BT Global Challenge Finish

July 2 - Southampton, UK

On Saturday, June 30, skipper Conrad Humphreys and the LG FLATIRON team clinched the overall title with a win in Leg Seven of the BT Global Challenge. On September 10, 2000, 12 identical 72-ft monohulls crossed the starting line in Southampton, England, beginning the 30,000-mile race around the world, the wrong way, with seven stops.

Graphic Courtesy

Almost ten months later, in a turbulent battle in turbulent seas, cheered by thousands of spectators, LG FLATIRON pulled off an 11th-hour victory over TeamSpirIT and Norwich Union to cross the Southampton finish line at 14:06:13 GMT. LG Flatiron had steadily moved up the leaderboard during the 700-mile Leg Seven, but only on the final day did they take the lead.

Betsy Crowfoot reports, "Leg Seven was by far the most aggressive of the BT Global Challenge 2000/01, beginning with the start in La Rochelle, France... The skippers were feeling their oats. They jockeyed tightly in the pre-start area and then, bang! They were off on the final leg home.

"Bang, again! Four yachts were over the start line prematurely. Burdened with On Course Side penalties, the quartet stood off for the required hour. These boats - Quadstone, VERITAS, Spirit of Hong Kong and Save the Children - would struggle to make up for this setback during the entire 700-mile leg.

"Unlike prior legs, the final La Rochelle to Southampton stretch delivered non-stop breeze to the fleet...

"TeamSpirIT had taken an early lead in Leg Seven. They held that lead from Wednesday morning until Saturday morning, when Norwich Union advanced to the front slot. Still, TeamSpirIT, Norwich Union and LG FLATIRON were just within one mile of each other at daybreak on Saturday, and trading places.

"Along the way from La Rochelle to Southampton, the crews crossed their outbound track from 10 months ago, and celebrated the feat of circumnavigating the globe - the wrong way - on the world's toughest yacht race." To read Crowfoot's complete article, see

LG FLATIRON charges for the finish line at Netley
Photo Jennifer Proulx Courtesy

Overall Results: 1. LG FLATIRON; 2. Compaq; 3. BP; 4. Logica; 5. TeamSpirIT; 6. Spirit of Hong Kong; 6. Quadstone; 7. Norwich Union; 8. Isle of Man; 9. VERITAS; 10. Save the Children; 10. Olympic Group

Conrad Humphreys, with the Princess Royal Trophy, says the Challenge had a "fairy tale ending."
Photo Jennifer Proulx Courtesy

ESPN 2 has been airing coverage of the BT Global Challenge in 30-minute episodes, each episode covering one leg of the race. Episode 6 airs Sunday, July 22, and Episode 7 airs Wednesday, August 15, and Monday, August 27. Times have not been announced yet.

TransPac Update

July 2 - Long Beach

Rich Roberts reports from the start line of the TransPac that, "There was barely a breath of air but a rambunctious start punctuated by a protest Sunday as the last 12 boats set sail in the 41st Transpacific Yacht Race.

"Rated by potential speed, four are in Division I, the other eight in Division II. Roy E. Disney's record holder Pyewacket emerged among the early leaders from a high-anxiety scramble at the starting line. The fleet spread out on opposite tacks seeking the fastest route to the west end of Santa Catalina
Island, 19.7 miles away and the only mark of the 2,225-nautical mile course to Honolulu.

"Philippe Kahn's new 75-foot Pegasus got off clear and ahead at the committee boat end of the 300-yard-long line, but at the other end several boats fell into a traffic jam not unlike a city street that suddenly diminishes from three lanes to one. Merlin's Reata, with new owner Al Micallef conspicuous in a white Stetson, tried to poke its star-studded bow between Bob Lane's Medicine Man and the inflatable orange buoy. No way. Members of Medicine Man's crew held Merlin's Reata off with their hands as the latter went dead in the water. [See photo sequence below.]

"The rebuilt Merlin's Reata, until recently known simply as Merlin since 1977 when it set a TransPac record that stood for 20 years, executed a penalty turn for touching the mark, crossed the line again five minutes later and unfurled a red protest flag. The claim apparently will be that Medicine Man failed
to give room. That issue will be resolved after the boats finish in the next week to 10 days.

"Among the smaller Division III and IV boats that started Saturday, Grant Vaughan's Andrews 53 Cantata from San Francisco and Seth Radow's new Sydney 40 OD-T from Marina del Rey held early leads, respectively averaging 7.9 and 7.0 knots in moderate breeze."

Pyewacket profile. That's Roy E. Disney driving at the start.
Photo Rich Roberts

For current standings, Rich's full report and more of his excellent starting line photos, see

Medicine Man (left) and Merlin's Reata approach the starting line pin (Pegasus is in the middle background).

Medicine Man (left) crew try to hold off Merlin's Reata as it heads up to get past the pin.

Merlin's Reata touches the pin.
Photos Rich Roberts


July 2 - The Pacific Ocean and Cyberspace

Who is out making passages in the Pacific and what kind of weather are they having? Check out YOTREPS - 'yacht reports' - at

Weather Updates

July 2 - Pacific Ocean

San Francisco Bay Weather

To see what the winds are like on the Bay and just outside the Gate right now, check out

California Coast Weather

Looking for current as well as recent wind and sea readings from 17 buoys and stations between Pt. Arena and the Mexican border? Here's the place - which has further links to weather buoys and stations all over the U.S.:

Pacific Sea State

Check out the Pacific Ocean sea states at:
For another view, see

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