As Ecover wrestles with a giant squid, Southern Man AGD gets her rudder repaired in the V5O 3/11/06

Kiwi skipper Graham Dalton, on board his yacht Southern Man AGD, informed VELUX 5 OCEAN race organizers that at 0630 UTC he started his engine and was heading for the small island of Porto Santo, located just to the east of the Madeira Islands, to make repairs to the port rudder of his open 50. Although the problem is not a serious one, it has the potential to escalate into a much more serious issue further into the leg. The Southern Ocean is not a place where risks can be taken. Dalton hopes to be back out racing once he has served his 48 hour time penalty for seeking outside assistance.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston was once again in high spirits after locating a bottle of Rioja. He is heading towards the west of Madeira after deciding he has spent too much time east. During the beat west his yacht was hit by several squalls, with winds gusting up to as high as 49kts, causing Sir Robin to make numerous sail changes. He continues to push himself to the limit in order to stay in contention with the leading pack as they start to pull away.

Meanwhile Mike Golding, the leading Brit in the race, was also in a good mood this morning despite an incident with a giant squid, which has covered his hull and the lower part of his sails in ink. Mike Golding commented: “The decks and even the foot of the head sail were covered in what looks like squid ink and there’s an awful lot of it. It looks like it was shot from ahead. Whatever it was, it was pretty big, but I’m not worried – I’m bigger!”

Mike Golding also described his disappointment at the news that he has lost time to the race leader Bernard Stamm, although he felt with a bit of luck he may well catch up to Kojiro Shiraishi (JPN) by tomorrow night.

Spanish sailor Unai Basurko on PAKEA is playing cath up from the back of the fleet. He said: “I am starting to reap the benefits of sailing further west of the fleet, and I am confident that I will cut the gap quickly. With no problems to report onboard and favourable weather conditions I am looking forward to getting further south into some warmer weather.”

Bernard Stamm (SUI) continues to lead over second placed Kojiro Shiraishi although it is Unai Basurko (ESP) who is recording the fastest speeds of 14.2kts at present, as he pushes to make up lost ground following a second repair pit stop in (Vigo, Spain)

Positions as at Friday 3 November 2006

Bernard Stamm – Cheminees Poujoulat SUI 2042 distance to finish
Kojiro Shirashi – Spirit of Yukoh JPN 246 distance to leader
Mike Golding – Ecover GBR 463 distance to leader
Alex Thomson – Hugo Boss 580 distance to leader
Robin Knox-Johnston – Saga Insurance GBR 1189 distance to leader
Graham Dalton – Southern Man NZL 1284 distance to leader
Unai Basurko – Pakea ESP 1620 distance to leader