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Typhoon 2021 - FOOTER

BT Global Challenge fleet approaches Sydney

by BT Gobal Challenge Media on 24 Feb 2001
LG FLATRON has regained first place with Logica just a few yards behind matching their every move. These two are almost inseparable and are the most northerly yachts in the lead pack of eight. BP is just four miles behind them but the rest of the pack has fallen back.

The last 12 hours saw a split as VERITAS, Norwich Union and Compaq headed first to the south and are now coming back north again. This manoeuvre cost them dearly and they lost 18, 13 and 15 miles respectively. It was always a bit of a gamble as any extra wind was forecast to be further north. VERITAS and Compaq are racing neck and neck as the most southerly yachts but their boat speeds are the slowest in the fleet at the moment.

At the back of the fleet Isle of Man and Olympic are still catching up and are less than 60 miles behind. If the wind does as predicted this should continue in the short term but as the leaders head north to join them the difference in boat speed will become less.

Tactically there is an interesting dilemma ahead. It is usual to approach Sydney from north of the rhumb line as a strong southerly flowing current follows the coast. This current makes it difficult for yachts approaching from the south, however although the wind should be a little stronger in the north over the next 48 hours, it is likely to be stronger further south on Sunday. To make matters more interesting this stronger wind is expected to swing into the north. Whether it is better to stay north or to gamble everything and hope that the stronger wind predicted for Sunday does not reach the northerly boats, is a decision going through the skippers' minds. A gamble like this may be worthwhile for the yachts already near the back of the fleet, as they have little to lose and there is the chance of big gains.

The best estimate for the arrival time is still late Sunday or early Monday morning GMT.

Latest rankings, 07:45 GMT - 23/02/01:

1 LG FLATRON - 386 miles to finish
2 Logica +0 miles to leader
3 BP +4
4 TeamSpirIT +13
5 Spirit of Hong Kong + 18
6 Norwich Union +27
7 Compaq +32
9 Isle of Man +51
10 Olympic Group +59

Quadstone & Save the Children - in Wellington for repairs

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