The 18 yachts competing in the Withbread Round-The-Word race were bunched close together and making slow progress along New Zealand's north-east coast on Wednesday (28 December).
GV PAN FROM: Starter's gun and crowd on shore TO yachts starting race.
SV: 'Pen Duick VI'.
SV: 'Health's Condor'.
SV: 'ADB Accutrac'
SV: 'King's Legend'.
AERIAL VIEW: 'Flyer', leader in race (TWO SHOTS)
AERIAL VIEW & GV: Yachts leave. (SEVEN SHOTS)
SIMPSON: "Two yachts were penalised for being over the starting line. 'Great Britain Two' lost 10 minutes and '33 Export' lost five minutes. The 15 yachts in the race have been joined at Auckland by a late entrant 'Pen Duick Six'. She will race over the last two legs and is looking for live honours. Her main rival will be 'Health's Condor'. 'Condor' is build of African mahogany, one of only two wooden hulled yachts in the race. The Ketch 'ADC Accutract', skippered by British yachtswoman Clare Francis comes from the design table of Sparkman and Stevens of the United States. The five Sparkman and Stevens designed yachts hold five of the top six places in the race so far. 'King's Legend' is another one of the five. She is only half an hour behind the race leader. And on corrected times, the race leader is the Dutch Yacht 'Flyer'. She is especially designed just for this race. From Auckland, the yachts head for Rio de Janeiro via Cape Horn. They're expected to be in Rio in a month's time. There they'll rest before the final short dash to Portsmouth. All going well, they'll probably finish in England in April. The leg they started to today could well be the hardest. The yachts are heading south-east to catch the westerly wind and icebergs pose some danger. But if they face cold days ahead, at least they were given a warm farewell by the thousands of Aucklanders who turned out to see the fleet leave New Zealand. This is Bill Simpson from the Hauraki Gulf."
REPORTER: BILL SIMPSON
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The 18 yachts competing in the Withbread Round-The-Word race were bunched close together and making slow progress along New Zealand's north-east coast on Wednesday (28 December). They set sail from near Auckland in New Zealand on Boxing Day on the third leg of the race, bound for Rio de Janeiro which they're expected to reach in a month's time. This leg, which will take them through the famous "Roaring Forties" where they could face winds of 70 miles per hour or more, is considered the most dangerous. But so far their progress has been hampered by light breeze which have enabled the smaller yachts in the fleet to catch up with the leaders. Reporter Bill Simpson of New Zealand's TV-2 described the fleet's departure.