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25 October 2004, 10:47 am
Team Samsung Remain Narrowly Ahead
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© Challenge Business

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

Samsung are still out in the lead but further down the fleet Team Stelmar has overtaken Imagine It. Done overnight and now lies a mile in front.
The front of the fleet is now heading towards the Fernando De Noronha Islands, which lie 225 miles to the North East of the Brazilian coast, for the final drag race down the coast of South America and on to Buenos Aires.

Although the top yachts have enjoyed a run of good wind and tactical decisions which have paid off, the leg has not proved to be as fruitful for crews further down the back of the fleet. With the windless calms of the doldrums the crews have had to dig deeper than they have ever had to do, to keep morale high and the boat moving. When they started the race just three weeks ago they came together as near strangers having only trained together for short periods of time.

Back then they still had their day-to-day lives, their families, friends and careers. That has all changed now and instead they are in situations and challenges that are new and environments they are not used to. For the crews which have dropped behind, this early bonding and problem solving requirement may well do them justice further on in the race when times, once again, get ever more challenging.

In their daily log Team Save the Children explains: "These are the times when the mental strength of the team is put under the most pressure. I am sure you have all seen the photos on the website of big, crashing waves and little yellow men getting bumped around. That is the physical endurance but none of us knew how we would cope with the mental endurance that the highest highs and the lowest lows would bring, but here we are in what is definitely our first lowest low.

All we can do is sit and watch as the rest of the fleet catch the trade winds and disappear while we wait for our luck to change. For those who have loved ones waiting it is doubly hard. Every day we sit here is another day they spend apart from them. We have come to be so close as a team and I know we can pull each other through. The equator is just a mythical line at the moment but very soon we will be there."

Team Save the Children look like they could be finally out of the doldrums, however, as their previous speed of 2/3 knots has now risen to 5.2 knots. For the second consecutive poll BP Explorer has recorded the highest 24 run, this morning standing at 235 miles.
Event Media (As Amended By ISAF News Editor)
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