A hundred days to go

An update on The Race

Friday September 22nd 2000, Author: Mark Chisnell, Location: United Kingdom
With a hundred days to go before the start on the 31st December, Bruno Peyron has been spelling out the state of play in preparations for The Race. Steve Fossett has still to make the final decision as to whether he will lengthen his boat or not, but is expected to make an announcement soon.
Club Med should be back in the water around the 28th September, and will continue her training programme in England and Portugal. The other two Ollier maxi-cats are still expected to launch in mid-October. Still in rebuild are the Polish Polpharma Warta (ex-Explorer) and Tony Bullimore's Millennium Challenge (ex-ENZA). And of course, Team Philips, which relaunched on Friday, 22nd September.

The first meeting of the fleet should be at the prologue, over the 15-17th December, in Monaco, consisting of a 24 hour race of a lap track, followed by an offshore to Barcelona - where the real thing starts from. The qualification has also been altered, and another possible record added to those on the list. Competitors can now also come within 25% of Steve Fossett's Round Britain and Ireland record of five days, 21 hours, 5 minutes and 27 seconds. They can also do an offshore voyage of 2500 nm - but such a weakening of the qualifying conditions is hardly likely to help their case against the naysayers calling for the race's postponement.

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