Sailing: Women's Challenge afloat

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The Independent Online
A RESCUE operation to put the US Women's Challenge yacht back into the Whitbread Round the World Race was being assembled in Punta del Este, Uruguay, last night, five days before the start of the second leg to Fremantle, Western Australia, writes Stuart Alexander.

The move followed the departure of the boat's American skipper, Nance Frank. The two senior members of her crew, Mikaele von Koskull of Finland and Adrienne Cahalan of Australia, who left after an acrimonious dispute over Frank's leadership style, expressed their readiness to rejoin the boat. This had been repossessed by the managers of the Yamaha syndicate which had chartered it to Frank. 'We are doing everything possible to make the boat ready to go on Saturday,' David Glen, the chairman of the syndicate, said.

Dawn Riley, who crewed for the all-woman Maiden boat on the last Whitbread race, and who would be first choice as skipper, was last night flying south from the United States to join the boat. Also believed to be set for senior roles are another Maiden veteran, Jenny Munday, and Marie-Claude Kieffer, a long-time colleague of the other French member of the crew, the watch leader Michele Paret, who occupied a similar role on Maiden.