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By the end of the day today Bernard Stamm will have less than 2000 miles to go to the finish of the Around Alone. At the speeds he has been sailing and the speed he is capable of sailing, he could be in Newport as soon as next Monday or Tuesday, well ahead of his own optimistic ETA of May 1. Bobst Group Armor lux is consistently knocking off day's runs of over 300 miles and at last poll was averaging a shade under 15 knots. It's a pity that some of the top French sailors like Roland Jourdain, Michael Desjoyeaux and British sailor Ellen MacArthur were not racing this race. It would be interesting to see how they would have fared against the Mighty Stamm. One thing's for certain, Bernard's performance has consistently been up there with the Volvo 60s which raced the same waters last year with a full crew of some of the top professional sailors on board.

The other incredible performance is one being turned in by Brad Van Liew on Tommy Hilfiger Freedom America. Brad had hoped to field his own Class 1 entry in the race but time ran out to build a new boat and to fund the campaign at a level high enough to meet Brad's standards. Instead he has been sailing a spectacular race in Class 2 and right now is ahead of two top Class 1 boats and nipping at the transom of another. It would have been interesting to see how Brad would have fared with his new boat racing against the likes of Bernard and Thierry. My guess is that the three aforementioned Open 60 skippers would have had a hard time beating Bernard, but their campaigns were all better funded and they might have applied pressure when Bobst Group Armor lux faltered with boat damage. As for Brad, I say he too would have been up there with Bernard, perhaps ahead if his new design had proven to be as fast as predicted.  more...


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