BT Global Challenge - Leg 1 - 24th September


madforsailing.com's diary writer, Conrad Humphreys, has lost the lead aboard LG FLATRON
madforsailing is following the BT Global Challenge through the diaries of Conrad Humphreys (skipper) and Andy Magrath (crew) aboard LG FLATRON. This is the latest report from Conrad, as the boat hits a big pot-hole, in the shape of the Gulf Stream. Conrad Humphreys, Skipper LG FLATRON, Sunday 24th September; "I think we sailed into the wrong movie. While many crews held fears of landing in the Perfect Storm crossing the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, instead, we found the only windless hole and were suddenly in Dead Calm. Worse, much worse, a Gulf Stream eddy sent us spinning back towards Blighty for four hours. Not only did we surrender the lead over the last 24 hours, but we slipped to third on the board - a staggering 40 miles behind the leader. I'll not forget the looks on the faces of each watch as they caught a glimpse of the position skeds and saw our lead slowly disappear. There cannot be anything harder in yacht racing. We were positioned centrally to the fleet and had a fairly tight cover over the next two boats. We picked up the shift to the south-west, tacked back towards the rhumbline - all according to plan - and then ran out of breeze. Four hours later we had covered ten miles back towards England, carried helplessly along at 2.5 knots by the current of the Gulf Stream, flowing happily from the Caribbean to warm the shores of England. How do you pick up a dejected team, who's morale has ebbed like the tide, eroded with our lead? Numerous suggestions cropped up, but the one that stuck was to organise a thousand-miles-to-go party. The deal is you have to come as someone else in the crew. We also made a few tactical changes, the main

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