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 2 February 2001 Issue # 332

By Ike Stephenson

 Today's Sailing News 

The Race: Weekend News

The weekend for The Race Fleet began with Club Med 458 miles
ahead of Innovation Explorer. Club Med had completed the Cook Straits passage, while Innovation Explorer was inbound.

For Club Med the detour through New Zealand waters was not lucky.
Skipper Grant Dalton explains: "Then as evening came on we parked and boy, did we park. We could see the same headland and lighthouse for 12 hours and in one four hour watch we did six miles."
This after Innovation Explorer has broken Club Med's 24 hour record.
Grant Dalton also noted this: "Good on them, records are made to be broken, but it really annoys me. We'll have to do something about that on the way to the finish."

In addition to pure sailing matters for Innovation Explorer there was the matter of whether to make a 48 hour pit stop. Word was they  could stop and pick up a new sail and dagger board. 

Sunday morning Innovation Explorer decided: "The Race continues." From Innovation Explorer came some of the basis for their decision: "It's certain that now we have a dagger board shorter on one side but the skippers and the crew unanimously believe that they can finish The Race with the dagger board in this state." Club Med's lead had grown to 657 miles.

As it turns out talk of a pit stop was more strategic than anything. It was a ruse by Loick Peyron to entice Grant Dalton into making a similar
stop. Then Innovation Explorer would keep going, while Club Med would be committed to 48 hours in port. 

In the end Grant Dalton comments: "Finally, the Cook Straits cost us 
170 miles." This morning the lead of Club Med is 680 miles.

Expect the leaders to swallow up gobs of some of the most desolate
water on earth. Around 6 days is the expected passage time.

Grant Dalton has a Pacific Ocean strategy ready: "In the Indian, you  try to avoid the South. In the Pacific, you have to go down there, and shorten the route to the Horn" 

Still in 3rd place nearing Cape Leuwin is Team Adventure. Their
512 miles in 24 hours is actually superior to the Race Class cats ahead.
Skipper Cam Lewis remains excited and optimistic: "Now we are 
surfing the big ones at 30-knots-plus. We are under control and enjoying the south once again, after a few days of mumbo jumbo junk seas and winds. We're getting ready for a 650-mile day soon!" 

Team Adventure navigator Larry Rosenfield muses: I never thought the Indian Ocean would be this big...There are still 3,600
miles to go to New Zealand's Cook Strait. That's further away than the width of the Atlantic Ocean."

The two vintage maxi cats both sailed nearly 400 miles in 24 hours. Team Leagato is now 1194 miles from Warta Polpharma.

The two boat Pacific Ocean fleet will battle at high rates of speed. Sailing alone, Team Adventure will see if she can continue to post
her typically fabulous speed. In the rear Team Legato has a chance to escape tail end status as the Southern Ocean sailing continues.

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