After nine and a half months of hugely competitive sailing final preparations are being made for the start of Leg 7 of the BT Global Challenge, the sprint to Southampton
After nine and a half months of hugely competitive sailing, final preparations are being made for the start of Leg 7 of the BT Global Challenge, the sprint to Southampton. Having enjoyed a brief respite in a warm and sunny La Rochelle, crews of the 12 yachts are making last minute adjustments ready for the race across the channel. There is all to play for as every one of the yachts will be looking to win the final leg and be remembered as the first yacht to sail into Ocean Village.
For Compaq NonStop and LG FLATRON the leg will determine who walks away with ‘The Princess Royal Trophy’ having won the race overall. With a recent protest against LG FLATRON having been dismissed just five points separate the two teams in the race table. As Compaq NonStop’s Australian skipper Will Oxley said: “Everything we have prepared for, every leg we have raced finally comes down to this leg. This marks the culmination of a game plan we started back in September when we sailed out of The Solent and into The Atlantic – we will give it everything!”
Three yachts will also be competing for podium honours as the fight for third place is still wide open. BP Explorer, Quadstone and Logica all lie within 10 points of each other and anyone could all find themselves taking third place overall.
After over 32,000 miles of racing every crewmember will want to be part of the winning team to cross the line first into Southampton. As Olympic Group’s skipper Manley Hopkinson explained, the last leg will be the most competitive: “We have all had a fantastic race and every one of us has taken something away whether that be friendships or just a great experience. However, that all means nothing as we race back to Southampton! The crew that crosses the line first will always be remembered as the first to arrive and no matter what previous performances there have been this is the win we all want!”
With thousands expected in Southampton to welcome the fleet home the BT Global Challenge’s final leg is set to be the most competitive and emotional to date. Race re-start is at 1300 hours (local) on Tuesday 26th June and the fleet is expected to arrive in Ocean Village, Southampton from 1400 hours (local) on Saturday 30th June.
Overall Results after 6 legs: 1 LG FLATRON
5 Spirit of Hong Kong
6= Isle of Man
9= Norwich Union
11 Olympic Group
12 Save the Children