Hat trick for Stamm

As the gale lashed Swiss skipper arrives first into Tauranga on Around Alone

Thursday January 9th 2003, Author: James Boyd, Location: Transoceanic
Bernard Stamm aboard his Open 60 Bobst Group crossed the finish line off the New Zealand port of Tauranga at 11:24:43am local time this morning (22:24:43 GMT Wednesday January 8) to take first place in Around Alone's third leg from Cape Town. This is the Swiss skipper's third consecutive leg win in Around Alone and he is now looking like favourite for overall race victory in this singlehanded round the world race.

Stamm has also broken with tradition - in the last two races disaster has always befallen the leader into Cape Town on the subsequent leg - Isabelle Autissier was dismasted, rolled and had to be rescued from the depths of the Southern Ocean in 1994, while Mike Golding ran aground off Cape Reinga severely damaging his keel in 1998.

Stamm too seems to have not arrive unscathed with damage to the hull of his yacht and a tiller missing. Despite it being mid-summer in New Zealand his passage down the north east coast of New Zealand has been made in gale force conditions. It is believed that Stamm experienced a problem with his steering and had to hove to in order to repair it.

Below: Bernard Stamm hove to yesterday - photo by Thierry Martinez

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