Global Challenge crews are settling into life on board after a couple of bumpy days

As the Global Challenge 2004/05 fleet races towards the first port and away from the storms of the first two days of racing, the teams have now been rewarded with beautiful sunshine and calmer seas as they continue to cross Biscay and head towards the Canary Islands.

Team Save the Children took the first flyer of the race by heading way out west as the fleet began its journey across the Bay of Biscay. Such moves can provide valuable psychological boosts and put pressure on the teams in front.

At first the tactical gamble only increased the distance between them and fleet leader, Spirit of Sark, to 49nm. However, this morning they had moved up from last to 10th place. BP Explorer is now only 9nm behind the leaders, Spirit of Sark. And the 6-strong chasing pack consisting of 3rd to 8th place is spread across just 17nm of water. The battle at the tail end of the fleet is separated by 12nm, with the last four yachts fighting hard in the knowledge that there is still over 5,800nm to go until Buenos Aires.

Many of the crews who suffered with seasickness in the first few hours of the race have now found their sea legs and are back up on deck determined to make up any vital miles lost.

Ben Beasley, Crew Volunteer aboard VAIO described conditions on the foredeck during the rough stuff: “One minute you are sitting on the deck, the next you’re clinging on for dear life with your legs flying horizontally behind you whilst a ton of water is poured over you!” Although Ben continued to say that he “worryingly found the whole experience very exciting!”

The routine of life on board has started to kick in, and with their noses pointing towards South America, the tone of the logs are increasingly positive.

Steve Gush on board Imagine It. Done. notes that the crew is becoming accustomed to the watch system that structures life on a racing yacht:

“As I write this the weather has calmed down and the sun is out, gradually people are recovering from various degrees of seasickness and we are starting to get into our pattern of life.”

Now the Crew Volunteers are no longer Doctors, Accountants, Funeral Directors or Students, they are racing teams each determined to make it to Buenos Aires first.

Leader board:

YachtDistance to finish

Isle of Sark 5,699

BP Explorer 5,708

Samsung 5,713


Barclays Adventurer 5,719

Team Stelmar 5,722

Imagine It. Done. 5,722

SAIC La Jolla 5,730

VAIO 5,735

Team Save the Children 5,740

Me to You 5,741

Pindar 5,747