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Sailor Emma Richards drops to 3rd in Around Alone


10/25/2002

In a race as long as the Around Alone, you never expect to see your competition except during the time spent at each stopover. The ocean is vast and the course options numerous, so it's unlikely that one of your competitors will be going the same way as you. Try telling that to Alan Paris on BTC Velocity and Derek Hatfield on Spirit of Canada. Since leaving Spain two days ago, the two yachts have been crossing tacks as they sail down the Portuguese coast. This morning a scant two miles separated them. Derek Hatfield sent a short email: "Alan Paris and I have been sharing the same water for a day now and he is currently about two miles behind," he wrote. On board BTC Velocity, Paris summed up what is ahead of them: " Today will be very tactical as we negotiate a high pressure that sits between where we are, and the trade winds off Morocco. There is no way around this high, but straight through it."

From the daily logs, which can be read online at www.aroundalone.com, a deep bond is forming between the sailors. It will strengthen as the race progresses. This bond is what the Around Alone is all about. When the sailors first meet prior to the start, they are drawn together by the same driving ambition; to sail around the world alone. As the race progresses the real personalities of each sailor becomes more evident and the friendships grow. As Brad van Liew, skipper of Tommy Hilfiger Freedom America related on a satellite call yesterday. "The stop in Spain was painful, but it was a real good opportunity for all of the Class 2 skippers to really get to know each other away from the race officials and away from family," he said. "These are the most wonderful bunch of guys and we now have a firm bond that will last not only for the race, but forever."

One such example comes through the onboard email system, which has been used to trade jokes. Thierry Dubois on Solidaires sent a short email to Emma Richards on Pindar. Dubois has recently overtaken the British sailor and Thierry in his email wrote that he could "smell YOUNG BLOND ENGLISH GIRL in the area." Emma replied that it was a lot better than being downwind of a Frenchman!

Yesterday evening, the Around Alone race organization received the good news that Simone Bianchetti and Tiscali would continue in Around Alone. The 34yr old Italian skipper commented then: "We'll do everything possible to repair the damages and start again. Our determination, Tiscali's and mine, is still intact. I have no other choice than keep fighting." Throughout all the tough decisions and careful evaluation that has been carried out these last 5 days, time has been ticking away, as his main rivals are hurtling down the North African coastline. However Simone and Tiscali are still very much in the race, and still have time and opportunity to sail the boat down to Cape Town in order to make the start on December 8th alongside the other Class 1 competitors for the third Southern Ocean Leg to Tauranga, NZ.

On the race website, there is one image of Tiscali tied to the dock in Carino (taken from a video film) her deck still awash with bits of mast and rigging.

Positions at 1400hrs UTC 25 October

Class 1
Boat, Skipper
1 Bobst Group Armor-Lux, Bernard Stamm
2 Solidaires, Thierry Dubois
3 Pindar, Emma Richards
4 Hexagon, Graham Dalton
5 Ocean Planet, Bruce Schwab
6 Tiscali, Simone Bianchetti

Class 2
Boat, Skipper
1 Tommy Hilfiger, Brad Van Liew
2 Spirit of yukoh, Kojiro Shiraishi
3 Spirit of Canada, Derek Hatfield
4 BTC Velocity, Alan S. Paris
5 Everest Horizontal, Tim Kent
6 Bayer Ascensia, John Dennis

For more information check out www.aroundalone.com



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