A skilful race on the longest leg of Around Alone, rewarded by a new sponsorship deal

Emma Richards has arrived in Salvador, Brazil, to take 4th place on the longest leg of Around Alone, nearly 7,000 miles from New Zealand. Emma finished just behind Simone Bianchetti, from whom she leads overall by one point.

Emma has sailed a calculated and skilful leg, not venturing too far south in the Southern Ocean, but instead turning on the power for the tactical 3,000 miles north from Cape Horn. She made her most significant gains on this stretch and at one point was only a few miles behind Bianchetti, but the two became separated again in light winds.

Emma also arrived to discover that she has an additional sponsor: Bird’s Eye Potato Waffles. The idea came about from one of her regular e-mails, in which she confessed that these were one of the things she was missing most.

“It’s a fantastic surprise at this late stage in the race to be attracting further sponsors, particularly a big brand like Birds Eye. I thought why not….it makes sense and I think they taste great.

“I am one of the few sailors who opts out of the seemingly obligatory diet of freeze dried food, but even my varied sailing diet of cous cous or pasta leaves me wanting something more appealing. This has been my toughest challenge to date, and when you are out there alone for weeks on end I really miss things that remind me of home – food wise, this is definitely Birds Eye potato waffles.”

Neither Simone Bianchetti nor Emma Richards finished before race leader Bernard Stamm’s 48-hour penalty had expired, so he still leads comfortably on points going into the final leg to Newport. Likewise, Brad Van Liew finished yesterday after a magnficent leg on his Open 50, Tommy Hilfiger Freedom America, in which he was far more in touch with the 60s in Class 1 than with the smaller boats of his own class. He is the runaway leader of Class 2.

So, for the last leg, the biggest race is between Emma and Simone, fighting it out for a top three position.