The EDS Atlantic Challenge fleet skippers have unanimously agreed to postpone the start of the fifth leg – from Boston to St Malo – to allow Roland Jourdain to get Sill Plein Fruit to the start line

The recent spat, over who did what and when with routing information for the third leg of the EDS Atlantic Challenge, was seized upon by the non-sailing press in a drearily predictable way. Those of us gullible enough to accept this as fact are left with the impression that Hall, MacArthur and Golding are just a glance away from flying at each others’ throats and scrapping in a pile of multi-coloured Gore-Tex. Obviously this is not the case, as yesterday’s decision highlights.

All four competing skippers (AlphaGraphics skipper Helena Darvelid included) agreed that the start should be set back 24 hours to allow Roland Jourdain to complete repairs to his shattered mast. As Sill heads for Boston under jury rig, the race mast is undergoing emergency surgery but Jourdain is confident the mast will be stepped, rigged and ready to go on Tuesday.

“I am very grateful to all the skippers for their show of support by postponing the start by a day,” Jourdain said in a phone link-up to an assembled crowd in Boston. “You would never see the Schumacher brothers making such a gesture. This goes to the heart of the EDS Atlantic Challenge and to the heart of professional sailing. It’s why we love this sport so much.”