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8 March 2005, 12:09 pm
Northerly Yachts Take Full Advantage
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2004/2005 Global Challenge

Imagine. It. Done have reclaimed the lead - the northerly stance of skipper Dee CAFFARI (GBR) having paid off to great effect.

Me To You obviously did not make it north fast enough as they have plummeted right down the leaderboard from pole position yesterday to tenth this morning with the lowest six hour speed of 3.8 knots.

Samsung have once again moved through the fleet and are now in seventh equal with Team Stelmar - both yachts are breathing down hard on SAIC La Jolla with just five miles separating them.

A confident Matt RIDDELL (AUS), skipper of Samsung told us: 'We're maintaining best course to windward, now north of the rhumb line as planned where wind shifts are working in our favour. We expect to improve our fleet placing within the next 36 hours.'

Clive COSBY (GBR), skipper of Team Stelmar, Samsung's closest rival explained their tactics: 'Stayed north to avoid the light airs tracking across from the southwest. Being lifted on course at the moment, but expecting the wind to come further forwards heading us before we tack over onto port tack. Light spell expected to last for the next 24 hours enabling the boats to the north to gain an advantage.'

Most of the crew who have taken more of a northerly route have expressed relief at their decision. Pindar has moved up into ninth place, recording the fastest six hour speed of 7.6 knots. Skipper Laurence MARRIOTT (GBR) is optimistic about further gains: 'The north has paid off and now we are in a little wind corridor which we want to stay as the wind hole moves towards us. If we can do this then the fleet to the south of us may slow up in the wind hole and we could gain even more miles.'

Dee CAFFARI, aboard Imagine It. Done was the one whose strong northerly decision has pushed the yacht back up and into first. She is keen to take maximum advantage of her good call. 'We are currently sailing on a southerly tack and are expecting the winds to ease across the fleet for a period of 24 hours. We will then see a band spreading from north to south across the fleet of stronger breeze in the region of 20 - 25 knots and we are aiming to be the first to be into that new breeze to pull a small distance between us and those behind. In the meantime we are maximizing boat speed at all times.'

Rachel Anning (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Imagine. It. Done:© Challenge Business
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