Although Fehlmann had led for three-quarters of the race, Santana sneaked past in the light airs of the Bahamas. Two hours separated the two at the end of the 4,400 miles. The Spanish maxi, Fortuna, was third.
The British crews aboard the nine yachts tackling the second leg of the British Steel Challenge from Rio to Hobart, Tasmania, are preparing to spend Christmas in the depths of the southern ocean.
Richard Merriweather, who has pushed much further south in Commercial Union, has regained the lead from John Chittenden in Nuclear Electric. Richard Tudor and the crew of British Steel II are making slow progress to New Zealand in their dismasted yacht. Hopes that a mid-ocean fuel rendezvous could be arranged with a ship leaving New Zealand were set back as the ship has been delayed by repairs.
In the Vendee Globe non-stop round the world race for single- handers, the Welshman, Alan Thomas, in Cardiff Discovery has moved up to fourth place, overtaking a becalmed Jean-Luc van den Heede in Groupe Sofap Helvim. Still in the lead is Alain Gautier, of France, in Bagages Superior.
BRITSH STEEL CHALLENGE ROUND THE WORLD RACE (Second leg, Rio de Janeiro to Hobart) Leading positions (with miles to finish): 1 Commercial Union 2,182; 2 Nuclear Electric 2,185; 3 Hofbrau 2,344; 4 Coopers and Lybrand 2,423; 5 Heath Insured 2,469; 6 Group 4 2,484; 7 Pride of Teesside 2,492; 8 Interspray 2,720; 9 Rhone-Poulenc 2,988. Dismasted: British Steel II.
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