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Leg Two Starts

by Liz Addis Writer, Quokka Sports on 15 Oct 2000
The second leg of the BT Global Challenge race has begun.

The 12 yachts crossed the start line in Boston Harbour and are now on their way, sailing the 5,840 miles to Buenos Aires.

Under muggy clouds, Compaq crossed the line first with Norwich Union and Spirit of Hong Kong not far behind.
LG FLATRON, VERITAS and Logica were next over with the rest of fleet following shortly thereafter.

Leg One winner Quadstone was first into Boston Harbour just two weeks ago, but last to cross the start line back out. The team, many of them donning orange wigs, had decorated their dome to look like a jack-o-lantern, with "thank you Boston" written in huge letters.

The winds, as the boats tacked to the start line, were southwesterly and light and fickle resulting in lots of sail changing between genoas and spinnakers.

Huge crowds had lined the pontoons at Boston Harbour to wave goodbye to the teams as they set sail for the start of Leg Two of the Challenge.

More spectators took to the water and a few helicopters took to the air to see the yachts begin Leg Two and head back out into the Atlantic Ocean.

The boats are expected to be at sea for about 35 days with an estimated time of arrival in Buenos Aires around 18 November.

Norwich Union and Olympic Group are both determined to put the disappointment of Leg One behind them and are looking to arrive in the top end of the fleet to bump up their points tally.

Olympic skipper Manley Hopkinson said, “My mind has changed focus now to the next leg. The new charts are out and I am already considering our battle plan for round three with the dreaded Gulf Stream.”

Norwich Union skipper Neil Murray said, “We need to ensure that we finish in a good placing in the remaining legs if we stand a chance of winning the race. So we’re certainly aiming high for the next leg and hoping for a top three spot.”

All eyes will be on reserve skipper John Read who has taken over the helm of TeamSpirIT following the resignation of Andy Dare.

The Quadstone crew and skipper Alex Phillips will be trying to repeat their superb performance in Leg One when they powered ahead to win the stage. Phillips said, “There’s 11 other boats out there, all of whom want to win a leg. We are now the boat to watch and a lot of other crews are going to be doing their utmost to get in front of us.

“There’s a lot more variables involved in this leg than there are in any other. I’ve researched the leg very, very carefully and I’ve got a reasonably good idea which way we’re going to go.”

The teams got their first taste of bad weather pretty late on into the first leg but the second leg looks set to throw them into the rough seas almost straight from the start.

Winds for the rest of start day are expected to be around 10 to 15 knots west-southwesterly, veering round to northerly and increasing to 15 to 20 knots by midnight GMT.

John Keating, Race Headquarters manager, said, “Unlike the start of the last leg it will be an upwind start. If the wind goes round to south west they won’t be tacking, they will be beating going up the North Channel. They may even be able to fly a kite.

“It could be quite interesting. It will be very much a tactical thing as to how the skippers decide the best way to get their speed up that North Channel."

On Monday the winds are forecast to increase to 20, 25 or even 30 knots whilst on Tuesday they could be as high as 35 knots at times.

“By then they will be going either down or across the Gulf Stream and it will give them wind over current which will give them quite a lumpy sea, so there will probably be quite a lot of seasickness around,” said Keating.

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