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Club Med due to finish the Race Sunday 4th March

by Club Mewd Press release on 4 Mar 2001
Its not over 'til it's over'

ETA for Club Med's finish in Marseilles: Late Saturday 3rd 11pm - early Sunday 4th March.

Within spitting distance of the finish line in Marseilles the giant Club Med catamaran has experienced the full range
of sailing conditions possible. Having sailed more than 27,000 miles, just 200 miles separates the leader of The Race
from outright victory. Club Med is expected home at approximately midnight tonight.

But those last 200 miles come after some of the hardest hours of sailing for the 13 strong international crew. Well
inside the Mediterranean and in full view of the media, extreme caution was required to avoid a mishap near the end.
New Zealand-born skipper Grant Dalton explained by satellite telephone this morning:

'Over the last 18 hours we have experienced a crazy range of conditions! We've had a 12-hour run when we sailed
our shortest distance ever just 180 miles, and at one point we recorded our second highest wind speed of The Race
-­ 52 knots. Overnight we had steady wind of around 45-50 knots.'

'At the moment we are just South of Barcelona. We kept inside the Balearic Islands last night to avoid shifting winds
and to sail the angles we wanted.'

Preservation of the boat and maximum levels of concentration have always been important on Club Med. The
professional crew managed to focus on the business at hand rather than the business of relaxing in a day or two's
time:

'We've had every sail combination up ­ all the way from full main and the Solent through to the storm jib and three
reefs ­- we've never done so many sail changes in a 24-hour period.'

'Yesterday and last night was tough. We were so aware of being on the edge and looking after the boat ­- we didn't
want to have anything happen so late in The Race.'

In spite of the constantly changing conditions and the proximity of the finish, discipline and routine has been
maintained on board:

'Even though we had a lot of sail changes through the night, we are keeping the same routine on board with the guys
still sticking to their standard watch system. No one on board really believes it's the end of the race yet ­no one's
day dreaming yet about what will happen when we finish. I really can't believe this is my last stand-by watch. So
soon it will all be over.'

Summarising what has been an epic voyage by anyone's standards, Dalton had these reflections to make on the last
two months sailing:

'I really don't think people understand just how ground breaking these boats are and just how fast we have sailed in
this race. It is the first time there has been a fully crewed non-stop race around the world - made all the more
extraordinary because of the type of boats we're sailing.'

Ranking on 03 Mar 2001 at 11:00:00 GMT:

1.Club Med - 183.5 miles to finish
2.Innovation Explorer +924.8 miles to leader
3.TeamAdventure +6111.5 miles to leader
4.Warta Polpharma +6729.9 miles to leader
5.Team Legato +9521.0 miles to leader

Retired - PlayStation on January 14, 2001

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