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18 July 2003, 03:15 pm
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Calais Round Britain Race
Round Great Britain

At 0700 BST, Vincent RIOU, the skipper of PRB continues to lead this Calais Round Britain Race, and the current silver and bronze go to Bobst Group Armor Lux and Sill, 5.1 and 5.9 miles behind respectively.
Winner of the last Vendée Globe, PRB is putting on a virtually faultless performance, really making the most of the light winds encountered off the archipelago of Saint-Kilda.

Ecover and VMI are having their own private duel, chopping and changing between fourth and fifth position 17.4 miles and 18.9 miles from the front of the fleet. The full accordion effects came into play off Saint-Kilda and Roland JOURDAIN (Sill) admitted to having done a little involuntary tourism around the islands where he got rather stuck. The Shetland islands, lie around 220 miles ahead and they should round them during tomorrow morning.

PRB is going quickly and everyone is recognising how well it is doing in the light winds. Aboard Michel DESJOYEAUX'S former boat, the ambiance at the 0400 radio session was of sailors just stirring with the satisfaction of a job well done. " We're trying to apply ourselves", says Vincent RIOU." It's true that we're happy. The wind rose at the end of yesterday but for once it was in accordance with the forecast. For the moment there are 20 knots of wind at 70° (North-East) and we are sailing close-hauled on a starboard tack (wind coming from the right). We are trying to go quickly and lose as little time as possible in the knowledge that Bernard (Stamm) and Bilou (Roland Jourdain) know their machine perfectly well. That's not our case! We're working a lot, there aren't any secrets."

Behind, Bobst Group Armor Lux and Sill like these slightly rough upwind points of sail but « the problem is that the sea has built up a little which is very tiring says Roland Jourdain (Sill) that was woken up by this morning's call. We're in contact with Bernard (Stamm) but it isn't really easy as the wind is changeable and the point of sail is rather disagreeable with this infernal little chop. PRB got away from us at the end of yesterday afternoon without asking for our opinion! Once again, speed and vigilance are the order of the day. There is very, very little night. Earlier, it was midnight French time and it was not far off broad daylight here. The temperature has cooled down a bit too. The great blocks of black rock that make up Saint-Kilda are impressive and it must be rather severe here in bad weather. It must be something to live there ».

At 0300 BST, VMI and Ecover were passing the Flannan islands, 21.6 and 21.8 miles from the leader at that time. The next course mark is the famous Shetland islands, which the fleet must leave to starboard. Following on from that the boats will be heading directly south towards Dover and the Channel via the North Sea. This morning at 0700 BST the leader was 835.5 miles from the finish line in this first Calais Round Britain Race.

Team 888 remains around 50 odd miles from the leader while behind him Arcelor Dunkerque has made up a bit of ground on Stamm since the first ranking of the day. Objectif 3 could not be positioned but according to Fred Dahirel's message to race headquarters just after midnight they were sailing through lightening at 56 13 N 09 48 W making 9 knots

The wind is set to ease during the day and take on a bit of southerly. In theory this means that the fleet will be able to make a direct course to the Shetlands.
Event Media (Translated By Kate Jennings)
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