With fickle winds the order of the day, Skipper Ricky Chalmers must keep his crew focused 16/10/07

With only 18 nautical miles to the finish at midday today, and a 68 nautical mile lead, the skipper and crew of Durban 2010 and Beyond will be trying not to get too excited as they enter their last few hours of racing. With fickle winds the order of the day near the finish line Skipper Ricky Chalmers will be will be trying to keep his crew focused until they cross the line to claim first place of Race 2 of the Clipper 07-08 Round the World Yacht Race.

Joff Bailey, Race Director, said: “The estimated arrival time for Durban 2010 and Beyond is around noon local time at the Marina in Salvador, possibly a little bit before if they do not encounter the lighter winds around the Bahia area.”

Skipper Ricky Chalmers is obviously confident they will finish today as he reported earlier this morning: “We’ve got 75 miles to go, and we have been trucking hard all night, ETA daylight today!”

The skipper of Glasgow: Scotland with style, Hannah Jenner, is starting to feel the pressure, reflected in her comments this morning: “Just when we could start to taste the cold beer along comes a wind hole…as if things weren’t intense enough already!”

There is a fierce battle going on at the other end of the fleet with New York and Jamaica fighting hard to avoid being the last boat across the finish line. With only a couple of miles separating the two boats the crews will be working hard to get every ounce of energy out of the wind and increase their boat speeds. The boats are likely to be in sight of each other which increases the pressure and will make for some stressful sailing as they count down the last few hundred miles to the finish.

Jamaica skipper, Simon Bradley, explained: “Jamaica is still rocking along, the crew are working hard but are showing the signs of their fourth week at sea, experience levels are going up and energy levels are going down, but they are still determined and will not give up.”

Liverpool 08 has comfortably extended their lead over Hull & Humber and all being well should be able to secure a fourth place to add to their second place podium position on Race 1 into La Rochelle and consolidate a good start to their overall campaign.

With Durban 2010 and Beyond due to arrive in Salvador in the next couple of hours and Glasgow: Scotland with style Clipper approximately 12 hours behind, the Terminal Maritimo da Bahia in Salvador will soon start to come to life as each boat receives a warm Brasilian welcome.