A second leg win for Bernard Stamm puts him in good position to win Velux 5-Oceans Race 5/3/07

Bernard Stamm crossed the finish line at 22:59:25 local time (3:59:45 UTC) in Norfolk, Virginia on Saturday night to win Leg 2 of the Velux 5-Oceans Race.

After 48 days, 22 hours and 59 minutes 45 seconds and 15,725 miles of racing, the 43-year-old Swiss sailor finished a with a lead of over 3,000 miles over second-placed Kojiro Shiraishi of Japan.

After stepping ashore from his Pierre Rolland-deseigned Open 60 Cheminees Poujoulat Stamm commented: “I am very happy to win and I am very happy to be able to do what I planned to do with the weather. It was always quite right. I had a lot of time to do it and there was no pressure from the other competitors. It was easier than if there was ten boats in ten miles. It meant that I could concentrate on analysing the weather.

“Cape Horn was very rough. I don’t like Cape Horn and after that the most difficult place in the leg was the Doldrums. The Doldrums is a very difficult place to navigate. I hate the Doldrums. It’s a long leg. Everyone focused on the watermaker but it’s not a problem – there is rain. It’s a big problem when you are in the Sahara but not when you are in the Doldrums there is rain there everyday. I had lot of problems with the autopilot, with cars, with sails. When you lose your autopilot that is like losing your crew.

“I am still motivated because it’s still navigation and I have to be careful to sail properly because I could sink. There may not be lots of competition but I still have to finish to win.”

Having won leg 1 by three days, and now leg 2 by a good distance, Stamm looks set to take the overall race victory. However, the race scoring is calculated on elapsed time of the overall race so it is still possible – if he had to stop for some reason and take penalties – to lose his overall race lead.

The final 3,260-mile leg from Norfolk to Bilbao starts on 15 April which gives Stamm plenty of time to head back to France to see his new Open 60 for the first time. Stamm now owns the 2003 Farr-designed Open 60 formerly owned by and successfully competed in by Jean Pierre Dick.