Sailing: Fleet on alert for damaged British boat

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The Independent Online
THE Whitbread fleet was put on alert last night as the British entry, Dolphin & Youth, reported that three of their keel bolts had sheered and that movement could be felt in the seven-tonne structure, writes Stuart Alexander.

The yacht, lying sixth in the Whitbread 60 class, is 1,000 miles west of Cape Horn with no landfall available. The nearest yacht is Dennis Conner's Winston.

The Winston skipper, Brad Butterworth, was contacted by race headquarters near Southampton as he was 65 miles north-east of Dolphin. Ross Field's Yamaha is 120 miles away and Dawn Riley's Heineken 140 miles astern, but no yacht has been asked to change course.

'While I do not perceive the likelihood of a catastrophic failure, I am naturally concerned whenever a boat reports a problem,' the race director, Ian Bailey-Willmot, said.

Nearly 100 miles ahead, Chris Dickson's Tokio is maintaining a 16-mile lead over Javier de la Gandara in Galicia, with Lawrie Smith a further 18 miles back in third.

WHITBREAD ROUND THE WORLD RACE Fourth leg (Auckland to Punta del Este, Uruguay) Overall positions with miles to finish: Maxi class: 1 New Zealand Endeavour (NZ) 2,350; 2 Merit Cup (Swit) 2,447; 3 La Poste (Fr) 2,483; 4 Uruguay Natural (Urug) 3,009. Whitbread 60s: 1 Tokio (Japan) 2,296; 2 Galicia '93 Pescanova (Sp) 2,312; 3 Intrum Justitia (Europe) 2,330; 4 Yamaha (Japan/NZ) 2,380; 5 Winston (US) 2,449; 6 Dolphin & Youth (GB) 2,485; 7 Brooksfield (It) 2,535; 8 Heineken (US) 2,628; 9 Hetman Schaldachny (Ukr) 2,854; 10 Odessa (Ukr) 2,947.

BT Results Service