BP Claims Second

BP has finished the first leg of the gruelling 30,000-mile BT Global Challenge in second place.

Nearly five hours after Quadstone crossed the finish line in first place, BP skipper Mark Denton and his crew sailed into Boston harbour at the offical time of 18:05:49 GMT.

With the wind blowing down the middle of the harbour the crew took about 45 minutes to travel from the harbour entrance to the finish line as they were forced to regularly tack across the harbour.
But as they finally completed the leg they were greeted by family and friends waiting on the quayside with spraying bottles of Champagne. Also greeting the team was the winning crew of Quadstone, dancing on the dock to the BP team song. In fact, among the first to climb onboard BP was Leg One-winning skipper Alex Phillips, who was greeted with a big hug from skipper Mark Denton who joked, "Well sailed, you buggers. I've been chasing you for days."

The last 48 hours have been anything but easy for the BP crew as they have continually fought LG FLATRON and Compaq for second place on the podium.

Crew volunteer Helen Couling summed up the feelings of the crew. She said: “It has been really frustrating getting to Boston ... working our socks off to keep ahead of LG and Compaq.”

While just 24 hours before they reached dry land fellow crew member Lauren Ginn said: “It is still a race for the finish line with the other boats so close behind. We will be disappointed if we are not second."

The first leg has seen BP jumping around the position table. As the fleet passed the Start Point on the second day of the Race it was in third place but just one day later they were languishing at the back of the field.

For the next couple of days they joined Isle of Man as the most northerly boats, a tactic which obviously paid off as they were suddenly catapulted into sixth place towards the end of the first week.

Here they floated around the middle of the field for a few days before spending the last days of the Race vying for second position.

Now the crew are safely on dry land and able to revel in those things they have only been able to dream of for the past couple of weeks.

As their top ten wish list says -- proper food, toilets, beer and loved ones will feature very highly.

Earlier in the day Quadstone had won the first leg of the Race to the cheers of about 100 waiting family and supporters.

A windy morning helped them speed towards the finish line 19 days after setting off from Southampton, UK.

Now the race is on for third and fourth place with only a few miles separating LG FLATRON and Compaq.

The fight for fifth and sixth places is even tighter with VERITAS and Isle of Man just a mile apart at times.