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The Race...Club Med led is ebbing away

by Mer & Media on 27 Feb 2001
Club Med has been once again halted by light winds. Still on track to finish in Marseilles at the weekend, the forecasted winds to speed the international crew on their way to Marseilles are late.

With a lead of 644 miles over second placed Innovation Explorer and just 2200 miles to sail to the finish and with just the Straits of Gibraltar to be tackled before the final leg across the Mediterranean, the Club Med crew is relatively comfortable with its leading position. Joined by satellite telephone this morning skipper Grant Dalton had this to say: 'We've been sailing really slowly for the past 24 hours. This wind hasn't filled in as quickly as expected. But when it does we'll be gone. We've been heading North to get to the wind rather than sailing the course to Gibraltar, so our rate of approach to the finish has dropped. We had no wind all night. The ridge of high pressure that has been affecting the boats in the Vendée Globe is hurting us too. It is really unusual to see something this solid over this period of time.'

Second placed Innovation Explorer continues to steal miles back from Club Med, keeping the leading crew on its toes: 'We've lost quite a lot more of our lead over Innovation Explorer. Just as well we had a buffer the size of a house. We bled off another 60 miles last night. It's highly unlikely that we'll get any of these real miles back.'

And retrospectively on the whole of the trip North from the Southern Ocean Dalton made the following observations: 'Looking back on the Atlantic since Cape Horn, we've been on the wrong side of everything. We have had walls thrown up in front of us, and weather patterns that should never have been there block our progress. Every time we managed to get through we have had to watch as the second placed boat slipped through the same area without having the same problems. It is really frustrating. When this wind comes through however, it will be end of the last gate, the last weather window and effectively the last chance for Innovation Explorer to get past.'

Latest Positions, 11:00 GMT:

1.Club Med / dtf 2271.3 miles
2.Innovation Explorer / dtl 644.7 miles
3.TeamAdventure / dtl 5886.3 miles
4.Warta Polpharma / dtl 6142.5 miles
5.Team Legato / dtl 8030.9 miles

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