All fifteen boats competing in the Whitbread Round-the-World yacht race have now arrived in Auckland, New Zealand, after completing a marathon second leg from Cape Town in South Africa.
GV Yacht "Traite de Rome" with spinnaker out arriving Auckland harbour (2 shots)
SV Bow of "Gauloises Two" at sea
SV Helmsman of Gauloises Two
SV Member of crew being hoisted up sail and deck of yacht keeling over (2 shots)
SV Member of crew using a sextant to help plot position
SV Raising blue sail (2 shots)
GV Yacht approaching land (2 shots)
MV Members of the crew at helm (2 shots)
GV PAN FROM Another competitor TO Gauloises Two entering harbour (4 shots)
TV Gauloises Two tying up in harbour with people on another yacht singing and member of crew drinking champagne
This is the second Round-the World yacht race sponsored by the English beermakers, Whitbread. The first was in 1973/74. This one was started at Portsmouth on August 27, 1977.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: All fifteen boats competing in the Whitbread Round-the-World yacht race have now arrived in Auckland, New Zealand, after completing a marathon second leg from Cape Town in South Africa.
SYNOPSIS: The favourite for the race, Traite de Rome, was the second yacht into Auckland harbour, just half an hour behind the leader, the British entry, Adventure. The smallest yacht taking part, Traite de Rome is the official entry of the European Economic Community and is crewed by Europeans from nine countries.
All yachts in the race, had to contend with the heavy seas and strong winds in the region of the Southern Ocean called the Roaring Forties.
Most, however, coped better than the crew of the French yacht, Gauloises Two. After leaving Cape Town with the rest of the fleet, they had to put back to the South African port when their boat developed rudder trouble. This delayed them eight days and put Gauloises Two well at the back of the field. This was a disappointing setback for the yacht, which under another name, had done well in the same latitudes, in "Sydney to Hobart" races.
The New Zealand coastline just outside the port of Auckland was finally sighted 45 days out from Cape Town. For the crew of the French yacht the calm waters of the Hauraki Gulf were a welcome change after the rough seas and 50 knot winds they had encountered earlier on. However, it won't be such plain sailing for long. After a stopover in Auckland, Gauloises Two and the other competitors will set out in the most gruelling stage of the race...the third leg around the stormy Cape Horn and up the eastern coast of South America to Rio de Janeiro.
However that was a thought far from the minds of the crew of the Gauloises Two, when they received this spirited welcome from other competitors. Although she was last into port, just finishing a leg is proof alone of master seamanship.