The Race - 0930 - 13/2/01
Team Adventure (orange) continue to have a bad run, with the high pressure settling over them like a black cloud. So there's been plenty of time for the building team to assemble and prepare in Wellington, for the second crack at fixing the mainbeam. New England boatbuilder, Eric Goetz, now has a couple of men ready to do the repair work, while the estimated time of arrival for the boat has gone back to late Wednesday, and it could be later.
Skipper Cam Lewis reported from on board, "We have just had more than three days of hard sailing with big winds and waves, and have discovered that the outer carbon skin on the repaired main beam fairing has started to peel off and delaminate."
"This is terrible news, especially because we had great confidence in the repair. Luckily the internal structure that was repaired in Cape Town is still perfect. However we discovered the skin peeling, and some small areas are bad enough that we can see the core coming through." Because this is the second time that Team Adventure have stopped, The Race rules say they have to stay in port for 60 hours.
Warta Polpharma (yellow) and Team Legato (purple) are coming up behind them in excellent breeze (though the direction is less than perfect for Team Legato at the moment), and Lewis is stuck like a rabbit in headlights, his grip on third getting loser by the hour. But he remains resolute that they will continue, "There are so many options that have been discussed about what is best to do with our program. Quitting the course is not one of them. Once we realized the severity of the delamination we had a talk, and to the man we decided that finishing is our best option."
"This is not the race we wanted. We all are serious racers and enjoyed the thrills of the battles with our competitors from the day of the start until we had to detour to Cape Town. To sail to the finish with the same enthusiasm and intensity as when we started will not be possible. However we will continue to learn about the boat, to fine-tune the systems, sails and weather routing, and to continue to test products from our sponsors and suppliers."
Team Adventure will get the breeze eventually (above) as that low pressure to their west drifts towards them. The problem is that the Polish boat, Warta Polpharma, will be arriving with it - though fortunately for Lewis, not on the leading edge.
The Poles have also been slowed at some stage in the past 24 hours, as Tony Bullimore and Team Legato have closed the gap to under a thousand miles again. On board, navigator Jason Owen has a bruised back and Bullimore has twisted his knee, but neither injury is reported as being serious.
Standings (at 0700 GMT, 13/2/01)
1 Club Med 5939.8 nm to the finish
2 Innovation Explorer +968.5 nm
3 Team Adventure +5821.7 nm
4 Warta Polpharma +6513.0 nm
5 Team Legato +7385.5 nm
Map images courtesy of Virtual Spectator, click here to go to The Race site for a free download of the software.