Global Ocean Race final two Class40s head to Leg 5 finish

Nico and Frans Budel are hoping for a Dutch victory in the European Championships - Global Ocean Race 2011-12
Global Ocean Race 2011-12 (GOR) remaining two class40s are on the twenty first day of racing in leg five from Charleston, USA to France.

With less than 300 miles remaining for the Class40s, it’s looking like a busy Sunday in Port Olona, Les Sables d’Olonne, with an ETA for the South African team on Phesheya-Racing of 10:00-01:00 UTC (00:00-03:00 local) if the duo pick up the forecast breeze, and 16:00-18:00 UTC (18:00-20:00 local) for the Dutch team on Sec. Hayai.

In third place with Phesheya-Racing, Phillippa Hutton-Squire and Nick Leggatt had 122 miles remaining to the final finish line of the GOR at 12:00 GMT on Saturday and reported building winds throughout the afternoon. Fortunately, the wind had been relatively calm as the South African duo crossed the busy shipping lanes running through the Bay of Biscay after 4,000 miles of racing through the North Atlantic from Charleston, USA: 'We threaded our way through the ‘Iron Curtain’ with an almost continuous stream of ships,' reported Nick Leggatt on Saturday morning as 19 ships crossed the Class40’s course in a matter of hours. 'At times we felt a bit like a tortoise trying to cross a busy road as some of these giant ships passed quite close to us!' he continues.

Meanwhile, 162 miles west of Phesheya-Racing on Saturday afternoon, the Dutch father-and-son duo of Nico and Frans Budel had strong conditions on Friday night: 'The wind increased to a steady 24-26 knots and this morning it built to around 30+ knots, but now we have 28-30 knots,' reported Frans Budel from Sec. Hayai at midday on Saturday. 'We’re reaching with two reefs and staysail,' he confirms. 'It’s not as bad as we thought it would be as the sea is quite calm and the waves aren’t that big at the moment, although there’s a lot of spray, but that’s normal for reaching.'

Although both of the Budels are keenly waiting for the result of the European Championship game between Holland and Denmark on Saturday afternoon, they have an urgent appointment in Les Sables d’Olonne as friends, family and supporters of the Dutch team continue to arrive at the GOR’s finish port: 'We have to get the speed up as we want to finish in daylight for all our family!' says Frans.

GOR leaderboard at 12:00 GMT 9/6/12:
1. Cessna Citation 17d 22h 50m 14s (162 points)
2. Financial Crisis 19d 01h 19m 48s (132 points)
3. Phesheya-Racing DTF 122 7.8kts
4. Sec. Hayai DTF 284 9.9kts

Global Ocean Race website