Sailing: Standbridge on board with Conner

Having made protracted attempts to organise his own British challenge for 1997-98, the four-times Whitbread veteran Paul Standbridge is to join Dennis Conner's American Toshiba Challenge as watch captain for Chris Dickson.

Standbridge joins the Australian navigator Andrew Cape and expects two more senior appointments in the near future.

Conner's Bruce Farr-designed yacht is being built in the United States. The deck is already under construction but work on the hull will be delayed as long as possible to incorporate late modifications to the design and ideas.

Dickson was close to winning the 1993-94 race at his first attempt until being dismasted on the leg from Uruguay to Fort Lauderdale. As the race was then calculated on total elapsed time, his chances immediately evaporated. In 1997-98 each leg will count separately to a points-based result.

The eight yachts in the Clipper '96 race organised by Sir Robin Knox- Johnston for fare-paying crews, are expected to finish their transatlantic leg from Madeira for Fort Lauderdale over the next 24 hours led by Ariel, skippered by Raz Turner.

Yves Parlier's radically designed Aquitaine Innovations continues to lead the Vendee Globe single handed non-stop round-the-world race from Isabelle Autissier and Herve Laurent.