As storms subside, the final leg to Bilbao for the Velux 5 Oceans is set for Wednesday 17/04/07

While storms still lash the eastern coast of the United States, Race Director David Adams today set a new start date and time for the final leg of the Velux 5 Oceans – leg three to Bilbao (Basque Country) is now scheduled to commence at 1000 am local time (14:00 GMT) on Wednesday 18 April.

The noreaster storm that has been battering the Eastern seaboard of the United States since Sunday is expected to intensify overnight into Tuesday before beginning to weaken through the day tomorrow. Race organisers and the sailors felt that a start on Wednesday morning offers the best solution to guarantee the safety of the fleet and allow the competitors to get away as soon as possible from Norfolk, Virginia (USA).

The start is still expected to take place in a strong northerly wind with large seas, and event organisers in Norfolk are therefore advising spectators not to go out on the water to watch the yachts depart for Europe. With the start gun set to fire at 1000, the boats will leave their home in downtown Norfolk in the early hours of the morning before heading up the Elizabeth River to the line, which will be positioned in open water off the Virginian coast.

The postponed start helps Graham Dalton catch up to the rest of the fleet, who is now less than 1,000 miles from the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay. The Kiwi skipper is expected to arrive here Friday, within race rules, and set off for Bilbao after a required 72 hour stop over.