The master


 
Velux 5 Oceans leader Bernard Stamm talks about leg two and how to get around the world fast in an Open 60
Following the retirement of Alex Thomson and Mike Golding on leg one left Swiss ocean racer Bernard Stamm clear favourite for winning the second leg of the Velux 5 Oceans (barring disasters), the rest of the competitors either lacking experience or boat speed. Early on in the giant 15,725 mile long leg from Fremantle, Western Australia to Norfolk, Virginia on the eastern seaboard of the US, Stamm had claimed not to want to get too far ahead of the opposition, to remain in the same weather pattern, etc. Yet, by the time he was south of New Zealand he was already leading by around 330 miles. Entering the Pacific he broke clear of second placed Kojiro Shiraishi on Spirit of Yukoh when he was able to skirt south of a high pressure system that would dog progress for the Japanese skipper for the following two weeks. By the time he passed the second ice waypoint gate in the Pacific he was more than 1,000 miles ahead and stiff conditions en route to Cape Horn allowed him to extend his lead to 1,800 miles by the time he passed back into the Atlantic. Despite sailing in the lighter winds of the South Atlantic while his competitors were still in the Southern Ocean, Stamm managed to extend to 1,939 miles by the time he reached the Equator and when he finished in the early hours of Sunday morning was almost 2,800 miles ahead. Part of this is as much down to Koji losing miles on Stamm as it is the Swiss skipper making them on his Japanese rival. But there is no denying Stamm is a grand master in this sport of solo transoceanic sailing. Solo offshore racing is an anathema to most racing sailors due to the fact that because there

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