11th hour place change in the Velux 5 Oceans
Having trailed the fleet around the world to date, so British skipper Chris Stanmore-Major has manage to pull into second place in what is turning out to be a close finale to leg three of the Velux 5 Oceans.
Just a week ago the 33-year-old was around 200 nautical miles behind race rivals Derek Hatfield and Zbigniew ‘Gutek’ Gutkowski who were engaged in a fight for second and third positions. But after slowly reeling in his opposition, Stanmore-Major took advantage of better breeze on his more offshore route up the coast of South America and passed the pair overnight. The 1200 GMT position report gave him a lead over third placed Gutkowski of 36 miles, with Hatfield a further ten miles behind.
Despite his happiness at passing his rivals, Stanmore-Makor remained focused this morning on keeping his speed on Spartan up and protecting his lead over the competition. “My lead is a work in progress and I wouldn’t in any way underestimate the ability of this situation to change rapidly,” he said. “We’re still not out of it yet. The thing that has given me the biggest boost is gaining miles on the other guys – that is unsolicited joy. As soon as you get into a position where you are ahead of them you are suddenly aware that at any moment they might find a different gear and sail past. Not until I am tied up on the dock next to Brad will I believe I am in second.”
After 24 days at sea and more than 6,500 nautical miles sailed, the remaining three skippers are separated by just 50 nautical miles with less than 250 miles left to sail to the leg three finish line in Punta del Este, Uruguay.
Positions at 1200 GMT
Skipper / distance to finish (nm) / distance to leader/ distance covered in last 24 hours (nm) / average speed in last 24 hours (kts)
Brad Van Liew, Le Pingouin: Finished Tuesday March 1, 2011
Chris Stanmore-Major, Spartan: 214/ 0 / 169.8 / 7.1
Zbigniew Gutkowski, Operon Racing: 250.1 / 36.1 / 116.4 / 4.8
Derek Hatfield, Active House: 261.7 / 47.8 / 101.5/ 4.2