Sailing: Merriweather making merry

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DIFFERENCES in performance despite even winds has led to a bunching of the British Steel Challenge fleet as it makes its way north to the equator on the last leg from Cape Town to Southampton, writes Stuart Alexander. One hundred miles covers the first to last of the 10 boats.

Richard Merriweather, on Commercial Union, is four miles ahead of Richard Tudor's British Steel II. Tudor is keen to restore his reputation having won the first leg to Rio, been dismasted on the second and sailing an indifferent third leg.

Thierry Bielak is claiming a new world speed record of 45.34 knots, which, at 52.17 miles per hour, is the first to break the 50mph barrier. The mark was set in a 10 square- metre windsurfer on the canal course of Les Saintes Marie de la Mer at the weekend.