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Club Med becalmed

by Club Med on 3 Mar 2001
ETA for Club Med's finish in Marseilles: Late Saturday 3rd or early Sunday 4th March.


Once again the weather has come back to play havoc with Club Med's progress towards the finish line in Marseilles.
After a strong couple of days the pace was fast enough for Club Med to increase the lead over second placed
Innovation Explorer to more than 1200 miles. The pair are now sailing at completely different speeds again and at
noon today Club Med sat wallowing in light airs some 592 miles from the finish line, watching its lead of 1020 miles
diminish by the hour.

Club Med passed through the Straits of Gibraltar last night around midnight in strong conditions and managed to
stay safely out of harm's way with regard to shipping and unexpected wind gusts, typical of this area.

Joined by satellite telephone earlier today, New Zealand-born skipper Grant Dalton had this to say:

'We completely lost the wind a few hours ago ­ we've gone nowhere for 12 hours! It is mind-numbingly frustrating.
The weather patterns change so quickly in this part of the world. We were hoping that the weather system that
brought us up to the Straits of Gibraltar would see us through and into the Med, but it wasn't to be.'

'The breeze is coming in a bit now. But we're not placing any bets on a finish time! No more ETAs! I have learnt my
lesson so many times I can't believe I fell into the trap again of suggesting an ETA this time!'

'There's a warm front that's between the two lows that's meant we parked ­ but we're now coming under the gradient
breeze of the 2nd low pressure. There are gale warnings all over the Med. We'll get breeze soon, but whether we take
it all the way through to Marseilles I don't know.'

On the situation aboard second placed Innovation Explorer and still enjoying good speeds Dalton had these
compliments to make:

'It's always fun when you're leading. I never envied Loick Peyron and Roger Nilson chasing us around the world,
chasing but never really able to get to attack. They have done really well. I know how much effort we put into
preparing Club Med and I know how little time they had to prepare their boat. I think they have been exemplary.'

On the often-debated subject in the multihull world of trimaran versus catamaran and which would be most suitable
for an event like The Race Dalton commented:

'I don't think the tri/cat debate is over. I don't even think it has started. Everything we thought is true ­ a tri would
struggle in the Southern Ocean but would destroy us all in the Atlantic. It will be interesting to see what de
Kersauzon's tri ends up like when it is launched later this year.'

Club Med should arrive in Marseille between Saturday 6pm and Sunday morning (depending on conditions.

Ranking on 02 Mar 2001 at 15:00:00 GMT

1.Club Med / dtf 539.2 miles
2.Innovation Explorer / dtl 1002.2 miles
3.TeamAdventure / dtl 5952.5 miles
4.Warta Polpharma / dtl 6499.2 miles
5.Team Legato / dtl 9207.2 miles

Retired - Playstation on January 14,

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