The Dutch ketch Flyer has taken line honours in the first leg of the Whitbread Round-the-World yacht race.
The Dutch ketch Flyer has taken line honours in the first leg of the Whitbread Round-the-World yacht race. Flyer sailed into Table Bay at Cape Town, South Africa on Wednesday (5 October) having travelled from Portsmouth, England in 38 days and 21 hours. The reduced by 54 hours the time record of 42 days set by the British Ketch Burton Cutter in the 1973/74 round-the-world race.
SYNOPSIS: The final stage was frustrating for Flyer's skipper and crew. At 5 a.m. they were in sight of Green Point Lighthouse but the wind died. They had already beaten Burton Cutter's record, but the five hours they spent becalmed just off the coast diminished their achievement, in the record book.
It was not until 10 a.m. that Flyer was given the finishing line gun to end her first leg. The Ketch is also a candidate for handicap honours on this leg, though this will not be clear until more yachts have crossed the line.
It was a triumph for Flyer and her international crew consisting of four Dutchmen, two Americans, two New Zealanders two Britons and one Frenchmen.
After the rigours of their weeks at sea, the Flyer's crew were sailing into a whirl of social activity that had been planned for them in Cape Town, Thirty leading members of the city's Dutch community had paid for wads of hospitality vouchers to be handed to each crew member.
An added pleasure for Flayer's crew was their having won a private duel with the British ketch King's Legano. However, owner and skipper Cornelius van Ritschoten was only guardedly optimistic.