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28 December 2000 Issue # 311
Today's Sailing News
The Race: 3 days to start
The 5 Race Class cats and 1 Maxi Cat that will start The Race are all in harbor at Barcelona Spain. 5 of the cats sailed together on Saturday in difficult conditions with heavy air and large seas.
Many of the crew had a Christmas holiday of one sort or another. Playstation skipper Steve Fossett flew back to spend the holiday in the USA.
Now, as the boats are moored in Barcelona, teams are making their preparations. Club Med and Playstation have their around the world stores on board. Team Adventure will take on stores today.
Warta Polpharma will take food for 85 days. Club Med is provisioning for 70 days. Also, Club Med is not allowing books, CD's etc. for crew onboard. Team Legato still has to finalize its crew.
Weather forecasts indicate westerly winds and some upwind work for the fleet at the start.
BT Challenge Update
Leg 3 is Buenos Aries to Wellington New Zealand via Cape Horn.
Leader: Compaq by 5 miles
Best 24 Hour Run: NA
Position: Fleet has rounded Cape Horn, now in South Pacific a desolate patch of water.
Current Weather: Force 6 West
Weather Forecast: Northerly Gale
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Today's Vendee Globe Report: Sill takes the lead
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Today's Sailing News
The 56th annual Sydney to Hobart race began Tuesday in Sydney Harbor. 82 boats made the start.
The start occurred in 10-12 knots. The boats beat their way out of Sydney harbor.
Here they set spinnakers which they used to reach at speed in 16-18 knot winds. Shockwave reveled in these conditions and took an early lead.
By the first night the wind had swung around, and it was a beat again. Winds were SW 12-15 knots. Shockwave led by 19 miles.
After this W-SW gales blew in making for punishing upwind sailing. Thirteen boats have dropped out.
Early leader Shockwave passed on sailing their boat in these conditions. Boats suffered damage as did several crewmembers.
As the winds picked up the 80 footer Nicorette worked out a lead. The Australian maxi Wild Thing stayed with Nicorette for awhile. However, a problem with a luff tape stuck in the head stay cost Wild Thing dearly.
Last report had Nicorette 30 miles ahead of Wild Thing with 40 miles left to the finish in the Derwent River off Battery Point, Hobart.
SW winds of 30-40 knots with rough seas are forecast making for challenging sailing for all boats.
Nicorette's finish is expected by 1200 eastern Thursday.