Velux 5 Oceans skipper Chris Stanmore-Major has dramatically stolen second place in a thrilling finale to the third ocean sprint. CSM was around 200 nautical miles behind race rivals Derek Hatfield and Zbigniew ‘Gutek’ Gutkowski who were engaged in a fight for second and third positions, just one week ago.
Velux 5 Oceans skipper Chris Stanmore-Major onboard his yacht Spartan
But after slowly reeling in his opposition, CSM took advantage of better breeze on his more offshore route up the coast of South America and passed the pair overnight to claim second position. The 1200 UTC position report gave him a lead over third placed Gutek of 36 miles, with Derek a further ten miles behind.
Despite his happiness at passing his rivals, CSM remained focused this morning on keeping his speed on Spartan up and protecting his lead over Derek and Gutek.
'My lead is a work in progress and I wouldn’t in any way underestimate the ability of this situation to change rapidly,' CSM said. 'We’re still not out of it yet. The thing that has given me the biggest boost is gaining miles on the other guys – that is unsolicited joy. As soon as you get into a position where you are ahead of them you are suddenly aware that at any moment they might find a different gear and sail past. Not until I am tied up on the dock next to Brad will I believe I am in second.'
American ocean racer Brad Van Liew won ocean sprint three yesterday crossing the finish line at around 5.16pm local time. After 24 days at sea and more than 6,500 nautical miles sailed, the remaining three skippers are separated by just 50 nautical miles. With less than 250 miles left to sail to the leg three finish line in Punta del Este, Uruguay, the race is set for an exhilarating climax.
Positions at 1200 UTC
Skipper / distance to finish (nm) / distance to leader/ distance covered in last 24 hours (nm) / average speed in last 24 hours (kts)
Brad Van Liew, Le Pingouin: Finished Tuesday March 1, 2011
Chris Stanmore-Major, Spartan: 214/ 0 / 169.8 / 7.1
Zbigniew Gutkowski, Operon Racing: 250.1 / 36.1 / 116.4 / 4.8
Derek Hatfield, Active House: 261.7 / 47.8 / 101.5/ 4.2