it had been so far. We talked about his fantastic new record - he has done really, really well. Of course it's great to be leading the race, but it is so close that anything could happen. I'm upwind of both VMI and AT Racing, which is great as it puts them further down the wind ladder, its all quite healthy for us at the moment. But the next weather forecast may be completely different and turn everything around again. Literally anything can happen!"
Event Media (As Amended By ISAF News Editor)
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