Fourteen surviving yachts competing in the Whitbread Round the World Race set out for third leg of their epic contest on Saturday (December 29).
Fourteen surviving yachts competing in the Whitbread Round the World Race set out for third leg of their epic contest on Saturday (December 29). The competitors sailed from Sydney at the start of the 8,000 mile (13,000 km) stage round the Horn to Rio.
The start from Sydney had been delayed for 24-hours to enable smaller competitors to carry out necessary repairs. Then on Friday night, Australian police searched the British entry Great Britain II following a warning that there was a bomb hidden aboard. Nothing was found and police believe the call was made by a sympathiser of the Irish Republican Army.
The fourteen competitors were led out to sea by the big French yacht, Penduick VI, captained by Eric Tabarly. They had good sailing conditions on the first day -- but some stormy weather lay ahead as the yachts round the Horn.
This stage in the race is expected to take at least two months.
SYNOPSIS: Crews aboard the fourteen surviving yachts in the current round-the-world race prepared for another tough test of seamanship on Saturday. Ahead of them lay the eight-thousand mile stage of the race from Sydney, Australia, to Rio de Janeiro -- including one of the most notoriously difficult passages, the voyage round the Horn. It's expected to be February before the first yachts reach Rio, so the crews were taking aboard provisions for at least two months.
The start from Sydney had been delayed for twenty-four hours to allow some entries, like the yacht British Soldier, to undertake extensive repairs. These had been the late arrivals at Sydney, and had received a heavy battering in the unusually stormy Southern Ocean.
The night before the start, another British entry -- Great Britain the Third -- had been the centre of a bomb scare. Police searched the yacht after a warning that a bomb was aboard. Nothing was found.
The fourteen remaining contestants started the third stage of the race in good sailing conditions.
The French yacht, Penduick the Sixth, led the entries out to sea. The overall leader on handicap after the first two stages was Savula the Second, a Mexican ketch skippered by washing-machine millionaire Ramon Carlin. The winner of the first stage of the first stage of the race from Portsmouth to Cape Town, the British Navy entry Adventure, was in second place overall.