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19 April 2005, 12:20 pm
Leg Five Signals Start Of The 'Downhill' Run
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2004/2005 Global Challenge
Cape Town, South Africa

With four legs down and three to run the Global Challenge competitors have left the Southern Ocean behind to begin their 'downhill' run to Great Britain and the finish line.

'I can hardly believe that we have already made it this far in the race and that we are already at the fourth stop over,' writes BG SPIRIT crewman James DAVIES (GBR) from Cape Town.

'Yesterday we had our crew debrief and the walls of the room were lined with images,' he continued, 'telling the BG SPIRIT story from the day that we met at the Crew Announcement to our arrival here a week or so ago.'

'We have all come such a long way and experienced so much together, it is hard to believe that the end is so fast approaching. Spending time with this crew, on and off the boat, is the norm and it is hard to imagine life back in the real world without the others.'

Thoughts of the end of the race are intermittently surfacing across the fleet. Charles TYE (GBR), sailing aboard Me to You lives in Portsmouth, Great Britain, not far from Gunwharf Quays and the finish line.

'Well it hasn't quite got to the point where we're counting down the weeks yet,' he said, 'but everyone is starting to think, 'What am I going to do when I get home?' A lot of people had to give up jobs so that's beginning to come to the forefront again… We really are on the way home now, which is actually quite nice!'

The yachts may have done in the region of 24,000 miles, and psychologically, the teams will be heading 'downhill' once they leave Cape Town, but there are still three legs to go, and many more weeks of intense racing left.

For now though, thoughts of home, the overall leaderboard, future plans and memories of the Southern Ocean are most likely secondary to the simple luxury of a few days away from the yachts.

The teams return to the yachts to begin preparations for the next leg to Boston on Friday 22 April.

Dan Wedgwood (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Me to You air their dry suits:© onEdition
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