Velux 5 Oceans: Chasing pack cutting into Bernard Stammís lead

Thursday, 23 November 2006


Bernard Stamm's lead is looking more vulnerable than it has looked in weeks, as the chasing pack takes chunks of distance out of him. "The weather is unfair with me at the moment," said the skipper of Cheminées Poujoulat. "I have been blocked for hours in very light wind and now the wind is slowly coming in. The problem is that it's the same wind that is bringing Mike and Alex towards me at 20 knots. It's always stronger behind, so they are able to come back at me very quickly."

Mike Golding has been travelling so fast he's actually taken his foot off the gas. "I am now sticking to my tried and tested sail change schedule from the Vendée Globe [the singlehanded round the world race two years ago] - for me, no more carrying sails way beyond their range. It's more comfortable and best of all I can sleep better." While Ecover's skipper is delighted with progress relative to Stamm, he's got other things on his mind as well. "The sea surface temperature dropped dramatically last night. This morning it is around 6 degrees C which is definitely cold enough for ice to be present. During the night, screaming along at 20+ knots in the darkness, I flashed up the radar only a small contact 7 miles ahead of me to weather, an hour before I had seen lights of a ship, the first for two weeks. This however was 10 miles behind me and to leeward. I watched the contact for a while but it disappeared presumably it was a ship steaming across my bows ahead - but who knows? Regardless, from now we are on high alert for ice."

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 23 November 2006 )