Victory for local skipper

BG Spirit cleans up in final stages of Global Challenge leg into Sydney

Monday February 14th 2005, Author: Rachel Anning, Location: Transoceanic
Leg 3 of the Global Challenge was won in spectacular style today by Sydney skipper Andy Forbes on BG Spirit who led his team home to a triumphant victory by crossing the finish at the Sydney Opera House in a time of 7 days, 2 hours, 11 minutes and 4 seconds.

Just 15 minutes and 20 seconds behind them were SAIC La Jolla – their first podium place – and Me to You an agonising 6 minutes and 20 seconds behind them. This was also Me to You’s first podium place, and the results mean the overall title is still open to much of the fleet.

Pindar, who have suffered a disappointing first two legs crossed the finish line exuberant in 4th place just 2 minutes and 4 seconds in front of BP Explorer. 6th place went to Samsung, Spirit of Sark in 7th, Team Stelmar in 8th, Barclays Adventurer taking 9th, VAIO 10th, Team Save the Children in 11th and 12th was Imagine It. Done.

A brave southerly gamble paid off for winning skipper, Andy Forbes, who explained: “There was a lot of work behind the scenes in Wellington. We had a plan; we had a strategy and we stuck to it. We were drawn in to one-to-ones with a number of the fleet, BP Explorer being one of them, but to be in 11th place 36 hours ago and to pull it off was awesome.

“There were times we felt nervous but we saw the wind south and to be honest we were surprised that more boats weren’t down there. Last night these guys trimmed - we had guys on the bow and it was blowing 30 knots but they sat up there with torches all night.

“It’s indescribable, unbelievable, fantastic and something I’ve dreamed of doing for so long.”

On a sunny summer day in Sydney a huge spectator fleet welcomed the teams to Australia. The atmosphere was electric as crowds packed the pontoons in Darling Harbour to welcome their heroes in and crews cheered each other as they pulled in one after another to the guest pontoon, which will be home to the yachts for the next 2 weeks.

Sir Chay Blyth, executive chairman of race organisers Challenge Business and the inspiration behind the Global Challenge, was there to crack open the champagne for every yacht as the team songs blasted while the yachts sailed proudly in, against the backdrop of the magnificent Sydney skyline.

Next stop Cape Town, but for now two weeks of celebration, rest, recuperation.

Provisional results as protests are being heard:

Yacht Leg 1 Points  Leg 2 Points  Leg 3 Points (prov) Total Points
1 BG SPIRIT 11 13 15 39
2 BP Explorer 11 14 11 36
3 Samsung 13 12 10 35
4 Spirit of Sark 9 15 9 33
5= VAIO 14 11 6 31
5= SAIC La Jolla 9 8 14 31
7 Barclays Adventurer 15 7 7 29
8 Me to You 6 9 13 28
9= Pindar 5 6 10 20
9= Team Stelmar 7 5 8 20
11 Team Save the Children 4 10 5 19
12 Imagine It. Done. 7 3 4 10

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