Sporting Digest: Sailing

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The Independent Online
An inaugural Offshore World Championship was announced in Southampton yesterday by the chairman of the Offshore Racing Council, Hans Zuiderbaan. The week of four to six races will be held in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, in September. The second event, also for yachts racing under the IMS handicap system, for 2000 is expected to be on the east coast of the US.

Nearly five consecutive days of 50 to 70 mph winds have severely tested the competitors in the Around Alone Race but Britain's Mike Garside is partly thankful as his mainsail is "falling to pieces in front of my eyes". Being reefed down is causing him less disadvantage 135 miles behind the leader Jean-Pierre Mouligne and a similar distance ahead of the third- placed American, Brad Van Liew, who said yesterday: "I have had enough, thank you. I am looking forward to having these conditions ease."