The Race - 1630 - 3/1/01

Team Legato heading for Gibraltar with sail damage

Wednesday January 3rd 2001, Author: Gerald New, Location: United Kingdom
Gibraltar is receiving an unexpected boost to its tourist trade, after both Team Legato and Warta Polpharma announced that they would be stopping in the port to effect repairs - but only Tony Bullimore's boat will be joining PlayStation in the 48 hour 'sin bin'. The rule requiring a 48 hour stop-over is only enforced when outside assistance is used.

Team Legato is reported to have had to divert to Gibraltar after their headboard car failed allowing the mainsail to slip down the mast. The boat reported to the Race Office that, "Everything was going fine until 2200 (presumably last night) when we heard a loud noise out on deck to find the mainsail had come down onto the boom between the lazy jacks. Looks like we have a problem with the head and so we are going to wait for Frederiksen and Carbospars to analyse the situation before making any decision." It looks like this one will require help to fix and so Team Legato will get sin binned - they are expected into Gibraltar early on Thursday.

Also heading for Gibraltar is the Polish boat, who are planning to stop to repair her Inmarsat B satellite communications system. This equipment is required by The Race, and so France Telecom officials - communications sponsor for the event - will be in Gibraltar to step aboard and conduct the repairs. Provided Roman Paszke and his crew don't go ashore and receive nothing else from the port, there will be no penalty. And because this stop is required for The Race equipment failure, Paszke has requested that the International Jury award him the time he's lost through the stop-over.
Meanwhile, back on the race course, Team Ollier are giving each other hell. Grant Dalton and Club Med have spent the day chasing down Cam Lewis' Team Adventure. As we talked about this morning, the boats are sailing upwind into increasingly light air. Just who has the strategic advantage is hard to tell, but in terms of distance to the finish, Dalts and his boys have been grinding down Team Adventure all day - it was 12 miles mid-morning and six by midday. The evening position reports could well show that Club Med are back in the lead.

At this afternoon's radio report co-skipper Franck Proffit recounted the sailing conditions being experienced by the big blue catamaran, "The weather isn't simple. Tactical and strategic options are presenting themselves all the time and it is really important to be aware of the minutest puff of wind coming from a new direction."

Proffit went on to talk about PlayStation, before Steve Fossett's boat headed for their pit-stop, "The boat is quick. Their boat handling is obviously harder and slower, but when they have the boat trimmed up and sorted out it is very quick." But Grant Dalton - currently suffering from a bout of flu - is reported to be more impressed with the speed of the American boat ahead.

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