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27 October 2004, 11:03 am
When Will The Weather Change?
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© Challenge Business

2004/2005 Global Challenge
Portsmouth (GBR) - Buenos Aires (ARG)

It's a drag race down the South American coast at the moment, but talk is that it cannot last.
By all accounts it has been a great days sailing, blasting along under spinnaker at full speed. "Another sunny morning in the southern hemisphere with good winds abeam of us and a clear sky stretching out to the horizon, steaming along the coast of Brazil" as BG SPIRIT put it this morning.

The worst anyone has had to complain about is that they have been on the same tack for 8 days and they have forgotten what its like to change direction!

The daily logs tell stories of 'business as usual' - life on board seems pretty good at the moment.

But is it all about to change?

In his sat phone interview, a rather cagey Duggie GILLESPIE on Spirit of Sark hinted that there was indeed a change in the weather ahead, with perhaps a new weather system drifting off the land and spoiling the show. Similar sentiments have been expressed by others across the fleet.

Time will tell how this effects the yachts, but variable conditions are what really tests the crews and allows places to change. There are still a lot of tactical hurdles ahead as the trade winds come to an end and the yachts pass the infamous (in that there is often no wind) Cabo Frio on the South Eastern tip of Brazil.

There are several battles going on throughout the fleet. As well as the top three, things are particularly competitive in the second 'pack' as they chase the leaders.

"We are holding on to fourth position, BG SPIRIT and Sark are constantly barking at our heels and we watching with interest as Barclays, VAIO and Samsung come in from the West under a better wind angle to join us closer to the coast. To think that we had VAIO in our sights last week only for us to be becalmed just goes to show how one afternoon can alter the course of a five-week race." Reported BP Explorer today.

In the second half of the fleet, the yachts remain more evenly spaced but are watching the front runners with interest. They are well placed to steer around the leaders should they park up, and once again it call be up for grabs.

We watch with interest.
Event Media (As Amended By ISAF News Editor)
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