The last stage of the Whitbread Round-the-World Yacht Race began for another eight of the seventeen competitors when they set off from Brazil's Rio de Janeiro on Friday (8 March).
The last stage of the Whitbread Round-the-World Yacht Race began for another eight of the seventeen competitors when they set off from Brazil's Rio de Janeiro on Friday (8 March). Ahead of them was the last stage of the race, which takes them five thousand five hundred miles across the Atlantic to Portsmouth on Britain's south coast.
They are due to arrive there soon after Easter. In order to cut down the arrival period, the start of the final leg has been staggered -- according to handicaps so they will arrive more closely together. The first three yachts to set off from Rio left on Wednesday (6 March). They were the Polish ketches 'Copernicus' and 'Otago', and the German yawl 'Peter von Danzig'.
The yachts that left on Friday included three Italian craft, three French, and two British. The Italians were the 'Tauranga', the 'Guia', and the 'CS and RB'. The French competitors included 'Penduick Three', which is only competing in the last leg of the race. The other two were '33 Export' and the schooner 'Grand Louis'. The two British departures were the 'Adventure' and 'British Soldier'.
Three more competitors are expected to leave on Sunday. They include the Mexican ketch 'Sayula Two', which is leading the race on handicap. The other two are the French ketch 'Kriter' and Britain's 'Second Life'. The last three competitors will leave on Monday.
The British Royal Navy entrant, 'Adventure', lies second to the 'Sayula' overall on handicap. 'Adventure' would have to make up about 33 hours on the Mexican yacht to become the outright winner. This would mean that she would have to improve her performance (on the average she set up over the first 21,000 miles) by six miles a day.