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THE RACE

Thirty-one days ago the adventure known as The Race began. Today 16 February sees the leader CLUB MED blazing toward Cook Strait at speeds of 23 knots. The Race has provided daily drama and action to captivate followers around the world. 23,000-plus miles laid before the competitors. Today, at 1900 Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), just under 12,000 miles to the finish For the Club Med. with its average speed, near 19 knots it is estimated on paper for a 60-day circumnavigation !!!

A month ago, questions were abundant as to the reliability of these boats in the open ocean. Although there have been some instances of damage, most notably aboard Team Adventure. This days race director Denis Horeau reported: "The breakage situation is satisfactory after one month into the race and more than 12,000 sea miles, even more so when you consider that some of the boats were launched just a month before the start," he said.

A month ago, many believed these boats were speedsters, but no one quite knew how much they could be pushed. Since the start, the three new Gilles Ollier-designed 110-foot sisterships, running 1-2-3 in the race, have all logged 600-mile days, with Team Adventure the pole sitter after logging 617.44 miles on Jan. 17.
Sean McNeill, for Quokka Sports.


18/2/2001

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