Please select your home edition
J Composites 2022 - J45 v4 LEADERBOARD

BT Challenge fleet leaves Sydney.

by BT Challenge Event Media on 12 Mar 2001
After a slow start off the line the fleet has soon speeded up as the crews settled back into sailing.

Leg Five saw the day dawn rainy and with very light winds. As the start gun sounded the fleet crossed the line with their Genoas up trying to eke out every inch of wind.

BP crossed the line first, unfortunately nudging the marker buoy and having to carry out a 360o penalty turn, while Quadstone, which last leg start collided with Save the Children, kept out of the way of the rest of the field and sailed over the line last.

They soon picked up the pace and new skipper Richard Chenery guided them up into ninth place by 8am GMT.

TeamSpirIT won the Serco-sponsored Wee Chay Trophy as it was the first yacht to round the Wee Chay Buoy in Sydney Harbour.

The trophy was named after the eldest son of Serco’s executive chairman.

TeamSpirIT held the lead as the fleet sailed out of Sydney Harbour. Compaq and Norwich Union were close behind with the rest of the boats in a tightly-bunched pack.

Race Headquarters manager John Keating said the yachts were now all sailing well doing 10 to 11 knots.

“At 8am GMT the boats were heading south past Botany Bay which is 20 miles south of Sydney Harbour.

“The majority of the boats are going due south in quite a tight bunch,” he said.

The spread between the first nine boats east to west is only four and a half miles.

Earlier former BT Global Challenge skipper and meteorologist Chris Tibbs had predicted that most of the fleet would probably head offshore to benefit from the south-going East Australian Current which would give them a helping hand towards Tasmania.

Two of the boats, however, have headed inshore. Spirit of Hong Kong and Logica have slightly broken away from the rest of the field with Spirit of Hong Kong two miles further inshore than Logica.

With Spirit of Hong Kong skipper Stephen Wilkins being a local boy maybe there is some local knowledge he is trying to take advantage of.

Six hours after the restart Compaq had moved into the lead with TeamSpirIT less than a mile behind.

Norwich Union was sitting in third and LG FLATRON, Olympic Group and BP were all within a mile of them.

Isle of Man was residing in eighth place two miles behind and Quadstone was in third. Spirit of Hong Kong and Logica, who are moving away from the pack, were in 10th and 11th place respectively.

As night falls the wind is expected to drop but a weather front to the south will see the crews’ sea legs being severely tested.

Tibbs said, “The wind is likely to go light ahead of another cold front that is expected to bring southerly winds.

“Although not particularly strong where the yachts will be, to the south of the fleet there are likely to be gale force winds sending a big swell into their path.

“As the East Australian current pushes them south the waves and swell opposed to the current will make a very uncomfortable seaway.”

As the boats make their way back out into the Tasman Sea, the 12th yacht – Save the Children – is making its way over from Wellington.

Repairs which needed to be made after its collision with Quadstone at the start of the last leg meant that it could not sail to Sydney in time for the start of Leg Five.

It is due to dock in Hobart in the next couple of days where it will refuel and restock before joining the rest of the fleet as they pass Tasmania.

As it was unable to make the Sydney start it will only be ‘notionally’ racing and its point score at the end of the leg will be decided by the International Jury after it has assessed its performance.

Related Articles

SWYSA Youth Winter Training at Paignton
Sessions aim to be fun, friendly and inclusive, and for sailors to enjoy them Paignton Sailing Club hosted a wonderful day of South West Youth Sailing Academy (SWYSA) Winter Race Coaching on Saturday. Although a little chilly at times, there was sun, blue sky and lovely 8-15 knot winds - pretty much perfect conditions.
Posted on 25 Feb
End of Leg 3 of the McIntyre Ocean Globe Race
The final two yachts racing, are in! The final two yachts racing leg three of the McIntyre Ocean Globe Race are in! Just as day broke under a cloudy gray sky, Sterna SA (42) the South African Swan 53, crossed the Yacht Club Punta del Este finish line at 09:16 UTC, 24th February.
Posted on 25 Feb
Arkéa Ultim Challenge-Brest day 50
Thomas Coville reflects before his final big charge to the finish In second place on ARKEA ULTIM CHALLENGE-Brest solo multihull round the world race, Thomas Coville is working west of the Azores high pressure system, and has just under 1500 miles to the finish line in Brest.
Posted on 25 Feb
Sailingfast's newest Team Rider Ben Anderson
We chat to the ILCA 4 sailor at the RYA Dinghy & Watersports Show Mark Jardine chats with the new Sailingfast Team Rider, ILCA 4 sailor Ben Anderson at the RYA Dinghy & Watersports Show 2024.
Posted on 25 Feb
470 World Championship opens
Majorca is hosting 64 crews of 27 nationalities On Saturday night the spectacular Claustre de Sant Bonaventura in Llucmajor hosted the official presentation of the 470 World Championship, which will bring together 64 teams of 27 nationalities at the Club Nàutic S'Arenal until the 3rd March.
Posted on 25 Feb
Spicare Omaezaki Japan World Cup overall
Buzzer beater finishes in final day In the final day of the Spicare Omaezaki Japan World Cup, junior winners edged out their competitors with multiple, buzzer beater moments.
Posted on 25 Feb
Students lead the way in sustainable sailing
Finalists of The Green Blue University Sailing Sustainability Challenge awarded The green actions of university students were celebrated at the RYA Dinghy & Watersports Show, supported by Sunsail, yesterday (Saturday).
Posted on 25 Feb
Rollercoaster SailGP weekend for Emirates GBR
Strategist Hannah Mills said the team “really stepped up” on second day in Sydney Hannah Mills said the KPMG Australia Sail Grand Prix was a "rollercoaster weekend" for the Emirates Great Britain SailGP Team. Mills, the team's Strategist, said it was a difficult start to the event, but the crew "really stepped up" on the second.
Posted on 25 Feb
Celebrating 25 years of Rooster!
We speak with founder Steve Cockerill at the RYA Dinghy & Watersports Show Mark Jardine speaks with Steve Cockerill, founder of Rooster, on the 25th Anniversary of the innovative sailing clothing and chandlery company.
Posted on 25 Feb
OK Worlds opening ceremony & practice race
The largest OK event to ever be held south of the equator The largest OK Dinghy event to ever be held south of the equator is all set to proceed after 112 sailors from seven nations completed equipment inspection and registration ahead of the start of the 2024 Tan Lines OK Dinghy World Championship.
Posted on 25 Feb