With the start of the EDS Atlantic Challenge fifth leg less than 24 hours away, skipper Roland ‘Bilou’ Jourdain brings a hastily restored Sill into Boston


They were soaked from head to foot by the incessant rain when they arrived at 1200 GMT in Boston yesterday but there was nothing damp about the spirit of Roland Jourdain and the crew of his Open 60 Sill Plein Fruit. “We are really happy to be here,” said a relieved and smiling Gael Le Cléac’h.

They left Norfolk VA on Wednesday night with a jury rig while their mast underwent surgery. The iron jib proved fruitful for the first few hours but when a 25-knot breeze filled in, their jury wardrobe of cut-down main and J-24 spinnaker and genoa started pulling. “We did 7 knots,” enthused Le Cléac’h

The mast that collapsed so spectacularly at the start of the fourth leg has been cobbled back to usefulness. It has been transported from Charlotte VA to Boston where it will be restepped today. Thanks to a unanimous decision by fellow competitors to delay the start 24 hours, Sill will be on the startline and hoping to salvage something from what looked like an invincible series of results just a few days ago.