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7 October 2004, 04:22 pm
What a Night!
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Global Challenge 2004/5

Clive COSBY and his Team Stelmar crept into third place overnight with Spirit of Sark and BP Explorer still in first and second place respectively.
Now well past Finisterre, Spain, the crews are getting into the swing of life onboard with smooth spinnaker rides, warm sunshine and wildlife perking the crews up following the tail end of Hurricane Lisa.

However, they know this cannot last as a large, intensive low-pressure system is set to hit the fleet in the next 24 hours.

The teams are facing the onslaught of the low in two distinct groups. Imagine It. Done. (9th) is leading the chasing pack on a westerly course, along with Pindar (10th), Me To You (11th) and Team Save the Children (12th). They are all most likely contending with lighter winds than the leading pack as they gybe downwind in an attempt to maintain the optimum wind angle without moving too far off their desired course.

Looking at the yachts' courses Challenge Business' Sailing Manager, Cal TOMLINSON explained: "This morning Barclays Adventurer (fourth place) was making some interesting choices as any yacht moving towards the east would have been heading for tactical suicide. Looking at this afternoon's poll, they seem to have changed their mind, along with Spirit of Sark, and have opted for a late move out west - perhaps after the daily chat show revealed the other teams' positions."

After holding a commanding lead, Spirit of Sark may well be relegated from the top spot overnight as BP Explorer heads towards the low from a more westerly position. To the south and east of BP Explorer, Spirit of Sark's approach could leave them stranded in the middle of the system with less wind than their nearest rivals.

The 24-hour forecast on the race viewer clearly shows that the sea legs developed during the bow submerging ride down the channel will soon be put to the test again with wind speeds up to 40 knots expected when the low-pressure system moves up to meet the fleet.

Racing hard, the crews all seem on top form today, Team Save the Children's Anthony CAMBELL explained that his yacht resembles Big Brother, as they are equipped with a number of additional cameras: "I think some of the crew are feeling a bit like reality TV stars with all the filming going on.

"Despite our current position in the fleet, spirits aboard are sky high. Everyone feels as though we have come through the decidedly rough first few days with flying colours.

"We have had dolphins swimming and jumping in pairs of mother and calf on the bow and last night a whale was spotted."

There have been no reports of any damage to any of the spinnakers, which have been playing a major part for most of the fleet in the past 24 hours and will continue to be used. Team Save the Children has reported sail damage after tearing their Yankee 2 headsail, although this has now been fixed and is fully operational.

Emma LACEY's daily log explained the relief aboard Barclays Adventurer that their water maker is now working: "Having gone from the thought of capturing rain water in the sails to being able to go back to hot drinks, showers and our luxury cakes - I can smell the flapjacks cooking as I type with the sun beating down through the aft hatch and the sounds of gentle snores surrounding me at the back of the yacht."
Challenge Business Editorial Team
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