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Scoop Images: The Yachts Of The BT Challenge

LG Flatron and Team SpirIT side by side

The crews on the BT Global Challenge yacht race can’t relax after the battling the Southern Ocean just yet, they’re still working hard stripping their yachts to prepare for the next leg.

“We’re taking everything apart and cleaning it. The boats are being lifted and the rigs taken down to make sure they are fit for the next leg,” said Iain Fenna, who joined Team SpirIT for one leg. “Its something that the challenge organisers decided to do. It isn’t absolutely necessary, but it’s nice that they’re doing it.”

But it was beer foremost on the mind of Mr Fenna, a mechanical engineer from North East England, when he reached Wellington. He said he’d only had a Christmas glass of wine during 37 days at sea. “It was fantastic coming into Wellington. We were really ready for beer.”

The LG Flatron crew unloads

Team SpirIT

Tim Ballantyne, on the crew of LG Flatron, which came into Wellington first, said the just completed leg saw the worst weather since they left South Hampton.

“it’s a fairly long leg, and it saved the worst weather for last. We got a great kicking when we hit Cape Palliser,” he said.

Tim Ballantyne, LG Flatron crew

Iain Fenna, Team SpirIT Crew

Coming round Cape horn was something I always wanted to do,” said Mr Fenna. “It was tough. If it wasn’t we would’ve felt cheated. Most of the way from Cape Horn the first six boats were within 30 miles of each other. It’s the closest anything like this has ever been.”

Mr Ballantyne, a Londoner originally from Christchurch, said LG Flatron and Compaq swapped the lead several times. “They’ve got the jump on us and we’ve got the jump on them,” he said. “The straits of Le Mair was exciting racing.”

Compaq came in to Wellington in third place on Tuesday

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