With a lead of only 15 minutes, the “BG Spirit” of the Australian skipper Andy Forbes won the third stage of the Global Challenge. His crew needed 7 days, 2 hours and eleven minutes for the course from Wellington / New Zealand to Sydney / Australia.
Second place on this stage of the amateur regattum the world was taken by the "Saic LJolla". Birgit Obermüller from Bremerhaven and her crew on the “Me to you” took third place on the podium during the regatta. They were only eight minutes away from second place.
Birgit Obermüller describes the stage from her point of view in an email to the YACHT:
The start day was very exciting. The course in Wellington Harbor was tight, and for the last 20 minutes before take-off we had to turn or jibe every minute or two to avoid colliding with another yacht. Then it started and we were so busy that I don't even know whether we crossed the starting line in seventh or eighth place. We had to pass three buoys before the course took us out of the harbor and into Cook Strait. The last section was under spinnaker which I trimmed. With a distance of only one or two boat lengths to two other yachts quite exciting and exhausting.
With a bright blue sky, sun and 20 to 25 knots of wind, we moved up bit by bit to fourth and then third place. After the third day the wind decreased more and more to 10 to 12 knots and we had our old problem again that we just couldn't maintain the speed, no matter how focused and motivated we trimmed. To our great frustration, we dropped back to eleventh place. In gusts we got a little closer to the yachts in front of us, but we couldn't overtake them. To make matters worse, our wind instruments failed right at the beginning and could be temporarily repaired, but from the third day we only had the apparent wind and speed. Otherwise no information about the real wind direction and speed as well as the apparent wind direction.
Despite the bad position, we kept fighting and eventually got rewarded. Luck finally seemed to be on our side: The wind increased noticeably from day six to 25 to 30 knots (apparently), the ship finally got going and at the usual speed. Our tactic of bypassing the East Australian current in the south was spot on and temporarily brought us second.
For the last two days we fought for places two to four with “Saic” and “BP” and did not contest third place in the last 24 hours. As a third and completely enthusiastic, we sailed into Sydney Harbor, the harbor I had been looking forward to the most. Our Me to You team is really happy, and we send greetings from hot summer Sydney.