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7 April 2005, 11:06 am
Five Boats Left
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2004/2005 Global Challenge

After yesterday's tight finish between the top four Pindar, SAIC La Jolla and Barclays Adventurer have all arrived in Cape Town having completed leg four of the Global Challenge. Eighth place Me To You have only three miles to go whilst BG SPIRIT and Samsung are locked in a close battle for ninth.
Pindar crossed the line in fifth just holding off the challenge of SAIC La Jolla by six minutes and six seconds. About ten hours later Barclays Adventurer crossed the line in thick fog to finish the leg in seventh. Me To You are currently leading the remaining yachts at sea and despite making very little progress due to the persisting light winds during the night, James ALLEN (GBR) and his team are now making an almost healthy 4.5 knots over the ground, which means they should reach the finish line any time now.

Speeds across the fleet have increased, albeit marginally, but this could mean that BG SPIRIT, now with a 3nm advantage over rivals SAMSUNG and 0.4 knot better boat speed, could be crossing the finish line early afternoon to claim ninth place.

However, the teams will by this stage exhausted from the slow but tricky racing. The calmer the sea, the more stressful life onboard a race yacht becomes: BG SPIRIT and Samsung have been watching each other's every move through the night as they try to make gains. Fog has also hampered their progress this morning as BG SPIRIT crew-member Bill LANE (GBR) describes, 'Just before dawn it looked as if the fog would lift but it came back much heavier than before. So all eyes are trained on the horizon for shipping and Samsung to ensure that we cover Samsung's every move lest they sneak past.'

Meanwhile, Team Save the Children are 100 miles further back and will no doubt be delighted to be making 5.4 knots over the ground, in the right direction. Paul KELLY (GBR) and his team spent a frustrating day yesterday floundering in the persisting light airs. With no Global Challenge competitors around to mark their progess, they had resorted to competing with the wildlife instead, as Anthony CAMPBELL (GBR) reports, 'We are currently racing the flock of birds that have been peering at us curiously for the last couple of hours.'

Despite the frustrations at their slow progress, the team had plenty to entertain them, seals, a sperm whale and even a shark kept them company as they tried to make best speed to Cape Town.

VAIO still have 285 miles to go to the finish, but are now creaming along at 9 knots. If they were to maintain this speed, they could well be approaching the finish line in 36 hours. However, as with the rest of the fleet, the likelihood of being caught out by the light airs near Cape Town is high.

Dan Wedgwood (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Pindar approaching Cape Town:© Challenge Business
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