BT Global Challenge - Boston Restart

Leg two to Buenos Aires got underway on the 15th October

Monday October 16th 2000, Author: Mark Chisnell, Location: United Kingdom
A slow start under the Boston skylinemadforsailing is following the BT Global Challenge through the diaries of Conrad Humphreys (skipper) and Andy Magrath (crew) aboard LG FLATRON. They finished third in the first leg - Southampton to Boston - and before the second leg got underway in Boston Harbour, Andy Magrath brought us up to date.

Andy Magrath, LG FLATRON, Saturday, 16th October;

'It is now Saturday and we set sail tomorrow. Boston has been great, loads of parties at Kitty O'Sheas, which ended up being the local pub for the whole fleet, and not just LG FLATRON. We did manage to get away from the boat for a few days, along with Cian and Laura, I headed up to New England on Tuesday to 'see the fall'. It's supposed to be one of the prettiest places in the world in the autumn, and I wouldn't dispute that. We hired a car and drove up there, then did some walking and generally just got away from the boat.

'We came back Thursday evening, and arrived in Boston refreshed and raring to go, which was a good job as we were straight into a boat performance meeting. The next leg is going to be very hot and frustrating as we go through the Doldrums. There will be lots of spinnaker work and downwind sailing. I can't wait to get going. We are all looking forward to some close racing and I think that this leg will be even more competitive than the first, as boats that did not do so well on that one try and make up for it.'

The course takes them all the way to Buenos Aires in Argentina - 5,840 testing miles through the Tropics and the Doldrums. It was another light air start, south-westerly and very fickle, keeping the crews on their toes with the sail changes. LG FLATRON were involved in an incident just after the start, and completed two penalty turns to exonerate the infringement, which was reckoned to have involved Olympic Group.

But the light air isn't forecast to stick around for long, with breeze kicking in from the north-west and increasing through Monday and Tuesday. Their course takes them south, and a major obstacle will be the Gulf Stream, which flows north from the Caribbean up the eastern seaboard of the States at anything up to four or five knots.

The skippers will be working hard to avoid that conveyor belt running the wrong way. And at 0748 GMT on Monday morning, 16th October, they were all past Cape Cod and east of Nantucket Island, heading south-east at various angles, to get offshore and try to get out of the Gulf Stream. The BT Global Challenge website reported the positions and distances to the finish of the top six as:

1 Compaq 5714 nm
2 Norwich Union 5715 nm
3 Quadstone 5717 nm
4 Save the Children 5722 nm
5 Olympic Group 5723 nm
6 LG FLATRON 5724 nm

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